Even though the development will require an amendment to the Carmel Valley Master Plan, the Rancho Cañada Village subdivision will be brought before the Monterey County Supervisors on Tuesday, Dec. 13. The development would carve up 40 acres of the West Course at Rancho Cañada Golf Club for 130 lots.
The master plan requires 50 percent affordable housing for the for the subdivision, but the proposal the Supervisors will consider only includes 20 percent affordably priced lots.
The original project proposed a decade ago included 281 units on 80 acres of the golf course, 50 percent of which were slated to affordable housing.
Then, to settle a lawsuit filed by the Carmel Valley Association, Monterey County set a cap of 190 new units in the master plan. The developers, Alan Williams and Clint Eastwood, shifted gears and started to pursue an alternative development that would satisfy the cap.
But, at the smaller number of units, the 50 percent affordability requirement doesn’t pencil out, says Williams.
To sweeten the deal for the county, 40 acres of the for golf course along the Carmel River would be given to the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District, including a bridge that would connect parkland on the south side of the river.
The Monterey County Planning Commission approved the Rancho Cañada Village on Nov. 16 with a 4-3 vote. The commission could not recommend a master plan amendment to reduce the affordable housing requirement without a majority of the 10-member board. Three planning commissioners were absent for the vote.
“The most interest thing is that most of the discussion has been around policies issues like affordable housing,” says Luke Connolly, services manager with the Monterey County Planning department. “Environmental issues have not been the biggest concern for most people who commented at the meeting.”
Yet, Priscilla Walton, president of the Carmel Valley Association, has serious reservations about the development and the process. She sees the proposed subdivision being rushed so District 5 Supervisor Dave Potter can vote on it before he gives up his seat to Mary Adams in January.
The environmental impact report was incomplete and final materials were only released 48 hours before the planning commission meeting, Walton says. Some commissioners claimed they did not have enough time to read all of the material before the Nov. 15 meeting.
“I hope the supervisors send it back to the planning department. They should tell the planning department never to send a project las sloppy as this again,” Walton says. “The work is poor and doesn’t meet standards of good planning.”