Choosing In Chualar
Farmland or LA County?
Thursday, March 19, 1998
Our petition will allow the voters of Monterey County (that means you) to decide if 165 acres of highly productive farmland near Chualar should be turned into a development of 800+ homes. It puts the vote in your hands. If you want to send a message to our supervisors that we do not want to become another San Jose or Los Angeles, sign the petition and then vote NO in November. If you do not sign the petition, we cannot vote and the development will proceed.
What is wrong with another development? It creates a precedent. The county General Plan says that land in Chualar should be in agriculture. Our supervisors voted 3-2 (with Potter and Pennycook voting no) that an exception should be made for this development. If they made an exception for this development, what is to prevent them from making an exception for the next developer down the road? Nothing! Do we want a corridor of sound barrier walls along Highway 101 from Salinas to King City?
How has this developer done with other developments in Monterey County? Not too well. Several years ago they built 82 homes and called it Rancho Chualar I. Now Chualar does not have consistently drinkable water and the sewage facility is at 175 percent of capacity. And now they want to put Rancho Chualar II on land they agreed to put in a permanent agricultural preserve as a condition of Rancho Chualar I!
How much time do you have to sign the petitions? Not much. We have until Monday, March 23 to collect 9,200 signatures of registered voters living in Monterey County.
We are very excited about the response we are receiving, it is truly a grassroots effort. People from all over the county have not only asked for petitions but quickly returned them full. It is an issue that is personally important to many people. Last Sunday I spent several hours collecting signatures at a market in Pacific Grove. It was very heartening as 1) many people had already signed the petition, 2) many were very supportive of our cause (even if they were from outside the county) and 3) I didn''t have anyone disagree with our position.
You really need to sign this petition. Yes, yes, yes! Do you want the destiny of our county to be in someone else''s hands or yours? Only with your signature and vote can you say you helped the cause and did something for our children. Even you individually will make a difference in our count.
Where can you sign a petition? The following locations have petitions you can sign. They also have blank petitions and can collect your signed petitions. And remember, whether you have one or 20 signatures, you must turn them in Monday, March 23.
* Ambrose Pollock Fine Furniture, Mission St., Carmel.
* Morgan''s Coffee House, 498 Washington St., Monterey.
* Post Box, 820 Romie Ln., Salinas.
* Java Hut, Nob Hill South Main, Salinas.
* 8525 Prunedale Rd. North, Prunedale.
Pick up a petition, have your friends and co-workers sign it, turn it in by Monday, March 23. Call the Committee to Save Ag Land in Chualar on our hotline: 675-8130. Make a difference! Send a message! Save our farmland!
John Metzer and his wife Sharon own Metzer Farms, a waterfowl hatchery, and live in Gonzales. He is a former Hartnell College Boardmember and Monterey County Farm Bureau Director.