Thursday, December 7, 2006
CITIZENS ARE VOTING WITH THEIR WALLETS
In Eric Johnson’s desperately written opinion, the “will of the people” is not being respected by the County Board of Supes, who kowtow to powerful pro-development interests [Local Spin, Nov. 30-Dec. 6]. Really? Wouldn’t these scoundrels be gone if they were so unsavory?
I believe we need to come clean and take a much closer look at the facts: the relatively small number of players on both sides of this unending General Plan fiasco, the predictable horrendous voter turnout in this county, and the democratic re-election of pro-growth Board members. Didn’t the election outcome clearly represent the will of some people?
Regardless of the Herald’s clarion call to action that Johnson praises, and given the widespread ignorance, apathy, and great number of non-voting “citizens” failing to participate in the local planning process (far less than voter turnout), we’ll get precisely the general plan we deserve.
The political demographics are clear: The “long war” is residents fighting for a bargain at the mall before the 25th, not making demands in the Board chamber. Merry Christmas to all those shoppers “planning” ahead. —Jim Safranek | Aromas
SQUID: CLEVER, BUT IGNORANT
Squid, your column is the very first thing I read in the Weekly each week. You are a scribe of such eloquent phrases and witty insight, you can certainly be forgiven for an error of fact from time to time. What fact, you ask? The city of Seaside was not incorporated in 1899. It was founded in 1899 by Dr. John L.D. Roberts. The city was actually incorporated in 1954.
The Seaside Historical Commission is very touchy about these things. So, if one of the commissioners tries to contact you about this…run! I mean, you’ll be forewarned (if not forearmed). Good luck! And, if you keep writing, I’ll keep reading! —Jackie Lambert | Seaside
SQUID: GET SOME HISTORICAL LOGIC
Send Squid back to the history books. Seaside was not incorporated in 1899. It was incorporated in 1954, way before the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) was a glimmer in anyone’s eye. Ergo, no Environmental Impact Report was required. The City of Marina was incorporated in 1975 and may have found a way to avoid the requirement for an EIR.
The reasons used by Seaside and Marina to incorporate are essentially the same ones used by Carmel Valley incorporation proponents. —Larry Hawkins | Seaside
HELP DEFEND HISTORIC INTEGRITY
Since 1955, we have loved living in the historic old stone house known as the Kuster/Meyer House, built in 1921 on Carmel Point. We raised our family in this house, which is listed in the County Register of Historic Resources. Tourists often mistake our home for Tor House, which was built about the same time.
Many bicyclists, walkers, and tourists come around the Point daily. The beauty of this special place has been gradually encroached on by larger and grander houses, and we have said little. But now we ask for the community’s help in drawing the line.
On Dec. 13, the County Planning Commission will meet in Salinas to decide whether to approve construction of a massive new house at 26195 Scenic Drive on the Point. This proposal, if approved, will be a disaster for the scenic and historic beauty of the Point.
The Carmel Area Land Use Plan requires that all structures must harmonize and be clearly subordinate to the natural scenic character of the Point. The proposed house would be anything but harmonious and subordinate. A single-story house would be replaced with a three-level behemoth, complete with flat stucco walls adorned with massive Roman columns and a flat roof, all crowded as close to the property line as possible. It would literally loom over Carmel Point and other homes on Scenic Drive, and would intrude into the public viewshed, clashing with the architectural character of our community, and providing no escape from its garish presence.
Although the Carmel Land Use Advisory Committee unanimously recommended denial and County planning staff also recommends denial of the proposal, the property owners and their attorneys are determined to proceed. The Planning Commission could very well vote to approve this monstrosity on Dec. 13. We hope the community will join us in our fight to protect the integrity of Carmel Point. —Bruce and Margery Meyer | Carmel