Ultimately, A Compromise
Supervisors vow to reconcile dueling land use visions.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
County Counsel Charles McKee suggested Groundhog Day as a metaphor. “It may seem like…we can never move past this one day and the General Plan,” he said. Another speaker said he found Titanic a better fit. But perhaps Love Story most accurately reflected the sentiment of the Board of Supes’ July 10 meeting. Not because anyone died tragically during the discussion of how to move forward with a growth plan. But the whole “love means never having to say you’re sorry” thing seemed to ring true, as elected officials and activists on both sides of the land use debate seem poised to leave seven years of bitter acrimony behind and find some sort of middle ground on how to grow in Monterey County.
McKee told the elected officials there were several ways they could proceed in the wake of June’s special election, in which voters said no to three general plan ballot measures. He said the Supes could adopt GPU4 (although voters rejected the plan with Measure C, they declined to revoke it with Measure B). Or, he said, they could move forward with a compromise plan.
“You could do nothing,” McKee said. “You also could do a collaborative process to bring the parties together.”
The Supes chose the latter option. They essentially said Measure C—not Measure B—prevailed. This means the 1982 General Plan remains in effect. But they also decided to use GPU4 as a template while “crafting the ultimate General Plan,” in Supervisor Dave Potter’s words.
Additionally, the supervisors agreed to adopt an ordinance to put development projects on hold until they’ve approved this new ultimate General Plan (GPU5?). They also voted to ask the Planning Commission to select a subcommittee to hammer out the details of the new plan—although some supervisors indicated they might want to reconsider at the July 17 meeting.
At that meeting, they will decide on the process—debate parameters, including what parts of the plan may be amended, a timeline for meetings, public input and the like.
“That’s what we’re doing today,” Potter said, “trying to respect the differences while trying to move forward.”
It looked like they are off to a good start. At the end of the meeting, LandWatch’s Chris Fitz and Center for Community Advocacy’s Juan Uranga, two men who took opposite views leading up to the June election, approached the dais and shook hands with each county supervisor. A new day—maybe.