Supes Overturn Planning Commission on MST/Whispering Oaks Decision
June 15, 2011
Testimony from an adamant group of environmentalists didn't stop a development project slated to cut down thousands of oaks on the former Fort Ord.
The Board of Supervisors last night overturned the county Planning Commission's rejection of the Whispering Oaks business part project, which includes a new 24-acre headquarters for Monterey-Salinas Transit.
The revised proposal scaled back the number of oaks to be removed from 4,400 to 3,400.
“We’ve attempted to do it in the most environmentally sensitive way possible, given the real estate that’s been transferred to the County of Monterey," said county Redevelopment Director Jim Cook.
The supervisors' vote was 4-1, with Supervisor Jane Parker dissenting.
"I don't feel it's appropriate to rush into this location," she said. "We can have both jobs and trees; we don't have to pit one against the other."
She preferred the idea of siting the new MST headquarters at the already blighted Marina Airport site, an alternative advocated by environmentalists and Marina Mayor Bruce Delgado.
The board is scheduled to consider final approval of the Whispering Oaks project July 12.