Coastal Commission Approves Scaled-Back Pebble Beach Plan
May 10, 2012
The California Coastal Commission has approved the recently revised Pebble Beach development plan, a dramatically scaled-back reincarnation of Pebble ambitions the commission rejected in 2007.
Coastal Commission Executive Director Charles Lester lauded the proposal as a hard-won compromise after years of negotiations between the private luxury community and the commission, which worked to find a balance between environmental concerns and development goals.
The plan calls for 90 residential units (rather than the previous 890) and the preservation of 635 acres of Monterey pine forest.
“They’re setting aside for permanent open space an area roughly the size of Carmel-by-the-Sea, which is a pretty a big deal," Carmel Mayor Jason Burnett says.
The plan also allows Pebble to add 240 lodging units, build a new hotel and renovate an equestrian center and driving range. It will involve the removal of almost 6,700 trees on 56 acres. The company proposes to pay the county about $4.5 million in in-lieu fees rather than build 18 affordable units.
"Overall, the new Concept Plan is much better than the 2007 plan which the Sierra Club opposed," says Rita Dalessio of The Sierra Club's Ventana Chapter.
Twenty-three proposed lots in the Seal Rock Creek watershed would impact prime environmentally sensitive habitat areas, she says, which host rare Monterey pine forest stands, federally protected California red-legged frogs and special-species native plants including Yadon's piperia and the Hickman's cinquefoil.