Time is Relative…Squid sees the glass half-full and the clock a half-hour slow. It’s a little condition called “chronoptimism”—thinking everything is going to take a lot less time than it really does, and making Squid a chronically late cephalopod.
Squid has noticed developers and city planners tend to share the same adorable quirk. Take Monterey Downs, the modest proposal to turn a bunch of worthless shrubs into a high-class equestrian community where mint juleps flow like water. (Oh, wait—there is no water. And by shrubs, Squid means heritage oak savannah, world-class cycling terrain and wild open space. And by modest proposal, Squid means a 1-mile horse racetrack, 5,000-seat sports arena, 1,500 homes, two hotels, a commercial district, several rec centers, a horse park, office complex and parking lots.)
Seaside officials first signed a 12-month exclusive negotiating agreement (ENA) with the Downs team in September 2010. When that ran out, they extended it. And extended it again. And again, to December 2014. And again, to March 2015. On Thursday, the Seaside City Council considers yet another 12-month ENA extension for Downs.
The ENA is meant to give the Downs developers time to get all their horses in a row. The city lists a dozen-plus documents they’ve already submitted, including the specific plan and economic analysis.
What’s still not done: the draft environmental impact report (EIR), which seems to be on the same timetable as Squid’s plan to organize Squid’s rusty tangle of a toolshed.
The EIR was originally set to go public in fall 2013. Planners pushed the release date back to summer 2014. Then they postponed it a few more times, to last November, then December, then January or February. That last delay, Squid wagers, is because the Weekly got ahold of an leaked attorney memo that waved big fat red flags about the glaring lack of water for the project. Officials probably realized they’d look pretty dumb if those issues weren’t addressed in the EIR.
Now, the staff report says, “Staff anticipates that the draft EIR will be available for public review by the end of this month.”
Yeah, and Squid will totally have Squid’s Allen and Phillips wrenches sorted into neat color-coded bins by then, too. Squid will get to it right after filing Squid’s taxes and finishing Squid’s Hanukkah thank-you notes. No problem.