August 20, 2020
preserving, protecting, and defending the rural character
and natural resources of Carmel Valley since 1949

Carmel Valley Association
Weekly Bulletin
Stay Safe!
Short-Term Rental Update

On July 8, the Monterey County Planning Commission met to consider the a letter to the Board of Supervisors asking for guidance on their consideration of a draft ordinance on short-term rentals (lately re-named "Vacation Rentals") which the commission had previously asked a committee four members to draft. Here is the first page:

Dear Chair Lopez and Members of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors:

The Monterey County Planning Commission is taking the unusual step of writing a letter to you about the draft regulations for vacation (short-term) rentals to accompany your staff report. At our June 10 Planning Commission hearing, we were unable to provide a recommendation on the draft proposed ordinances until several fundamental policy questions are addressed and further detailed analysis is conducted. This letter outlines policy questions we believe the Board of Supervisors
should address so we can proceed to an efficient and effective environmental review.

The draft ordinances represent county Staff’s best effort at addressing a variety of issues and concerns that have been raised by both the Public and Planning Commissioners over the years. Many provisions specifically reflect direction from the Commission and the Board of Supervisors.
However, in our most recent hearing, we still lack clarity about the basis for several underlying assumptions in key policy areas.

In order to make best use of the environmental review process, among many other requirements the following questions will need to be carefully considered:

• Affordable Housing: How will a new Vacation Rental ordinance affect affordable housing?

• Support, Monitoring and Enforcement: How will we effectively support, monitor and enforce new vacation rental ordinances?

• Character and Intensity: Staff assumes vacation rental is a ‘similar use’ consistent with character and intensity of residential use. Is there sufficient evidence to support this assumption?

• Visitor Serving Unit Caps: How do Vacation Rentals affect Visitor Serving Unit counts in areas with Visitor Serving Unit caps, if at all?

• Unique Neighborhoods: Some developments claim unique circumstances. Should developments such as this be provided with special rules?

Here's a web site to check to see
 if your area is scheduled for a power outage:

CVA Comments on the Rancho Cañada Subdivision Project
Second Revised Draft Environmental Report

From CVA President Pris Walton's letter:

Under the Carmel Valley Master Plan, the project is required to set aside 50% of the project for affordable housing. Without the affordable housing requirement, this location would not have been considered for development. The requirement was intended to meet the needs for affordable housing in Carmel Valley. Since then, subsequent iterations of the project have been proposed attempting to evade the affordable housing requirement, and the new iteration of the project is no different.

Unfortunately, neither the proposed project or any of the alternatives meet the current standard for 50% for the site, the general requirement for 25% in the General Plan, nor the minimum 35% affordable housing requirements for projects, such as the proposed project, that are subject to the Development Evaluation System (DES). In addition, all low and very-low income and workforce inclusionary units have been removed. Moreover, the Project does not meet the general range of required inclusionary units in the 2010 General Plan:

  • 6% of the units affordable to very low-income households
  • 6% of the units affordable to low-income households
  • 8% of the units affordable to moderate-income households
  • 5% of the units affordable to workforce households

The Carmel Valley Association filed a lawsuit and succeeded, in part, on the basis of failure to meet the affordable housing requirement. The project proposes lowering the percentage from 50% to 20%, which is 30% less than what is required by the Carmel Valley Master Plan that was in exchange for allowing development of the project site.

From CVA's attorney William Parkin, who commented in a 17-page letter:

As a preliminary matter, the SRDEIR is an attempt to hold onto the dated information in the previous iterations of the EIR. When the project was approved in 2016, the County took the EIR for a project long-abandoned by a previous landowner and simply added information. The flaw, as confirmed by the Monterey County Superior Court, is that the Project Description was not accurate. Instead of starting with a clean slate and doing an honest assessment of the environmental impacts, the SRDEIR simply reuses the previously flawed EIR and deletes and adds information. This continues to confuse the public as to the true extent of the environmental impacts. Furthermore, the SRDEIR misrepresents the impact of the litigation.

The effect of the case is sweeping. The County cannot argue that all it must do is fix the Project Description and call it a day. Indeed, the environmental analysis relied on an inaccurate Project Description. Moreover, the SRDEIR adds and subtracts from analysis throughout the document. Moreover, the Project Purpose and Objectives was entirely revised. (SRDEIR pp. ES-3, 2-3.)

These assertions, and the lack of serious attention to the environmental analysis again misleads and confuses the public. Indeed, the SRDEIR asserts at page 1-8 that “Consistent with this approach, the County encourages commenters to focus on the new information found herein.” However, changes are found throughout the document. It is again placing the burden on the public to figure out what to review and comment on.

The DEIR is so fatally flawed that it must be corrected and recirculated for further public comment.

From the Carmel Valley Library:

Curbside Pickup Service at the CV Branch Library is now:

  • Tuesday 1 pm - 5 pm — CLOSED 9/8 in observance of Labor Day — no curbside
  • Thursday 10 am - 2 pm
  • Saturday 10 am - 2 pm

Lunch and Summer Reading at the Library have ended and Summer Reading ends this Saturday.

Book Drops open! Please remember that the book drops are for library materials only! We must quarantine materials for 72 hours before we can handle them, and we have limited space to quarantine materials safely. Please hold on to your book donations for a little while longer. THANK YOU!
Removing Invasive Genista?

CVA has two weed wrenches to loan -
making the work of removing genista much easier.


Paola Berthoin
25440 Telarana Way
Carmel, CA 93923
RisingLeaf Restoration Consulting
From the Big Sur Land Trust:

Stay healthy! Research continues to show that parks and open spaces provide health benefits beyond just physical exercise. Fresh air and organic compounds produced by trees may be a natural pharmacy that can help support our immune systems. Along with other important recommended precautions, none of us should forget our Vitamin N — Vitamin Nature!

If solo time in nature sounds right for you, visit our website and sign up for a self-guided hike on one of our spectacular conserved properties. In the meantime, to be cautious, we are suspending our guided hike program for the foreseeable future. We will let you know as soon as they are available again.

Be Well,

The Team at Big Sur Land Trust
Issues of Concern to Residents of Carmel Valley
Make sure you are signed up to receive emergency alerts!
Pris Walton, President
Carmel Valley Association
Curious About CVA?
Carmel Valley Association is one of the oldest, largest, and most successful community organizations in Monterey County. We are entirely volunteer, with no paid employees. Our mission is to defend the beauty, resources and rural character of our beautiful valley. We do that by working with residents, businesses, and government.
CVA was instrumental in the adoption of the Carmel Valley Master Plan and recently settled a lawsuit with Monterey County regarding traffic measurement and capping future development on very favorable terms for our valley. Our volunteer experts represent Carmel Valley's interest, testifying before governmental bodies concerning development, water, traffic, road signs, and other quality of life issues.

We keep valley residents informed about important issues and events with our weekly email Bulletin, which goes to over 1200 residents, and our quarterly Newsletter, which is mailed to over 7,000 valley addresses.

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Header photo by
Carmel Valley Photographer 
Douglas Steakley