Thursday, February 24, 2005
Marina Needs to Think Ahead
At the Marina City Council meeting of February 1, we heard about 14 recommendations to improve the City’s financial outlook, some of which included raising fees for current Marina citizens. I am concerned about the lack of Fiscal Impact Studies in Marina history and the mindset that if we haven’t had one before on private land, there’s no reason to start now on public land. A Fiscal Impact Study is simply a calculated look at the costs and benefits to the City of any new development. For Marina Heights, Marina City councilmembers Dave McCall, Michael Morrison and current Mayor Ila Mettee-McCutchon voted a Fiscal Impact Study down, twice. Councilmember Gary Wilmot says he doesn’t think Marina Heights’ high-end homes will have any trouble paying for themselves, but we don’t have any study to support his opinion. Andrew Scutro’s article [“Monterey County, 2020,” Feb. 10-16] points to just one arena of anticipated big expenses, new roads and road widening projects, that will be needed to accommodate all the new residents.
Let us require Fiscal Impact Studies for all of the
upcoming developments to ensure that none of them cost us for
the rest of our lives. —Jan Shriner | Marina
Marina and Seaside Really Needto Think Ahead
Why do we want Fort Ord to become a spitting image of a Los Angeles suburb, one identical development after another, until the place looks more uniform than it did as a military base?
Though the big developers can produce relatively attractive housing, the houses lose their appeal in a sea of nearly identical units. When did the American dream of home ownership become KB Homes model 2B with a beige exterior? Ideally AMBAG (Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments) should develop lots, set some building codes, then sell the lots to individuals who would then build their own home, which would be more personal and use local labor.
Thousands of homes that are built together will decay together, forever compromising the area’s uniqueness. If the proposed plan goes forward, we should rename Fort Ord, “Cul-de-Sac City.” —Michael Becker | Monterey
Supervisors Don’t Think At All
Residents in most counties elect a Board of Supervisors to oversee and protect the public’s general welfare. However, in Monterey County, we have unfortunately elected a Board of Developers. They predominantly watch out for the developer’s interest.
Recently, this Board of Developers approved: the Handley
Ranch Quarry, a mega-mine and industrial complex; Rancho San
Juan, a mini-city; a bunch of McMansions at Rancho San Carlos;
and more. You get the picture; follow the money—they will
approve anything and everything. Oh, except affordable housing
for the average working folks. —Alison Stewart |
Correction: A Newsbrief in the Feb. 10-16 issue inacurately reported that Bob Schaffer of Marina Community Partners, speaking at a meeting on Feb. 8, declined to state what percentage of his University Villages project will be earmarked for affordable housing. Late in the meeting, after our reporter had left to hit a deadline, Schaffer said 30 percent of the project will be set aside as some form of low-income or “workforce” housing.