Thursday, January 27, 2005
SEND IN THE CLOWNS… No popcorn. No cotton candy. No clown cars. Squid’s been eagerly anticipating the circus coming to town. Wait—Squid’s bad. What Squid intended to say, errr, ink, was the Local Agency Formation Commission’s continuing public hearings on Carmel Valley incorporation—the most recent of which took place on Jan. 24.
Well, it’s not too far from a circus, or at least a dog-and-pony show. As the debate continues, long-time incorporation opponent Bob Sinotte continues to beat the same drum: The most recent study that shows a Town of Carmel Valley would be financially feasible really isn’t up to snuff; that a “city” (his word—don’t dare speak it in front of the pro-incorporation types) would destroy the rural nature of the Valley, blah blah, blah. It’s been Sinotte’s battle cry for years, and it works—at least when he’s using it to convince poor (or not-so-poor) old senior citizens that once Carmel Valley becomes incorporated, boom! Up go the high rises and WalMarts! “And then the whores come in…” Squid can hear it now, the old man, standing in the back of the room at a recent meeting. Oh, wait, that wasn’t a Valley resident. It was an actor in an Adam Sandler movie. Silly Squid.
But back to the topic at hand, and Sinotte’s grumbling that incorporation will pave over Carmel Valley’s bucolic paradise…Hello??! Mr. Sinotte, where have you been? The Supes are well on their way to citifying CV anyway.
It usually works like this: A big-time developer hires a big-time land-use attorney (i.e., Tony Lombardo) to convince the Monterey County Supervisors that, sure, there may be no water in the Valley, and sure, traffic congestion at the mouth of the Valley may be horrendous, and hey, these mini-mansions may, in fact, be killing endangered fish. But why not build a new assisted living facility, or more big houses, or expand Safeway, or Tehema, or Quail Hotel, or…
What? Complete an Environmental Impact Report? Nah. Those are for sissies.
The Board vote usually goes something like this: 4-1 approval, sans EIR, and with Dave Potter—the one elected to represent the Valley and whose opinion should count for something among his colleagues—opposing the project.
But perhaps Sinotte hasn’t noticed this pattern of go-go-growth Supes approving massive projects in the “sleepy” Valley. (Not that Squid blames the Supes. They’ve got to get reelected, and those developer types do have deep pockets and tend to write generous campaign checks.)
After all, Sinotte’s a busy man, presiding over the Carmel Valley Rotary—which meets at Nick Lombardo’s Rancho Cañada Golf Club. Hmmm, maybe this is why the development-hating Sinotte can’t stop singing the praises of Lombardo’s planned 280-home Rancho Cañada Village? Now Squid, too, applauds the 50-percent affordable housing plan, but it does seem a little out of character for Sinotte. But then again, so did his support for the Crossroads/Safeway shopping center expansion that will add an extra 22,000 square feet of commercial space and 2,200 new car trips a day.
Ahhh, those wily no-growthers. One of these days Squid will figure them out.