Thursday, March 8, 2007
Another local land-use decision will be decided in Superior Court.
On Tuesday, March 6, a group that wants to create a new Town of Carmel Valley filed a lawsuit against the Local Agency Formation Commission of Monterey County (LAFCO). The complaint, filed by the Carmel Valley Forum and attorney Michael Stamp, charges LAFCO with illegally stopping the incorporation process and blocking residents’ right to vote on whether or not they want to see Carmel Valley incorporated into its own municipality.
“LAFCO left us with no other choice,” says Glenn Robinson.
“We started the process formally, working with LAFCO, in 2002, and come October 2006, every study was done, everything was in order. LAFCO and the independent experts said, ‘Everything is good to go. Send it to the people for a vote.’ And then the commissioners, based on no evidence, said ‘Nah, we’re going to have them start all over again.’ ”
In 2005, the LAFCO Commission unanimously adopted an Initial Environmental Study that said a full EIR wasn’t necessary in the incorporation process. A year later, however, commissioners changed their minds and told incorporation proponents that an EIR did need to be completed—along with a host of other new studies that would cost an additional $365,000 and take two or three more years.
“We’re not going to raise almost $400,000 and then, what, have them tell us to start all over again?” Robinson says. “It’s sad when citizens have to sue their own government in order to get the right to vote.”