January 25, 2012
Pebble Beach Company's scaled-back plans for a final build-out of hotels, golf courses and residences are one step closer to final approval. The County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted 4-0 to approve amendments to the land use plan for the Del Monte Forest that would allow more building; next the plan moves to the California Coastal Commission for approval next month.
Supervisor and former Coastal Commissioner Dave Potter called the proposal "unprecedented" in its balance between protecting business and environmental interests. After the Coastal Commission rejected an earlier proposal four years ago, Pebble Beach scaled back their development plans and will also guarantee easements to permanently protect more than 635 acres of sensitive habitat, including 137 acres that had previously been allocated for golf green under the earlier proposal.
Members of the public and supervisors spoke in favor of the long-term and construction jobs the $200 million expansion is expected to create. “We can’t put up a fence around Pebble Beach," said Supervisor Fernando Armenta. "We need to take the shackles off this area and move forward with the future.”
Water didn't drown out the plan because of a trade Pebble Beach Company made with the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District beginning in 1994: The luxury resort operator built a $65 million wastewater treatment plant to more than meet its irrigation needs in exchange for a water credit.