Helping Our Peninsula's Environment


California & Federal Resource Protection Agencies' 

Top Ten Problems with 

the Pebble Beach Company Golf Course Development

Many Peninsula residents and local environmental protection groups have severe concerns about the proposed Pebble Beach Company forest destruction development for a golf course and mansions. 

New,  powerful government agency letters provide strong support for their concerns in their responses to the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) on the proposed project. 

Those agency letters diplomatically, exceedingly diplomatically, describe how the Monterey Peninsula's largest development must be significantly reduced in size and impacts because it would cause serious and irreversible environmental damage and violate several fundamental laws. 

The top ten concerns of the - 

include - 

1. Ecosystems: Severe Impacts to our Imperiled Native Monterey Pine Forest Ecosystem (DFG & CCC) 

"...the DEIR clearly shows that severe impacts to [at least 19 rare or endangered plant species and the Monterey pine forest ] would be expected with the proposed project." (CCC) 
" amazing variety and preponderance of interrelated rare and endangered species." (CCC) 

2. Deficient Physical Water Supply & Infrastructure (CDF&G, CCC, Water District, SWRCB) 

"...[even ] the proposed Phase II reclamation project may not be able to meet maximum irrigation requirements ..." (Water District) 
"Cal-Am is currently under court order to reduce pumping from the system...[this restriction appears] to curtail the ability of Cal-Am to provide the additional water to this project regardless of any legal claim held by the applicant." (DFG) 
"Cal-Am has no additional water within the 11,285 afa limit to serve new development." (SWRCB) 

3. Project Wholly Ignores Strong Legal protection for our Imperiled Native Monterey Pine Forest as Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas which is Required by our Coastal Act (CCC) 

"We don't believe the DEIR accurately frames the Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area [ESHA] issues associated with the project and Measure A, and has mostly overlooked or previous comments in this regard." (CCC) 

4. Project Water Demand Impacts on Carmel River's Imperiled  Fish and Frogs (DFG) 

"The DEIR discloses [the project's] increased demand for potable water that relies on withdrawals from the Carmel River aquifer, but does not include an analysis of the impacts caused by those increased withdrawals on the public trust resources [imperiled Steelhead salmon and California red-legged frog] in the Carmel River system."

5. Currently Allowed Development Significantly Overestimated.

"The DEIR appears to significantly overestimate the amount of development that would be "allowed" in the Del Monte Forest at build out by the LCP." (CCC) 

  • Pebble Beach Co. (PBC) claims they can build 890 mansions with currently approved zoning. If this is so - why is PBC very quietly demanding "Certificates of Compliance" for their largest parcels? These are only needed when a landowners claim of legal lots of record has no documentation. 
  • Perhaps even more fundamental, why are they applying for 16 subdivisions? 

6. Ignored Impacts on, and Defective Protection of, Imperiled, Rare, Native Orchids and other Flowers (DFG, CCC) 

"DFG is concerned that impacts to all sensitive resources be adequately characterized." 

7. Imperiled Orchids - Defective Transplanting Plan (DFG, FWS) 

 "DFG does not recognize translocation as contributing substantially to a mitigation strategy... [so use avoidance]." 

8. Removal of Recorded Protection Easements (DFG, FWS) 

"[The removal of environmental protection easements] undermines our confidence in the ability of an easement to provide for protection of resources in perpetuity, if in fact it can be undone at a later date." (DFG) 
"We reccommend any new conservation easements be structured to prohibit a similar change from protection to development." (FWS)

9. Send Measure A For Approval Separately Before the PBC Project (CCC) 

"[ Measure A] must be submitted to the Commission for review and action under the Coastal Act before the PBC project could be affirmatively and finally acted on by the County." 

10. Rewrite and Start Over (CCC) 

"...we recommend that the DEIR be revised to address the comments of this letter in be recirculated for public review particularly with respect to ESHA issues..."



This Commentary was officially supported by -

    • Helping Our Peninsula's Environment 
    • Pacific Grove Neighbors 
    • Carmel Valley Women's Network 
    • Save Our Waterfront Committee 
    • Vision Inspiring Sanctity & Integrity with Nature 
    • Save Jeffers Forest 
    • Save Our Peninsula Committee 


Agency Letters --

California Coastal Commission (pdf)

California Coastal Commission (text only version)

Federal Fish & Wildlife Service (pdf)

California Dept. of Fish & Game

TEXT Version


 Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (pdf)

TEXT Version

 California Water Resources Control Board (pdf)

TEXT Version

Coast Weekly Article Oct 30, 2003

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This Page Last Updated April 25, 2004