Helping Our Peninsula's Environment


Coastal Commission Arrests Pebble Beach Company Forest Destruction, Golf Course & Mansion Proposal.

by David Dilworth, Executive Director

Just as with so many vital meetings - HOPE was the only group there. 

       SAN FRANCISCO Dec. 8 - At their San Francisco meeting the California Coastal Commission voted to derail Pebble Beach Company's impending orchestrated train wreck -- Pebble Beach Company's (PBC) plan to bulldoze and destroy half a square mile of our rare and imperiled native Monterey pine forest to put in yet another water guzzling golf course and a few dozen mansions. 

       The Commission directed their staff to write a letter to Monterey County saying they do not want to hear Measure A and the Pebble Beach Company project together - they want to hear Measure A first without the pressure of a project so they can determine whether or not it violates our Coastal Act.

(Just like so many hundreds of meetings every year -- HOPE was the only group there (in San Francisco) supporting this vital issue.)

       You may recall that four years ago in Nov 2000, Pebble Beach Company's highly misleading "Save the Forest for Clint" ballot measure passed. You may be surprised to learn that for 4 years Scott Hennessey's Monterey County "Planning Department", under the direction of Pebble Beach Company and their lawyer Tony Lombardo, have refused to send that ballot measure to the Coastal Commission to let them decide if the measure was legal.

       In HOPE's opinion the "Save the Forest for Clint" ballot measure is not only illegal, it is probably unconstitutional. This is why I and many other forest protection citizens refused to waste our time and money fighting Pebble Beach Company's million-dollar public-relations campaign to get their forest destruction measure passed. 

       Measure A violates the Coastal Act in several ways, not the least of which is how it explicitly allows destruction of endangered species habitat in the coastal zone - something that is essentially forbidden by the Coastal Act. 

       Measure A also appears unconstitutional in that it re-zones the property of a single owner. Courts have directed that initiatives may not rezone a single parcel because that could allow discrimination, racial or otherwise. 

       Just for good (actually bad) measure, Measure A created facts contrary to reality and existing law when it eliminated the B8 Zoning which severely restricts development in Del Monte Forest because of (among other things) water supply problems. Measure A claims we have no water supply problems.

       So for four years, Pebble Beach Company in league with County Planning Director Scott Hennessey, and PBC supporters known as the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, have been keeping Measure A away from the Coastal Commission.

       PBC had been planning to show up at the Coastal Commission and wave away any legal or constitutional problems to their highly misleading " forest protection" Measure A with "But we've spent so much time and money in getting this to you, you have to approve it (sobbing through crocodile tears - remember Eastwood is rumored to have taken acting lessons)." 

       PBC absolutely insists upon destroying our magnificent, imperiled Monterey pine forest, its endangered flowers and threatened wildlife which includes the celebrated red-legged frog which made Mark Twain famous. 

       Pebble Beach Company could avoid all this mess and controversy by simply purchasing an existing golf course inside Del Monte forest. They could also purchase a golf course outside Del Monte Forest. After all PBC already owns one offsite golf course in Monterey; they think offsite mitigation for destroying our forest is just fine; and they already agree that bussing spectators in from Ft. Ord to their golf tournaments is adequate. 

       Since Pebble Beach Company only owns seven of the 21 local golf courses within 15 minutes of Monterey, their millions can easily buy one of the other 14 golf courses. That would mean no environmental impacts to our forest, water or wildlife. 

       You can help protect our priceless Monterey pine forest ecosystem by calling Coastal Commissioner David Potter (647-7755). Let him know you agree that --

  1. Measure A must be heard by the Coastal Commission before the Pebble Beach project is approved by Monterey County and that 
  2. PBC must buy an offsite golf course instead of clearcutting our magnificent and fragile Monterey forest. 

Read Coastal Commission Letter (41k PDF file)


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This Page Last Updated January 11, 2005