Friday, February 29, 2008

Mayor’s Fifth Annual Report: Amplifications, Clarifications & Comments

ABSTRACT: Amplifications, clarifications and comments are presented on four areas in the Mayor’s Fifth Annual Report, namely Grants, Storm Water Discharges into an Area of Special Biological Significance, the Flanders Mansion property and closing remarks . General OBSERVATIONS & COMMENTS are made with respect to the totality of the Mayor’s Fifth Annual Report.

Mayor’s Fifth Annual Report:
“We also received a little over $500,000 in grants...”

Amplification:
For context purposes, while “grant funds are not budgeted until received, and therefore, not part of the original adopted budget,” the City’s ADOPTED BUDGET FISCAL YEARS 2007/08 THROUGH 2009/10 Years 2007/08 show an “Actual 2005/06” amount of $106,950; for FY 2006/07, the amount of zero. Grants totaling over $500,000 should appear in the next budget, ADOPTED BUDGET FISCAL YEARS 2008/09 THROUGH 2010/11.

Mayor’s Fifth Annual Report:
3. Implement the storm water run-off program and address requirements for Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS)

Further details of progress on each objective:

3. Storm Water Run-off and Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS): These are two separate but related projects:
A. Storm Water:
Carmel filed for a storm water permit in October 2006 and is voluntarily meeting requirements of the Monterey Regional Storm Water Management Program, while awaiting approval of the permit application. We are working toward a solution for storm water runoff with the other Peninsula cities and are now a full member of the regional Storm Water Participants' Group.
B. ASBS:
The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) mandated that the City file an exception to the ASBS requirements set forth by the State. This exception has now been filed, which means that we are able to apply for grants to help the City fulfill its requirements. To protect the ASBS areas, Carmel is also working with other Peninsula cities and the Pebble Beach Company to find a regional solution.

Amplification & Clarification:
According to the Storm Water Section, Division of Water Quality. State Water Resources Control Board, Carmel-by-the-Sea is not enrolled in the Phase II MS4 permit. The city is participating in the Monterey Regional SWMP program, but chose not to be a co-permittee under the MRSWMP at the time that Region 3 approved it in September 2006. The City subsequently submitted a SWMP that effectively incorporates the MRSWMP along with the City-specific information. Region 3 staff intend to review their SWMP and post it for public review in the next few months. Because it mirrors the already approved MRSWMP, we were expecting a smooth process for approving the SWMP and enrolling Carmel under the Phase II permit.

The following language was used in the resolution to approve the MRSWMP:

"To comply with the General Permit and the Ocean Plan prohibition, Monterey Permittees that discharge to an ASBS must either (i) cease all ASBS discharges or (ii) obtain a State Water Board exception to the prohibition and comply with all conditions of the exception, including obtaining any necessary WDRs..."

The City has informed State Board staff that they will be submitting a request for an exception to the Ocean Plan for its storm water discharges to the ASBS.

NOTE: Additionally, in a failed attempt to obtain a “waiver,” the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea expended $250,000 to the Pebble Beach Company for legal fees to the law firm Latham and Watkins, LLP associated with the Areas of Special Biological Significance Cease and Desist Order.

Mayor’s Fifth Annual Report:
6. Address the Court's concerns regarding disposition of the Flanders property: The year was spent preparing documents for timely submission to the Court and responding to Court action. The City decided not to appeal the Court's decision. The return on writ was filed with the Court in December 2007. Meantime the building and its environs are being maintained and monitored.

Amplification, Clarification & Comment:
While the City decided not to appeal Superior Court Judge Robert O’Farrell’s decision, the City expended $12,800 for legal advice from an appellate attorney. Total expenditures for the sale of the Flanders Mansion property include legal expenditures for Flanders Foundation v. City of Carmel-by-the-Sea, et al. exceeding $250,000; Environmental Impact Report services exceeding $100,000, et cetera. Furthermore, according to the 2007-08 Mid-Year Adjustments, the City intends to proceed with the sale of the Flanders Mansion property by contracting with Denise Duffy & Associates for additional services related to the Final Environmental Impact Report on the Flanders Mansion property at a cost of $25,000.

As to Mayor McCloud’s assertion that “the building and its environs are being maintained,” the City’s Municipal Code Chapter 17.32 HISTORIC PRESERVATION, 17.32.210 Maintenance and Upkeep mandates “Minimum Maintenance” for all resources included on the City’s Inventory of Historic Resources. Apparently, Mayor McCloud only complies with this section of the Municipal Code when it involves the Sunset Center or a judge ordering the City to comply with the City’s Municipal Code since the Scout House, which is on the City’s Inventory of Historic Resources, requires maintenance and ADA compliance measures for this community center to re-open to user groups.

Mayor’s Fifth Annual Report:
“Whether working together in time of disaster or laboring constructively to reach our mutual citywide goals, the Council and I value your support and input as we work with you to keep our City healthy and financially sound.”

Amplification, Clarification & Comments:
While these sentiments have been stated in all previous Mayor’s Annual Reports, Mayor McCloud's record of valuing input and working with Carmelites contradicts these sentiments. Examples abound including Mayor McCloud not working with local architect Brian Congleton to implement the Forest Theater Facility Master Plan (2001); her contracting with a Special Counsel to represent the City in Flanders Foundation v. City of Carmel-by-the-Sea et al., when the City Attorney’s legal position contradicted her agenda; her contracting with an outside consultant, Nichols Consulting Engineers, for multiple pavement management studies when the City Engineer and the Public Works Staff have the expertise and have historically selected and prioritized city road projects; her creation of circumstances which caused mass resignations from the Carmel Art Board and her dissolving of commissions which make recommendations contrary to her agendas, et cetera.

OBSERVATIONS & COMMENTS:
On the “2007-2008 BUDGET YEAR” “six priority objectives for the City Administrator;” five of the six involved the City contracting with consultants to achieve the objectives. Specifically, consultants were hired for the update of the General Plan, update of the Historic Context Statement, exception to discharge requirements into an Area of Special Biological Significance, update City’s web site and revision of the Final Environmental Impact Report on the Flanders Mansion property. Only “work with the Forest Theater Foundation to establish phases for implementation of the Master Plan” did not directly involve a City hired consultant. Rather, the Forest Theater Foundation contracted with a “theatre” architect from the Los Angeles area.

A classic example of too much taxpayer monies for a consultant and too little taxpayer monies for implementation and action is the City’s contracting with Nichols Consulting Engineers for pavement management studies. For background, the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea contracted with Nichols Consulting Engineers (NCE) for a pavement management study in 1997, 2003 and again in 2007. The staff’s stated rationale for the 2007 study was “to identify, prioritize and quantify costs for street and road improvements.” These consultant studies were a waste of taxpayer monies not only because the recommendations were by and large not implemented at the time, but because the City’s Engineer, Clayton Neill, and the Public Works staff have the expertise and have historically selected and prioritized the various pavement projects for the City.

Mayor’s Penchant for Imitation: Instead of having original and unique visions and ideas for the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Mayor McCloud copies other cities ideas, such as a non-profit organization to manage a city-owned performing arts facility, Economic Revitalization Committee, “Concours on the Avenue” car show, “Authors and Ideas Festival,” Film Festival and “green” sustainability programs.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mayor’s Fifth Annual Report: PROGRESS ON ACHIEVING COUNCIL OBJECTIVES January 2008

ABSTRACT: At the 5 February 2008 City Council meeting, Mayor Sue McCloud gave the Mayor’s Fifth Annual Report: PROGRESS ON ACHIEVING COUNCIL OBJECTIVES January 2008. The Report consists of a Financial Summary, 2007-2008 BUDGET YEAR Six Priority Objectives, Other key actions and projects undertaken or in progress and Looking ahead to 2008. The Report is dated January 2008, it was given to the public at the February 5, 2008 City Council meeting and it will be mailed to residents of Carmel-by-the-Sea in March 2008 to coincide with Mayor Sue McCloud’s re-election campaign.

PROGRESS ON ACHIEVING COUNCIL OBJECTIVES
January 2008


The Mayor Pro-tern and I have prepared this fifth Annual Report on the six primary objectives established for the 2007-2008 budget year. This report establishes the context for planning the 2008-2009 budget. These goals can be found in the Annual Work Plan under tab four of the current Budget Book.

Financial Summary: For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2007, Carmel-by-the-Sea had a solid increase in revenue. The primary revenue source, the hostelry tax (TOT), accounts for about 33% of the City's revenue and was higher because of increasing occupancy and a higher average room rate. Property tax ranks a close second, contributing about 29% of revenue. Carmel receives .14% of its $2.7 billion assessed value, or approximately one dollar out of seven generated by the property tax. The third of the "big three" revenue sources is sales tax, which accounts for about 17% of Carmel's revenues. Carmel receives 1 % of the 7.25% sales tax. This revenue had been down the previous budget year, but has now shown a slight, although welcome increase. We also received a little over $500,000 in grants and $600,000 in gifts to supplement revenue.

On the expense side, there were savings in several areas compared with the budget. The cost of ambulance service was almost $300,000 less than projected. Also, several staff positions were unfilled or filled later than anticipated. The Rio Park bond was paid off. The net result last fiscal year was a surplus of $1,904,000. The City Council recently voted to pay down $1,000,000 in City debt and to add $900,000 to reserves for present and future capital projects. We continue our conservative budget practices, given the number of economic uncertainties facing both the national and California economies.

2007-2008 BUDGET YEAR:
Council established the following six priority objectives for the City Administrator:

1. Update the General Plan and Del Mar Specific Plan

2. Update the Historic Context Statement and clarify/revise the Historic Preservation Ordinance

3. Implement the storm water run-off program and address requirements for Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS)

4. Promote the City's revenue growth through implementation of the strategic plan being developed by the Economic Revitalization Committee and update the City's website

5. Work with the Forest Theater Foundation to establish phases for implementation of the Master Plan

6. Address the Court's concerns regarding disposition of the Flanders property

Further details of progress on each objective:

1. Update the General Plan: Three community workshops were held to discuss those sections of the General Plan to be updated/added. The feeling of those attending the workshops was that a survey of the whole community needed to be undertaken. That survey has been contracted for and is being prepared

2. Update the Historic Context statement: A contract has been executed to clarify selection criteria and extend the period covered to include 1940-1965.

3. Storm Water Run-off and Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS): These are two separate but related projects:
A. Storm Water:
Carmel filed for a storm water permit in October 2006 and is voluntarily meeting requirements of the Monterey Regional Storm Water Management Program, while awaiting approval of the permit application. We are working toward a solution for storm water runoff with the other Peninsula cities and are now a full member of the regional Storm Water Participants' Group.

B. ASBS:
The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) mandated that the City file an exception to the ASBS requirements set forth by the State. This exception has now been filed, which means that we are able to apply for grants to help the City fulfill its requirements. To protect the ASBS areas, Carmel is also working with other Peninsula cities and the Pebble Beach Company to find a regional solution.

4. Implement Strategic Business Plan; update the City's website: The object of this plan is to promote revenue growth. An outside consultant, Jeff Burghardt, was hired to work with City staff to develop the plan. A public workshop was held and staff and the consultant are preparing a draft Economic Revitalization Plan. Once drafted, another workshop is planned before the document is sent to Council for public review. The City's travel website www.carmelcalifornia.com (which includes selected pod casts and a listing of hotels, restaurants and retail stores is up and running. It had approximately one million page views in its initial twelve months. The updated City website will be launched shortly.

5. Forest Theater Foundation: With the funds it raised privately, the Foundation engaged the services of an architect with expertise in remodeling theaters. The "pre-design" was presented to neighbors and interested parties in October. Solutions to the issues raised are being developed. A presentation to the City Council is forthcoming and there will be opportunities for public input as the project moves forward. As we approach 2010 and the 100th anniversary of this outdoor Theater (the first in California), the remodeling is being undertaken to ensure that the Theater's productions will continue to entertain audiences for another 100 years.

6. Address the Court's concerns regarding disposition of the Flanders property: The year was spent preparing documents for timely submission to the Court and responding to Court action. The City decided not to appeal the Court's decision. The return on writ was filed with the Court in December 2007. Meantime the building and its environs are being maintained and monitored.

Other key actions and projects undertaken or in progress:

Capital Projects and Outlays:
A. Remodeling of the Del Mar public restrooms at the foot of Ocean Avenue was completed.

B. Repaving Projects completed include: Post Office Parking lot, 5"' Street between San Carlos and Dolores, Mission Street and sidewalks between 4th and 3rd streets.

C. Implementation of the Forest Study has begun, with $50,000 for this fiscal year.

D. Police Department telephones and computers were upgraded.

E. Sound and safety equipment for Sunset is on order.

Landscaping: In addition to completion of the landscaping of the Ocean Ave median, Main Library and Phase II (Mission Street side) of Sunset (including new outdoor lights), Piccadilly Park was upgraded. A new low wall was built in place of the high grape-stake fence, opening the area and inviting people to traverse Der Ling Alley to reach Ocean Avenue.

Recycling: The City is currently recycling at a rate of 63%. The State recycle requirement now is 50%, but we anticipate it will increase shortly to 60% and subsequently to 75%.

Sunset Center: Peter Lesnik was hired by Sunset Cultural Center, Inc. (SCC) as General Manager effective January 1, 2008.

Parking: A Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) will be used starting this month to monitor parking without marking tires. At the same time, 90-minute parking spaces now will be 120 minutes.

Public works projects: Redesign of Fourth Street between San Antonio and Monte Verde, and Junipero between Ocean Avenue and Eighth Street continue in the planning process.

New Council member: We welcomed former Planning Commissioner and Design Review Board member Karen Sharp to Council to fill the seat vacated by Mike Cunningham, and hope that you will introduce yourselves when you encounter her around town.

Looking ahead to 2008:
The second annual Carmel-by-the-Sea dog calendar is now available; "Contours on the Avenue" which launches the August car week will become a two-day event, Monday and Tuesday, August 11 and 12; the new "Authors and Ideas Festival" will make its second appearance September 25-28. It too will be a day longer than last year. We continue to work on a possible film festival. Regarding the environment, Council has undertaken a "green" sustainability program to improve energy efficiency and decrease impacts on the environment. Our continuing challenges include the economy, water shortage (which may worsen due to recent State actions against Cal-Am) and implementing the "greening" of our environment.

As we are all too aware, the New Year came in with a storm that left many of us without power, and learning about indoor camping! In addition to the stellar performance by City staff during the storm and its aftermath, we have many others to thank for their help as well. Whether working together in time of disaster or laboring constructively to reach our mutual citywide goals, the Council and I value your support and input as we work with you to keep our City healthy and financially sound.

Thank you staff, volunteers and those who serve on City boards, committees and commissions in particular for your service. We wish each and every one of you the very best in the New Year!

Sue McCloud
Mayor

Ken Talmage
Mayor Pro-tem

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

PROGRESS REPORT: Mission Trail Nature Preserve & Forest Theatre

ABSTRACT: As of last Friday, February 22, 2008, Serra Trail, Willow Trail and the Nature Trails in Mission Trail Nature Preserve have all been cleared of fallen tree obstructions and are passable. On Friday, workers cut and chipped the “dangerous” Monterey Pine tree which had been leaning into two other Monterey Pine trees and over Flanders Trail. Regarding Forest Theatre, the fallen Monterey Pine tree has been cut into logs which are stacked nearby. The fallen and/or leaning grape stake fence sections along Mountain View Av., Santa Rita St. and Josselyn Lane remain. AFTER Photos from Mission Trail Nature Preserve and Forest Theatre are shown.

Flanders Trail
View of cut “dangerous” Monterey Pine tree trunk (12’ ht.) & cleared Trail

Flanders Trail
View of Vermeer Chipper & Truck with Chips

Forest Theatre
Mtn. View Av. between Santa Rita St. & Guadalupe St.
View of cut fallen Monterey Pine tree & logs

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

PART III: 2007 Pavement Management and Truck Impact Fee Study

ABSTRACT: Photos depicting representative street conditions of “Excellent,” “Good,” “Fair,” “Poor” and “Very Poor” and shown. COMMENTS on Nichols Consulting Engineers “Final Pavement Management Program” and the Power Point Presentation are presented.

MISSION ST. BETWEEN 3RD AV. & 4TH AV.
View to the North, from 4th Av. to 3rd Av.
PCI 100 (“Excellent” Condition)
Action = No Nothing

DOLORES ST. BETWEEN 12TH AV. & SANTA LUCIA AV.
View to the South, from 12th Av. to Santa Lucia Av.
PCI 80 (“Good” Condition)
Action = Crack or Surface Seal

PERRY NEWBERRY BETWEEN 4TH AV. & 6TH AV.
View to the South, from 4th Av. to 6th Av.
PCI 50 (“Fair” Condition)
Action = Overlay

LAUSEN DR. BETWEEN RIO RD & CITY LIMITS
PCI 31 (“Poor” Condition)
View towards Rio Rd.
Action = Overlay

DEL MAR AV. BETWEEN OCEAN AV. & TURN AROUND
View to the North, from Turn Around to Ocean Av.
PCI 16 (“Very Poor” Condition)
Action = Reconstruction

COMMENTS:
Herewith is a List of Street Sections with August 2007 PCI values and 2008 Projected PCI values:

Street Name-Begin Location-End Location-2008 Projected PCI-PCI
13TH AV.--SCENIC RD.-MONTE VERDE ST. 100 71
1ST AV.---LINCOLN ST.-MISSION ST. 100 66
2ND AV.---CARPENTER ST.-MONTEREY ST. 100 78
5TH AV.---MONTE VERDE-DOLORES ST. 100 62
5TH AV.---SAN CARLOS ST.-JUNIPERO AV. 100 65
5TH AV.---JUNIPERO AV.-TORRES ST. 100 69
5TH AV.---GUADALUPE ST.-CITY LIMITS 100 70
6TH AV.---GUADALUPE ST.-EAST END 100 70
8TH AV.---SAN ANTONIO AV.-MONTE VERDE ST 100 65
8TH AV.---MONTE VERDE ST.-SAN CARLOS ST. 100 68
8TH AV.---FOREST RD.-TURN AROUND 100 62
CARPENTER ST.--3RD AV.-OCEAN AV. 100 64
CRESPI AV.--MOUNTAIN VIEW AV.-FLANDERS WY 100 63
DEL MAR AV.--OCEAN AV.-TURN AROUND 100 16
DOLORES ST.--VISTA AV.-2ND AV. 100 65
DOLORES ST.--4TH AV.-5TH AV. 100 64
DOLORES ST.--5TH AV.-OCEAN AV. 100 64
FOREST RD.--7TH AV.-OCEAN AV. 100 65
FRASER WAY--CAMINO REAL-CASANOVA ST. 100 65
GUADALUPE ST.--3RD AV.-5TH AV. 100 68
GUADALUPE ST.--5TH AV.-OCEAN AV. 100 63
JUNIPERO AV.--ALTA ST.-CAMINO DEL MAR 100 71
LADERA DR.--RIO RD.-TURN AROUND 100 42
LINCOLN ST.--9TH AV.-12TH AV. 100 73
LOBOS ST.--2ND AV.-CITY LIMITS 100 66
OCEAN AV.--DEL MAR AV.-SAN ANTONIO AV. 100 41
RIO RD.--SANTA LUCIA-S.CITY LIMITS 100 61
SAN ANTONIO AV.--OCEAN AV.-8TH AV. 100 67
SAN ANTONIO AV.--11TH AV.-SANTA LUCIA AV. 100 71
SAN CARLOS ST.--ALTA AV.-2ND AV. 100 70
(Source: Section PCI Listing, Sorted by Descending 2008 Projected PCI)

Interpretation: 31 Street Sections, including 1 “Very Poor,” 22 “Fair” and 8 “Good,” are projected to go from a lower 2007 PCI to a 2008 Projected PCI of 100 ("Excellent" Condition).

Herewith is a List of Street Sections with Conditions of "Very Poor," "Poor" and "Fair" (lower range) and PCI values:

Condition Category: "Very Poor"
PCI Range: Less than 20
DEL MAR AV. OCEAN AV. - TURN AROUND PCI 16
TOTAL: 1 Street Section

Condition Category: "Poor"
PCI Range: 20-39
DOLORES ST.--OCEAN AV.-8TH AV. PCI 24
7TH AV.--GUADALUPE ST.-CITY LIMITS PCI 30
LAUSEN DR.--RIO RD-CITY LIMITS PCI 31
TOTAL: 3 Street Sections

Condition Category: "Fair" (40-50)
PCI Range: 40-69
OCEAN AV.--DEL MAR AV.-SAN ANTONIO PCI 41
LADERA DR.--RIO RD.-TURN AROUND PCI 42
LINCOLN ST.--4TH AV.-5TH AV. PCI 45
OCEAN AV.--SAN ANTONIO-MONTE VERDE PCI 46
SANTA RITA ST.--OCEAN AV.-MT. VIEW AV. PCI 47
SANTA RITA ST.--CITY LIMITS-3RD AV. PCI 48
GUADALUPE ST.--OCEAN AV.-MT. VIEW PCI 48
4TH AV.--GUADALUPE-CITY LIMITS PCI 48
SANTA RITA ST.--5TH AV.-OCEAN AV. PCI 49
VALLEY WAY--N.CITY LIMITS-E.CITY LIMITS PCI 49
VISTA AV.--DOLORES ST.-JUNIPERO AV, PCI 49
10TH AV.--JUNIPERO AV.-TORRES ST. PCI 50
GUADALUPE ST.-- CITY LIMITS-2ND AV. PCI 50
PERRY NEWBERRY WAY--4TH AV.-6TH AV. PCI 50
TOTAL: 14 Street Sections
(Source: Section PCI Listing, Sorted by Descending 2008 Projected PCI)

With regard to Margot Yapp’s Power Point Presentation on the Impact of Trucks vs. Cars, Road Impact Fee and Annual Financial Impact; 45% of the total traffic in Carmel-by-the-Sea is estimated to be due to “trucks” and of that 45%, 60% is estimated to be due to “construction traffic.” If the City Council decides to impose a Road Impact Fee exclusively on “construction trucks,” then 40% of the total 45% of “trucks” doing similar damage to Carmel-by-the-Sea’s streets will not be assessed. As a matter of policy, it is fair to only assess “construction trucks?”

If the City Council implements Nichols Consulting Engineers recommendation of increasing funding for roads from its “average city budget” of $382,000/year to $660,000/year, then in the context of the City’s budget, the City will still be expending less for critical and essential street infrastructure annually than the City has expended for Sunset Cultural Center, Inc. annually since its inception in 2004.

Margot Yapp’s characterization of Carmel-by-the-Sea’s road network condition as “at edge of cliff, time to take action” means the City Council needs to reprioritize its priorities to increase funding for Carmel’s streets from its “average city budget” for roads of $382,000/year to at least $660,000/year so that Carmel-by-the-Sea doesn’t realize a similar fate as Santa Cruz County.

Monday, February 25, 2008

PART II: 2007 Pavement Management and Truck Impact Fee Study

ABSTRACT: At the City Council meeting on February 5, 2008, Margot Yapp, V.P. of Nichols Consulting Engineers, gave a power point presentation to the public. The content of the power point is presented, including Scenarios 1-3 and a road impact fee to assist in offsetting the city’s funding shortfall. Throughout the presentation, Margot Yapp described Carmel-by-the-Sea’s present status as “at the edge, on the cliff right now” and said it is “time to take action.”

Power Point Presentation
By Margot Yapp, Nichols Consulting Engineers


• How Do We Measure Pavements?
Pavement Condition Index (PCI): Scale from 100 (“best”) to 0 (“gravel").
Excellent-Good: PCI 70-100
Fair: PCI 40-69
Poor: PCI 20-39
Very Poor/Failed: 0-19
Carmel-by-the-Sea PCI 70; boundary between Good and Fair

• 2007 Average PCI
26.8 centerline miles
Average PCI: 70 (“Good” condition)
$34.4 million replacement value

Pie Chart for Carmel-by-the-Sea:
Good Condition: 55.9% of Entire Network
Fair Condition: 39.1% of Entire Network
Poor Condition: 4.7% of Entire Network
Very Poor PCI: 0.3% of Entire Network

The “not so good news” for Carmel is that 5% is “Poor” to “Very Poor;” the “Poor” and “Very Poor” require significant amounts of funding to repair.

• Four Photos depicting Street Conditions
Photo 1: PCI = 95 Action = Do Nothing
Photo 2: PCI = 75 Action = Crack or surface seal
Photo 3: PCI = 55 Action = Overlay
Overlays are costly, costing “10 to 15 times more than seal.”
Photo 4: PCI less than 20 Action = Reconstruction

• Scenario 1: Unconstrained Budget ($9 million over 10 years)
Improve from PCI 70 (2007) to PCI 78 (2017)

• Scenario 2: Maintain PCI = 70 ($660 k/yr)
Desirable funding scenario,” but “red flag” of backlog increases from about $2 million to $4 million over ten years.

• Scenario 3: City Budget ($450k/yr)
Current Overall PCI 70 decreases to PCI 57 (2017)
Backlog increases from $2 million to $8 million, a quadrupling.

• Why Are Costs So High?
Pavements are deteriorating rapidly; at PCI 70, a street begins to deteriorate rapidly. Presently, Carmel-by-the-Sea is “at edge of cliff, time to take action.”

Asphalt prices have increased five-fold since 1999

• Impact of Trucks vs. Cars
Trucks have 2000x the impact of cars!
Definition of “Trucks” includes buses, garbage trucks, and heavy vehicles.
45% of total traffic due to trucks
Of 45%, 60% due to construction traffic

• Road Impact Fee
Assessed on all building projects
Adopted by other cities and counties including Monterey
Carmel has $20 million annually in building permits
1% fee will raise $205,000/year

• Annual Financial Impact
Pavement Needs: $660,000
Avg. City Budget: $382,000
Shortfall: $ (278,000)

1% Road Impact Fee: $205,000
Remaining Shortfall: $ (73,000)

• Recommendation:
Preserve good streets-fully fund all preventive maintenance activities
Maintain existing pavement conditions at $660,000 a year
Adopt road impact fee

As a warning and in closing, Margot Yapp spoke of Santa Cruz County’s situation. Santa Cruz County contracted with Nichols Consulting Engineers to conduct a similar pavement study in 2000. In 2000, Santa Cruz County roads were about PCI 70. Santa Cruz County did not implement the study’s recommendations. Later, in 2007, Santa Cruz County again contracted with Nichols Consulting Engineers to conduct another pavement study; a finding of the study was that their “shortfall” had increased from $40 million in 2000 to $240 million in 2007.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

PART I: 2007 Pavement Management and Truck Impact Fee Study

ABSTRACT: Over the next three days, PARTS I, II & III: 2007 Pavement Management and Truck Impact Fee Study will be presented. PART I will present a verbatim text of the Nichols Consulting Engineers “Final Pavement Management Program;” it includes Background, Purpose, Network Description, Pavement Current Condition, Scenarios 1-3, Discussion and Recommendations and Summary. PART II will present the content of the power point presentation to the public at the 5 February 2008 City Council meeting by the Nichols Consulting Engineers consultant. PART III will present COMMENTS on the “Final Pavement Management Program,” the power point presentation, et cetera. For background, the City Council unanimously voted to approve a “Resolution entering into an agreement with Nichols Consulting Engineers for a 2007 Pavement Management and Truck Impact Fee study” at their March 13, 2007 City Council meeting. The “Final Pavement Management Program” was submitted by Nichols Consulting Engineers to the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea in December 2007.


PART I: 2007 Pavement Management and Truck Impact Fee Study

Herewith is the verbatim text of the Nichols Consulting Engineers “Final Pavement Management Program.”

NICHOLS CONSULTING ENGINEERS, CHTD.
Engineering and Environmental Services
501 Canal Blvd., Suite I
Richmond, CA. 94804
(501) 215-3620



City of Carmel-by-the-Sea

Final Pavement Management Program
Executive Summary, Inventories
and Budget Analysis Reports



Submitted to:

City of Carmel-by-the-Sea
P.O. Box CC
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA. 93921


December 2007


Background

Nichols Consulting Engineers, Chtd. (NCE) was selected by the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea to perform pavement condition surveys on the entire pavement network. The network is comprised of approximately 27 total pavement network centerline miles and consists of 32 arterial, 30 collector, 17 other, and 122 residential sections.

The decision trees of the pavement maintenance strategy were modified by the Project Manager and the City in order to incorporate some essential seals and overlays and to accommodate the large number of sections with surface type “ST.” In addition the unit costs were updated and modeled after those of Santa Cruz County, a neighboring jurisdiction. Then, a pavement maintenance and rehabilitation (M&R) budget needs analysis was performed. In addition, three budget scenarios were analyzed. This report presents an executive summary of our analyses.

Purpose

The purpose of this report is to assist decision makers in utilizing the results of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) Pavement Management Program (PMP). Specifically, this report links the PMP recommended repair program costs to the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea’s current and projected budget alternatives to improve overall maintenance and rehabilitation strategies. This report accesses the adequacy of ideal and projected revenues to meet the maintenance needs recommended by the PMP program. It also maximizes the return from expenditures by:

(1) implementing a multi-year road rehabilitation and maintenance program;
(2) developing a preventive maintenance program; and
(3) selecting the most cost effective repairs.

This report assists the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea with identifying maintenance priorities specific to its needs. This study examines the overall condition of the road network and highlights options for improving the current network-level pavement condition index (PCI). These options are developed by conducting “what-if” analyses using the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea pavement management system database. By varying the budget amounts available for pavement maintenance and repair, one can show how different funding strategies can impact the City’s roads over the next ten years.

Network Description

The City of Carmel-by-the-Sea is responsible for the repair and maintenance of approximately 27 centerline miles of pavement, or 201 pavement sections. The table below summaries the lengths of the road network by functional class.

Table 1: Network Summary Statistics for the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea (Summary)
Functional Class % of the Network (by Pavement Area)
Arterial 23.9%
Collector 14.0%
Residential/Local 53.8%
Other 8.2%

Arterials are classified as those streets which are “scenic routes” in the City. These are identified as such because of their condition priority over the rest of the network. These sections were identified by the City. Those sections that were formerly classified as arterials but were not on this scenic route are classified as collectors.

The network replacement cost is defined as the reconstruction of all the pavement sections in the City. The network replacement cost of the City’s pavements is estimated at $34.4 million.

Pavement Current Condition

The pavement condition index, or PCI, is a measurement of pavement grade or condition and ranges from 0 to 100. A newly constructed road would have a PCI of 100, while a failed road would have a PCI of 20 or less. The average 2007 PCI of the street network of the City is 74. Note that this is the current weighted average PCI.

Figure 1 illustrates the definitions of the pavement condition categories Table 2 provides the network pavement condition breakdowns by PCI ranges or condition categories.

Table 2 and Figure 2 (Summary):
Pavement Condition Summary by Condition Categories (2008)
Good Condition PCI Range 70-100): 55.9% of Entire Network
Fair Condition (PCI Range 40-69): 39.1% of Entire Network
Poor Condition (PCI Range 20-39): 4.7% of Entire Network
Very Poor PCI less than 20): 0.3% of Entire Network

Scenario 1: Unconstrained (Needs) Budget

The pavement needs are approximately $9 million with $2.2 million in the first year. In order to eliminate the backlog with the most efficient budget schedule we have modeled this scenario closely to the “needs” budget calculated by StreetSaver. Using a total budget of $8.92 million over ten years, the network PCI will increase to 78 from the 2008 projected level of 70. By the year 2017, the entire network will fall into the “Good to Excellent” condition category. In the meantime, the maintenance backlog will be eliminated by year 1.

Cost Summary:
Rehabilitation $7,573,341
Preventive Maintenance $1,166,948
TOTAL: $8,740,289

Scenario 2: Maintain PCI ($660k per year)
The results of this scenario indicate that with annual budget of $660,000, the network will maintain its projected 2008 value of 70. In addition, about 61.4% of the network will fall into the “Good to Excellent” condition category by 2017. The percentage of roads in the “Poor” to “Failed” condition categories increases by about 5% from 5% in 2008 to 9.9% in 2017. Also, the deferred maintenance increases $1.45 million in 2008 to $3.81 million in 2017.

Cost Summary:
Rehabilitation $5,589,609
Preventive Maintenance $780,777
Funded Stop Gap $66,838
TOTAL: $6,437,224

Scenario 3: Current Funding Level (City Budget)

The results of this scenario indicate that the network PCI will decrease to 57 from the 2008 projected level of 70, and about 42.7% of the network will fall into the “Good to Excellent" condition category by 2017. The percentage of roads in the “Poor” or “Failed” condition categories increases by 19% from 5% in 2008 to 24% in 2017. Consequently, the backlog of work increases from $2 million in 2008 to $8.4 million in 2017.

Cost Summary:
Rehabilitation $3,040,228
Preventive Maintenance $404,376
Funded Stop Gap $107,265
Unmet Stop Gap $1,683
TOTAL: $3,551,869

Discussion and Recommendations

Of the various maintenance and funding options considered, the ideal strategy for the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea is presented in Scenario 2, the Maintain PCI Budget. The reason being this plan will at least maintain the 2008 projected PCI.

In Scenario 3, the City’s Current Funding Level, the network PCI will be 57 in ten years. Since this scenario also funds a particularly limited number of projects for 2008 and 2009, the amount of sections in the “Good to Excellent” condition decreases by 13.2% over the course of the ten year analysis. In addition, the percentage of streets in the “Poor” to “Failed” conditions will increase by 19%, from 5% in 2008 to 24% by the end of the analysis period. This is a result in a lack of funds to sustain the network’s good condition. In addition, the amount of deferred maintenance will increase four fold. The recent decision tree alterations do provide an effective schedule of treatments for the entire network.

Appendix C provides a cost and network condition summary for each of the proposed budget scenarios.

Summary

To summarize, the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea has a substantial investment of $34.4 million in their roadway network. Overall, the network is in “Good” condition with a network PCI of 74. Of the 27 centerline miles of road, just over half (55.9%) of the streets fall into the “Good to Excellent” condition category. However, the remaining portion of the streets requires a significant amount of money to bring them into the “Good to Excellent” condition category.

Since the Maintain PCI Budget enough funds to the Pavement Management Program that the network maintains its 2008 projected condition, it is recommended that the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea increase its funding level to $660,000 per year for ten years.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Carmel Unincorporated/Highlands Land Use Advisory Committee’s Unanimous Vote (6-0) to Deny Leidig’s Carmel Convalescent Hospital Redevelopment Project

ABSTRACT: On Tuesday, February 19, 2008, after the Carmel Convalescent Hospital Site Visit, developer Curtis Leidig’s “Response to Public Comment” power point presentation of the Leidig’s proposed Villas de Carmelo, Carmel Convalescent Hospital project and public comments, the six member Land Use Advisory Committee deliberated on the proposed project. Discussion focused on their responsibility to uphold the Monterey County General Plan and that, as presented, the Carmel Convalescent Hospital project was in violation of the Monterey County General Plan and Carmel Area Land Use Plan. A motion was made to deny the Leidig’s project as proposed; the Committee then voted unanimously to deny the Villas de Carmelo, Carmel Convalescent Hospital project. Their recommendation will be forwarded to the Monterey County Planning Commission.

View of West Elevation of Carmel Convalescent Hospital
Site Visit, Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Carmel Unincorporated/Highlands Land Use Advisory Committee
TUESDAY, February 19, 2008
4:00 PM at Carmel Highlands Fire Protection District Office, 73 Fern Canyon Rd, Carmel

Site Visit
1. Project Name: RIGOULETTE LLC
2:00PM File Number: PLN070497
Project Location: LOCATED BETWEEN HWY 1 & VALLEY WY CARMEL

Scheduled Item
1. Project Name: RIGOULETTE LLC Item continued from 1/22/08 meeting
4:00PM File Number: PLN070497
Project Location: HWY 1 & VALLEY WY CARMEL
Project Planner: ELIZABETH GONZALES
Area Plan: CARMEL LAND USE PLAN
Project Description: COMBINED DEVELOPMENT PERMIT TO INCLUDE AN LOCAL COASTAL PLAN AMENDMENT TO CHANGE LAND USE DESIGNATION FROM MEDIUM DENSITY RESIDENTIAL TO HIGH DENSITY RESIDENTIAL AND A REZONING FROM MDR/2 TO HDR/12.5 IN THE COASTAL ZONE; A COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PERMIT AND STANDARD SUBDIVISION TO ONVERT A 10,350 SQUARE FOOT CONVALESCENT HOSPITAL INTO NINE CONDOMINIUM UNITS AND CREATE 37 ADDITIONAL CONDOMINIUM UNITS; COMMON SPACE WILL INCLUDE UNDERGROUND PARKING, RECREATION ROOM, STORAGE AND GYM; A COASTAL ADMINISTRATIVE PERMIT TO DEMOLISH ONE EXISTING STRUCTURE AND CONSTRUCT 12 BUILDINGS FOR A TOTAL OF 46 CONDOMINIUM UNITS; A COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PERMIT TO ALLOW DEVELOPMENT ON SLOPES OF 30% OR GREATER; A COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PERMIT TO ALLOW THE REMOVAL OF 97 TREES (21 COAST LIVE OAK AND 76 MONTEREY PINES); AND DESIGN APPROVAL. THE PROPERTY IS LOCATED BETWEEN HIGHWAY ONE AND VALLEY WAY, CARMEL (ASSESSOR'S PARCEL NUMBERS 009-061-002-000, 009-061-003-000 AND 009-061-005-000), COASTAL ZONE.

Recommendation to: PLANNING COMMISSION

After the site visit and at the meeting, developer Curtis Leidig and his attorney Derinda Messenger, with the assistance of Julie Cavassa of Vincent Guarino Public Relations, gave a power point presentation of their proposed Villas de Carmelo project. Their presentation, “Response to Public Comment,” covered Adaptive Re-Use and Smart Growth, Landscape & Site Plan,Density, Previous Site Population, Building Heights & Slope, Parking, Property Values, Affordable Housing Qualifications, Building Historical Designation, Traffic, Green Practices Incorporated in Design, Water Allocation, Air & Water Pollution, Light Pollution and Sound Wall.

After their presentation, about sixteen members of the public addressed the Land Use Advisory Committee Members. Issues and concerns of the public included noncompliance with the Monterey County General Plan, rezoning from Medium Density Residential to High Density Residental/spot zoning sets a dangerous precedent and destroys existing neighborhoods, loss of community character and decreased quality of life, traffic impacts to surrounding area and view and noise impacts from removal of trees, et cetera.

After the public comment period, the six Committee Members deliberated on the proposed project. Discussion focused on their responsibility to uphold the Monterey County General Plan and that, as presented, the Carmel Convalescent Hospital project was in violation of the Monterey County General Plan and Carmel Area Land Use Plan.

In addition, the Chairman noted that the Leidig’s use of “smart growth” was not applicable to this project; “smart growth” involves entire communities, not one pre-existing parcel in an established neighborhood.

The six member Land Use Advisory Committee unanimously voted to deny the Villas de Carmelo, Carmel Convalescent Hospital project as submitted. Their recommendation is now forwarded to the Monterey County Planning Commission.

COMMENTS:
The Land Use Advisory Committee Members articulated and complied with their mandate to uphold the Monterey County General Plan and Carmel Area Land Use Plan by unanimously denying Robert and Curtis Leidig’s proposed Villas de Carmelo, Carmel Convalescent Hospital project, as presented to the public at the meeting.

Robert and Curtis Leidig’s and their PR firm’s focus on “smart growth” mischaracterized their proposed project. The context for “smart growth” is entire communities, not one pre-existing parcel in an established neighborhood.

Robert and Curtis Leidig’s and their PR firm’s decision to frame their project around affordable housing and historic preservation was an example of elevating peripheral and subordinate issues above central issues of compatibility with existing planning documents, namely the General Plan and Land Use Plan.

The Land Use Advisory Committee’s unanimous vote to deny the Leidig’s proposed project was wise mainly because they recognized that compliance with the General Plan and Land Use Plan is primary, whereas affordable housing and historic preservation enhance a project, but should not supersede or substitute for the more important issue of compliance with the General Plan and Land Use Plan.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Site Visit & Meeting of Carmel Unincorporated/Highlands Land Use Advisory Committee on Carmel Convalescent Hospital Redevelopment Project

WHAT: Carmel Unincorporated/Highlands Land Use Advisory Committee Site Visit & Meeting on Leidig’s Carmel Convalescent Hospital Redevelopment Project

WHEN: Tuesday, February 19, 2008, 2:00 P.M. (Site Visit) & 4:00 P.M. (Meeting)

WHERE: Carmel Convalescent Hospital Site Visit @ HWY 1 & VALLEY WY CARMEL & Meeting @ Carmel Highlands Fire Protection District Office, 73 Fern Canyon Rd, Carmel Highlands

SITE VISIT & MEETING:
Carmel Unincorporated/Highlands Land Use Advisory Committee

TUESDAY, February 19, 2008
4:00 PM at Carmel Highlands Fire Protection District Office, 73 Fern Canyon Rd, Carmel

Monterey County Planning Department
168 W Alisal St 2nd Floor
Salinas CA 93901
(831) 755-5025

A. SITE VISIT

B. ROLL CALL

C. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

D. PUBLIC COMMENT: The Committee will receive public comment on non-agenda items that are within the purview of the Committee at this time. The length of individual presentations may be limited by the Chair.

E. SCHEDULED ITEMS

F. OTHER ITEMS: 1) Preliminary Courtesy Presentations by Applicants Regarding Potential Projects/Applications

Site Visit
1. Project Name: RIGOULETTE LLC

2:00PM File Number: PLN070497
Project Location: LOCATED BETWEEN HWY 1 & VALLEY WY CARMEL

Scheduled Item
1. Project Name: RIGOULETTE LLC Item continued from 1/22/08 meeting
4:00PM File Number: PLN070497

Project Location: HWY 1 & VALLEY WY CARMEL

Project Planner: ELIZABETH GONZALES

Area Plan: CARMEL LAND USE PLAN

Project Description: COMBINED DEVELOPMENT PERMIT TO INCLUDE AN LOCAL COASTAL PLAN AMENDMENT TO CHANGE LAND USE DESIGNATION FROM MEDIUM DENSITY RESIDENTIAL TO HIGH DENSITY RESIDENTIAL AND A REZONING FROM MDR/2 TO HDR/12.5 IN THE COASTAL ZONE; A COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PERMIT AND STANDARD SUBDIVISION TO ONVERT A 10,350 SQUARE FOOT CONVALESCENT HOSPITAL INTO NINE CONDOMINIUM UNITS AND CREATE 37 ADDITIONAL CONDOMINIUM UNITS; COMMON SPACE WILL INCLUDE UNDERGROUND PARKING, RECREATION ROOM, STORAGE AND GYM; A COASTAL ADMINISTRATIVE PERMIT TO DEMOLISH ONE EXISTING STRUCTURE AND CONSTRUCT 12 BUILDINGS FOR A TOTAL OF 46 CONDOMINIUM UNITS; A COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PERMIT TO ALLOW DEVELOPMENT ON SLOPES OF 30% OR GREATER; A COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PERMIT TO ALLOW THE REMOVAL OF 97 TREES (21 COAST LIVE OAK AND 76 MONTEREY PINES); AND DESIGN APPROVAL. THE PROPERTY IS LOCATED BETWEEN HIGHWAY ONE AND VALLEY WAY, CARMEL (ASSESSOR'S PARCEL NUMBERS 009-061-002-000, 009-061-003-000 AND 009-061-005-000), COASTAL ZONE.

Recommendation to: PLANNING COMMISSION

COMMENTS:
Highlights of Development Permits requests include Change from Medium Density Residential to High Density Residential, Rezoning from MDR/2 to HDR/12.5; Convert Convalescent Hospital into 9 Condominium Units & 37 additional Condominium Units; Underground Parking, Recreation Room, Storage and Gym; Demolish 2 Structures & Construct 12 Buildings for a Total of 46 Condominium Units; Removal of 97 Trees including 21 Coast Live Oak and 76 Monterey Pines.

Please attend this very important meeting for this Continued Agenda Item. At this meeting, it is expected that Curtis Leidig and his attorney Derinda Messenger will attempt to rebut previous comments made by the public at the January 22, 2008 meeting and influence the LUAC Members with historic preservation and affordable housing “carrots.”

• For more information, contact
Save Our Neighborhoods Coalition
225 Crossroads Blvd. #206
Carmel, CA 93923
email: NeighborCoaliton@aol.com

Friday, February 15, 2008

UPDATE: HISTORIC APPEALS TO THE HISTORIC RESOURCES BOARD

Name: Robert W. Covington House
Location: Camino Real & 13th Av., N.E. Corner
Distinction: APPEAL GRANTED, Residence Removed from City’s Inventory of Historic Resources

UPDATE: HISTORIC APPEALS TO THE HISTORIC RESOURCES BOARD
(November 2005 – January 2008)


APPEALS GRANTED: 41

APPEALS DENIED: 20

APPEALS DISMISSED: 14

APPEALS OF A PRELMINARY DETERMINATION OF INELIGIBILITY:
GRANTED: 1
DENIED: 3

TOTAL NUMBER OF APPEALS: 79

NUMBER ADDED TO REGISTER FROM INVENTORY: 1

HISTORIC APPEAL TO THE HISTORIC RESOURCES BOARD (January 2008)
(Name of Property Owner, Physical Location, Resource Name, APPEAL GRANTED or DENIED)


CITY OF CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA
HISTORIC RESOURCES BOARD
REGULAR MEEGING AGENDA
Monday, January 28th, 2008


BOARD MEMBERS:
ERIK DYAR, CHAIRPERSON
ELINOR LAIOLO
ERLING LAGERHOLM
NICOLE SCHROEDER
JULIE WENDT

VII. APPEALS
Consideration of an appeal of the City’s determination to place an existing residence located in the Single Family Residential (R-1) District on the City’s Inventory of Historic Resources.

Name of Property Owner: Winston Boyer
Resource Name: Robert W. Covington House
Location: Camino Real & 13th Av., N.E. Corner
APPEAL GRANTED

Thursday, February 14, 2008

In the Interest of an Informed Electorate: QUESTIONS COVERING SIX AREAS sent to City Council Candidates

ABSTRACT: In the interest of having an informed electorate, QUESTIONS COVERING SIX AREAS, including the areas of "Open Government," City's Budget, Fire Department, Historical & Cultural Assets, "Urbanized" Forest and Storm Water Discharges into Carmel Bay, will be sent immediately after posting today via email to Mayor Sue McCloud (smccloud@ci.carmel.ca.us), Council Member Karen Sharp (karensharp@yahoo.com), Ken Talmage (kktalm@aol.com), Michael LePage (mlepage@lepageconstruction.com) and sent via USPS to Dogman McBill (P.O. Box 926). Instructions on how to post their answers are given and they are thanked for their cooperation and interest in informing Carmelites of their positions.

Dear City Council Candidates:

In the interest of having an informed electorate, The Carmel-by-the-Sea WATCHDOG! requests your answers to QUESTIONS COVERING SIX AREAS.

To respond, click http://villageinforest.blogspot.com/ or type URL in search engine box. At the end of “Thursday, February 14, 2008” post, click on “Comments” and type your answers into the box, then click “Name” circle, type your name and click “PUBLISH YOUR COMMENT.”

Thank you for your cooperation and interest in informing Carmelites of your positions.

Sincerely,
The Carmel-by-the-Sea WATCHDOG!

QUESTIONS COVERING SIX AREAS:
• On “Open Government:”
As a Carmelite, have you read the 2005 Monterey County Civil Grand Jury Report on Open Government? If you have read it, what is your understanding of “open government?”

What would you do to promote “open government” in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

• On the City’s Budget and Overall Fiscal Condition:
What are your budget priorities?

What are your plans to address the growing deferred maintenance needs of our village?

Given the magnitude of deferred maintenance, what is the optimal range for the City’s reserve fund levels? Do you think $9 million in reserve funds is justified because the “the city’s $9 million in reserves is offset by the debt it carries from the Sunset Center renovation,” as expressed by City Council Member Ken Talmage?

Do you think “prudent fiscal management” and “budgeting conservatively” means the current practice of more and more deferred maintenance and larger and larger reserve fund levels with each successive year?

• On Future of Carmel Fire Department:
Have you read the Citygate Associates “Fire Department Consolidation Feasibility Analysis for the Cities of Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel” report? If you have read it, what is your position on the finding that the City is under funding our Fire Department by $400,000/year?

What is your position regarding consolidation?

• Historical & Cultural Assets:
The Scout House: Would you budget for maintenance, improvements and ADA compliance measures for the Scout House so that it can reopen as a Community Center?

Forest Theatre: Have you read the "Forest Theater Facility Master Plan (2001)" by Brian Congleton of CONGLETON ARCHITECT AIA? If you have read it, why shouldn’t the City annually budget for the multi-phase implementation of the Congleton Plan now?

Flanders Mansion Property: Would you have an open mind about the proposed sale of the National Register of Historic Places Flanders Mansion property? As a City Council Member, would you base your vote on the long-term interests of the city, not short-term financial gain or the desires of the mayor?

Sunset Center: Is a management subsidy of $750,000 for FY 2007/08 to Sunset Cultural Center, Inc. justified relative to the budgets of other City departments; that is, compared to FY 2007/08 budgets of $721,001 for Community Planning & Building, $457,661 for Forest, Parks and Beach and $508,200 for the Capital Improvement Program.

• On our “Urbanized” Forest:
Have you read Consulting Arborist Barrie D. Coate’s studies entitled “A View of the Future Forest of the City of Carmel,” “Results of a Review of Trees in a Two Block Transect of Carmel” and “Suggested Replacement Trees for Use in the Carmel Forest?”

What amount in taxpayer dollars should be annually budgeted to implement the studies’ recommendations, including the completion of a comprehensive Inventory of Public & Private Trees in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

Given a $13 million annual budget and nearly $10 million in reserve funds, is a Forest, Parks and Beach Department FY 2007/08 budget of $457,661 sufficient for maintenance and reforestation? If $457,661 is not sufficient, what should the FY 2007/08 budget be for the Forest, Parks and Beach Department?

Do you believe all “parks,” including Forest Theatre and Mission Trail Nature Preserve, should be well maintained?

• On Storm Water Discharges into Carmel Bay, an Area of Special Biological Significance (ASBS):

Do you agree with the Mayor’s and City Administrator’s tactics of expending $250,000 in legal fees in an attempt to obtain a “waiver,” which was later denied, and filing for an “exception” with the State Water Resources Control Board for ASBS state mandated discharges? If you do not agree with these tactics, what is your plan to meet the state mandated requirements?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Progress Report: Mission Trail Nature Preserve Trail Clearance Post-January Storm

ABSTRACT: A Progress Report on the status of Mission Trail Nature Preserve trails post-January 3-5, 2008 Storm is presented. Previously obstructed Serra Trail, 11th Av. Entrance and Nature Trail off the Flanders Mansion driveway Fire Lane have been cleared. Still partially or completely obstructed trails include Serra Trail at Aaron’s Tree, Willow Trail & Willow Trail Tunnel and Flanders Trail. The County finished clearing the trail between Serra Trail and Hatton Road last Friday, February, 8, 2008. The “dangerous” Monterey Pine Tree leaning over Flanders Trail remains. Nine photos are shown depicting the cleared trails, yet to be cleared trails and pedestrian bridge section in need of repair.

Serra Trail
View of cleared trail with cut trunk to the left and right

Serra Trail
View of fallen Acacia Tree partially obstructing Serra Trail: "detour" trail to the left

Nature Trail off Flanders Mansion driveway Fire Lane, to the south of Fire Lane
View of cleared trail with cut Pine branches to the left of trail

Intersection of Mesa Trail & Doolittle Trail
View of cleared trail with cut trunk to the left and right

Willow Trail Tunnel
View of cracked limb obstructing Nature Trail

Willow Trail
View of cracked Monterey Cypress partially obstructing Willow Trail: "detour" trail to the left

Flanders Trail
View of Fallen Pine Tree branches completely over Trail: “detour” trail to the right

Flanders Trail
View of “dangerous” Monterey Pine Tree with Caution Tape

Views of cleared County Trail from Serra Trail to Hatton Road & Pedestrian Bridge section in need of repair

NOTE: Map of Trails in Mission Trail Nature Preserve

$25,825.00: City’s January/February/March 2008 Expenditure to Tree Service Companies for “DAMAGED TREES CLEANUP AFTER 1/4/08 STORM

ABSTRACT: Checks from the City’s January, February and March 2008 Check Registers to tree service companies for “DAMAGED TREES CLEANUP AFTER 1/4/08 STORM” are reproduced. For the months of January, February and March 2008, checks to E. VALDEZ TREE SERVICE, IVERSON TREE SERVICE, JOHN LEY'S TREE SERVICE and TOPE'S TREE SERVICE totaled $17,280.00 (January 2008) and $7,345.00 (February 2008)and $1,200.00 for a total of $25,825.00.

• UPDATE II:
A listing of Check Number, Check Date, Vendor Name, Net Amount & Account Name from the March 2008 Check Register, as follows:
115000 3/11/08 IVERSON TREE SERVICE $ 1,200.00 DAMAGED TREES CLEANUP AFTER 1/4/08 STORM
TOTAL: $1,200.00

• UPDATE I:
A listing of Check Number, Check Date, Vendor Name, Net Amount & Account Name from the February 2008 Check Register, as follows:
114773 2/5/08 IVERSON TREE SERVICE $ 4,050.00 DAMAGED TREES CLEANUP AFTER 1/4/08 STORM

114791 2/5/08 TOPE'S TREE SERVICE $ 1,100.00 DAMAGED TREES CLEANUP AFTER 1/4/08 STORM
(FLANDERS)

114822 2/13/08 JOHN LEY'S TREE SERVICE $ 2,195.00 DAMAGED TREES CLEANUP AFTER 1/4/08 STORM
TOTAL: $7,345.00

• A listing of Check Number, Check Date, Vendor Name, Net Amount & Account Name from the January 2008 Check Register, as follows:
114669 1/22/08 E. VALDEZ TREE SERVICE $ 1,600.00 DAMAGED TREES CLEANUP AFTER 1/4/08 STORM

114673 1/22/08 IVERSON TREE SERVICE $ 8,600.00 DAMAGED TREES CLEANUP AFTER 1/4/08 STORM

114620 1/15/08 JOHN LEY'S TREE SERVICE $ 3,690.00 DAMAGED TREES CLEANUP AFTER 1/4/08 STORM
114674 1/22/08 JOHN LEY'S TREE SERVICE $ 2,290.00 DAMAGED TREES CLEANUP AFTER 1/4/08 STORM
----Vendor Total---- $ 5,980.00

114683 1/22/08 TOPE'S TREE SERVICE $ 1,100.00 DAMAGED TREES CLEANUP AFTER 1/4/08 STORM
TOTAL: $17,280.00

(Source: Carmel-by-the-Sea, January-March 2008 Check Registers, http://www.ci.carmel.ca.us/)

Monday, February 11, 2008

QUESTIONS Carmelites Should Ask of All the Candidates for City Council

ABSTRACT: All candidates for City Council have described Carmel-by-the-Sea as a “unique,” “special” place worthy of protection and preservation. Beyond platitudes and campaign slogans though, what does protecting and preserving this "unique," "special" place mean in pragmatic, practical and concrete terms? QUESTIONS COVERING SIX AREAS, including the areas of "Open Government," City's Budget, Fire Department, Historical & Cultural Assets, "Urbanized" Forest and Storm Water Discharges into Carmel Bay, is presented.

QUESTIONS COVERING SIX AREAS:
• On “Open Government:”
As a Carmelite, have you read the 2005 Monterey County Civil Grand Jury Report on Open Government? If you have read it, what is your understanding of “open government?”

What would you do to promote “open government” in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

• On the City’s Budget and Overall Fiscal Condition:
What are your budget priorities?

What are your plans to address the growing deferred maintenance needs of our village?

Given the magnitude of deferred maintenance, what is the optimal range for the City’s reserve fund levels? Do you think $9 million in reserve funds is justified because the “the city’s $9 million in reserves is offset by the debt it carries from the Sunset Center renovation,” as expressed by City Council Member Ken Talmage?

Do you think “prudent fiscal management” and “budgeting conservatively” means the current paractice of more and more deferred maintenance and larger and larger reserve fund levels with each successive year?

• On Future of Carmel Fire Department:
Have you read the Citygate Associates “Fire Department Consolidation Feasibility Analysis for the Cities of Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel” report? If you have read it, what is your position on the finding that the City is under funding our Fire Department by $400,000/year?

What is your position regarding consolidation?

• Historical & Cultural Assets:
The Scout House: Would you budget for maintenance, improvements and ADA compliance measures for the Scout House so that it can reopen as a Community Center?

Forest Theatre: Have you read the Forest Theater Facility Master Plan (2001) by Brian Congleton of CONGLETON ARCHITECT AIA? If you have read it, why shouldn’t the City annually budget for the multi-phase implementation of the Congleton Plan now?

Flanders Mansion Property: Would you have an open mind about the proposed sale of the National Register of Historic Places Flanders Mansion property? As a City Council Member, would you base your vote on the long-term interests of the city, not short-term financial gain or the desires of the mayor?

Sunset Center: Is a management subsidy of $750,000 for FY 2007/08 to Sunset Cultural Center, Inc. justified relative to the budgets of other City departments; that is, compared to FY 2007/08 budgets of $721,001 for Community Planning & Building, $457,661 for Forest, Parks and Beach and $508,200 for the Capital Improvement Program.

• On our “Urbanized” Forest:
Have you read Consulting Arborist Barrie D. Coate’s studies entitled “A View of the Future Forest of the City of Carmel,” “Results of a Review of Trees in a Two Block Transect of Carmel” and “Suggested Replacement Trees for Use in the Carmel Forest?” What amount in taxpayer dollars should be annually budgeted to implement the studies’ recommendations, including the completion of a comprehensive Inventory of Public & Private Trees in Carmel-by-the-Sea?

Given a $13 million annual budget and nearly $10 million in reserve funds, is a Forest, Parks and Beach Department FY 2007/08 budget of $457,661 sufficient for maintenance and reforestation? If $457,661 is not sufficient, what should the FY 2007/08 budget be for the Forest, Parks and Beach Department?

Do you believe all “parks,” including Forest Theatre and Mission Trail Nature Preserve, should be well maintained?

• On Storm Water Discharges into Carmel Bay, an Area of Special Biological Significance (ASBS):
Do you agree with the Mayor’s and City Administrator’s tactics of expending $250,000 in legal fees in an attempt to obtain a “waiver,” which was later denied, and filing for an “exception” with the State Water Resources Control Board for ASBS state mandated discharges? If you do not agree with these tactics, what is your plan to meet the state mandated requirements?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Michael LePage: “I want to help Carmel embrace its future while preserving its special past”

ABSTRACT: Today, Sunday, “Michael LePage for Carmel-by-the-Sea City Council” campaign handouts were delivered to Carmel-by-the-Sea residences. A photo and text of the handout are presented.
Photo of "Michael LePage for Carmel-by-the-Sea City Council" Campaign Handout

The text of "Michael LePage for Carmel-by-the-Sea City Council" Campaign Handout, as follows:

Michael LePage
for Carmel-by-the-Sea
City Council

“I want to help Carmel embrace its future while preserving its special past”

Carmel is truly a unique community. Those of use who live
here feel this every day. Carmel’s spectacular natural setting
and the human scale of its neighborhoods and village define
who we are as a community. I want to become a greater voice
to protect and nurture this special place we call Carmel.

I am:
A 32 year resident of Carmel-By-The-Sea. My wife, Joanne, and I have raised our family here. Joanne is a 7th generation local resident.

A 30 year local business owner.

A 6 year member of the Carmel Design Review Board, 2 years as chairman.

As your Council member I will:
Be a voice for all Carmelites and their neighborhoods.

Listen to your concerns and welcome your ideas.

Encourage and support the arts and cultural events.

Ensure a healthy and well-maintained urban forest.

Promote and maintain our parks and open space.

Work with and support a healthy business community.

Promote fiscal responsibility and sustainable budget policies.

I ask for your vote to allow me to serve you on our city council.

Vote Michael LePage for City Council on April 8th

Thank you!

Paid for by the Committee to Elect Michael LePage, P.O. Box 2096, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA. 93921

Friday, February 08, 2008

City Administrator’s (and Mayor’s) Speed Bump Fiasco

ABSTRACT: A section of the Brown Act is reproduced, including, “...councils and the other public agencies in this State exist to aid in the conduct of the people's business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.” The City Administrator’s and Mayor’s failure to understand and implement the intent of the Brown Act is illustrated by the recent installation of a speed bump on Dolores Street. A Chronology of Events is presented. COMMENTS are made involving City Administrator Rich Guillen, Carmelites Bob Evans, Charlotte and Peter Boyle, Mr. and Mrs. Don Tobin and the perception that Mayor Sue McCloud dispenses special favors to certain individuals and groups without due process and public hearing.
View of Speed Bump & Bump Sign with Arrow on Dolores St., south of Santa Lucia Av., towards Mission Ranch in the distance.

Vehicle traveling over Speed Bump on Dolores St., south of Santa Lucia Av.

Close-Up of Speed Bump over Dolores St. from the side

The introductory section of the Brown Act, officially known as the Ralph M. Brown Act (California Government Code Sections 54950-54963) states, as follows:

“In enacting this chapter, the Legislature finds and declares that the public commissions, boards and councils and the other public agencies in this State exist to aid in the conduct of the people's business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly. The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”

Unfortunately for Carmelites, after nearly eight years, the City Administrator and Mayor remain oblivious to the meanings and practices of open government and public service.

Case in Point: Installation of Speed Bump on Dolores St., south of Santa Lucia Av.

Chronology of Speed Bump Events:
Autumn 2007: Jeff White presented a petition to the City signed by 23 individuals requesting a speed bump to slow traffic on Dolores Street, south of Santa Lucia Av., claiming the existing road conditions were unsafe.

October-November 2007: The City contracted with Traffic Logix, Inc. for a Speed Bump at a cost of $2,832.00 and Robert F. Enz Construction Company for installation of the speed bump at a cost of $1,031.53. The City failed to notify residents of the installation, et cetera.

December 2007: Charlotte and Peter Boyle, residents on Dolores St., protested the speed bump “as dangerous and unnecessary and said it was installed without due process.” The Boyles presented a petition signed by 19 households protesting the installation of the speed bump to the City. And the Boyles sent a letter to Mayor Sue McCloud and the City Council requesting removal of the speed bump.

December 2007- January 2008: Franciscan Way resident John Graney sent a letter to Police Chief/Public Safety Director George Rawson saying the speed bump is a “hazard” and “out of character with Carmel.”

2007-2008: The “City” has stated that nothing can be done until the three-month trial is completed.

COMMENTS:
...councils and the other public agencies in this State exist to aid in the conduct of the people's business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.” Yet the City Administrator and Mayor oversaw the purchase and installation of a speed bump without notifying residents and without a public hearing.

According to The Carmel Pine Cone, City Administrator Rich Guillen observed, “I have dueling petitions.” And he intends to meet with the neighbors to “discuss the matter.” If the Mayor and City Administrator had placed the proposed installation of a speed bump on a City Council agenda and held a public hearing, there would have been no need for “dueling petitions” and a neighborhood meeting to “discuss the matter.”

According to The Carmel Pine Cone, Bob Evans, a Dolores Street resident and former City Council Member, stated that the City’s decision to install the speed bump based on Jeff White’s petition “suggests a curious disregard of normal due process.”

And according to The Carmel Pine Cone, Charlotte and Peter Boyle wrote in a letter to Mayor Sue McCloud and City Council Members, “Our concern is that if this could happen in this manner on Dolores, it could happen anywhere in Carmel, and do we want a city full of speed humps?

In a February 8, 2008 letter to The Carmel Pine Cone editor, Mr. and Mrs. Don Tobin, residents on Dolores St., wrote the speed bump was installed with “no proper procedure, warning or discussion with the residents along Dolores Street, an overwhelming preponderance of which are opposed to the bump and the city’s tactics.” Furthermore, they wrote, the speed bump is “unnecessary, illegal and dangerous” and requested the city “do the right thing and permanently remove” the speed bump.

All of this suggests the Mayor dispenses special favors to certain individuals and groups without regard to due process and public hearing.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Carmel Art Association Presents TWO SOLO SHOWS FEATURING TAKIGAWA AND GOLDSTEIN & GALLERY SHOWCASE FEATURING BEACH AND HYBL

Carmel Art Association
“Celebrating 80 years of local art”
Voted “Art Gallery of the Year” by the Carmel Business Association three consecutive years.
W/s Dolores St. between 5th Av. & 6th Av.
10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., Daily, except major Holidays, Open to the Public at No Charge

“Founded in 1927, Carmel's oldest gallery features the work of more than 120 professional local artists, and is dedicated to presenting only the finest work for sale by artists living on the Monterey Peninsula.”

For more information, http://www.carmelart.org/ or (831) 624-6176.

Carmel Art Association Presents TWO SOLO SHOWS FEATURING PAMELA TAKIGAWA AND HELENE GOLDSTEIN & GALLERY SHOWCASE FEATURING MARY FITZGERALD BEACH AND HEIDI HYBL

Thursday, February 7 – Tuesday, March 4, 2008

TWO SOLO SHOWS: “NEW WORK” AND “COLORS
(Center Room and Beardsley Room, South Wall)

Monotype printmaker and watercolorist Pamela Takigawa exhibits her “New Work” artworks inspired by the artist’s observations of birds and natural forms, “providing realistic impression of her subjects while using economy of line and composition.”

For a photo of Takigawa’s artwork, click on Post title above, click on “artists,” click on “Click here for page 2,” then “Click here for page 3,” then “Takigawa, Pamela.”

Oil painter Helene Goldstein exhibits oil on canvas paintings of imaginary flowers and fanciful rooftops in vibrant, luminous color.

For a photo of Goldstein’s artwork, click on Post title above, click on “artists,” click on “Click here for page 2,” then “Goldstein, Helene.”

GALLERY SHOWCASE: (Segal Room)
Painter Mary FitzGerald Beach exhibits collage and mixed media artworks on paper. Read a brief biography and view four samples of her artwork, then click on “Mary FitzGerald Beach.”

Painter Heidi Hybl exhibits abstracted images of plant forms in oil on canvas and paper. Read a brief biography and view three samples of her artwork, click on “Heidi Hybl.”

Opening reception Saturday, February 9, 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.

LECTURE SERIES:
On Wednesday, February 20, 2008, Artist and Art Historian Dick Crispo will share the process and inspiration of writing the history of the Carmel Art Association in the recently published book, “Carmel Art Association: Its Legends and Legacies 1927-2007.”

"Carmel Art Association: Its Legends and Legacies 1927-2007” is available in hard-cover($100.00) or soft-cover ($45.00) at the Carmel Art Association or online through the Carmel Art Association web site.

Free, No Reservations Necessary.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Adding Insult to Injury at the Forest Theatre

ABSTRACT: Since the winter storm of January 3-5, 2008, the City has done nothing to address the damage to Forest Theatre on the Forest Theatre grounds. Specifically, the fallen and leaning sections of the grape stake fence along Mountain View Av. and Santa Rita St. and the fallen “significant” Monterey Pine tree on the ground near the patron entrance to the Outdoor Forest Theatre. And adding insult to injury, the original wood carved “FOREST THEATER” beam of the Guadalupe St. gate was severed and lays in two sections next to the entrance. Speculation about the cause of the severed “FOREST THEATER” beam involves a tree service trunk driving through the gate without enough clearance to clear the beam. Post-storm, tree service trucks with cut and recovered logs used the Forest Theatre parking lot as a place to temporarily store logs with the apparent consent of the City. Photos of the severed “FOREST THEATER” beam, AFTER and BEFORE photos of the Guadalupe St. gate, the fallen and leaning sections of the grape stake fence and the fallen Monterey Pine tree are shown. COMMENTS are made about the city-owned Forest Theatre.

AFTER: Severed wood carved “FOREST THEATER” beam from Guadalupe St. Gate, lying on the ground near the Guadalupe St. Gate.

AFTER: “New” Guadalupe St. Gate

BEFORE: “FOREST THEATER” Gate at Guadalupe St. Entrance

Fallen Section of Grape Stake Fence along Mountain View Av.

Leaning Section of Grape Stake Fence along Santa Rita St.

Fallen “Significant” Monterey Pine Tree Remains on the Ground near Patron Entrance to Outdoor Forest Theatre.

COMMENTS:
Established in 1920, the Forest Theater was “the first outdoor theater west of the Rockies.” The Theater was deeded to the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea in 1937.

Home to Forest Theater Guild, Pacific Repertory Theatre and Children's Experimental Theatre & Staff Players Repertory Company

For most of its history, the Forest Theater has been neglected by the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Neglect of the Indoor Forest Theater, Outdoor Forest Theater and grounds continue today, as evidenced by the recent inactions by the City and needless damage to the original Guadalupe St. Gate.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Mayor McCloud’s Contradictions on Flanders Mansion

Morning Sunlight on Flanders Mansion
Mission Trail Nature Preserve
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA.

ABSTRACT: A chronology of Mayor Sue McCloud’s contradictions on the Flanders Mansion property is presented. COMMENTS are made.

In the Dear Carmel-by-the-Sea Resident/PROGRESS ON ACHIEVING COUNCIL OBJECTIVES January 2005 annual report, authored by the Mayor and Vice Mayor, there appeared a statement regarding Flanders Mansion, as follows:

“If Flanders house is sold (there will be a state required public vote in the very near future), interest earned on a $4-5 million sale would mean more revenue for the City.”

Between March 2005 – October 2007, the City contracted with Special Counsel William B. Conners for legal advise concerning the Flanders Mansion, including representing the City in Flanders Foundation vs. City of Carmel-by-the-Sea, et al. (Case Number M76728); among his arguments was that the Flanders Mansion was not parkland and therefore the City was not required to have a vote of Carmelites on the sale of the Flanders Mansion property.

In the December 14, 2007 article MCCLOUD RUNS FOR FIFTH TERM ■ Would become city’s longest-serving mayor of The Carmel Pine Cone, Mayor McCloud stated she “wants the matter resolved.”

“We still haven’t seen Flanders through, and I would like to see it through to whatever the conclusion will be.”

On the City Council Agenda of January 8, 2008 appeared the following:

City Council Agenda
Regular Meeting
January 8, 2008

V. Announcements from Closed Session, from City Council Members and the City Administrator.

C. Announcements from City Administrator.
• Receive report on Mid-Year Budget Review and Adjustments

City of Carmel-by-the-Sea
Fiscal Year 2007-08 Mid-Year Budget Adjustments
General Fund

EXHIBIT A
EXPENDITURE ADJUSTMENTS:

Community Planning & Building $25,000 Professional services Denise Duffy & Assoc Flanders Mansion FEIR services

Ergo, according to the 2007-08 Mid-Year Adjustments, the City intends to proceed with the sale of the Flanders Mansion property by contracting with Denise Duffy & Associates for additional services related to the Final Environmental Impact Report on the Flanders Mansion property.

COMMENTS:
In January 2005, Mayor Sue McCloud was aware that the sale of the Flanders Mansion property required a vote of Carmelites. Yet she instigated the contract with Special Counsel William B. Conners to argue that a vote of Carmelites was not required to sell the Flanders Mansion property.

In December 2007, Mayor McCloud stated “We still haven’t seen Flanders through, and I would like to see it through to whatever the conclusion will be.” Meanwhile, the Fiscal Year 2007-08 Mid-Year Budget Adjustments included $25,000 for Professional Services related to the Flanders Mansion Property Final Environmental Report, which is court mandated for a future sale of the Flanders Mansion property.

On resolving the matter: Instead of stubbornly proceeding with the sale of Flanders Mansion by contracting for a $25,000 Environmental Impact Report revision, et cetera, Mayor McCloud could resolve this matter by making a sincere effort to find a compatible public use for the National Register of Historic Places Flanders Mansion for the benefit of present and future generations.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Mission Trail Nature Preserve: Implementation of a Proactive Tree Management Plan Required for Public Health and Safety Purposes

ABSTRACT: Due to the City's lack of maintenance of Mission Trail Nature Preserve, public health and safety hazards exist which require proactive actions to ameliorate. An example of a public health and safety hazard is presented accompanied by photographic views of the Monterey Pine tree leaning dangerously over Flanders Trail in Mission Trail Nature Preserve.

In general, the City’s lack of maintenance of Mission Trail Nature Preserve, the City’s largest park, has led not only to the lack of implementation of the City’s General Plan/Coastal Land Use Plan and Mission Trail Nature Preserve Master Plan, but to the existence of public health and safety hazards which require proactive actions to ameliorate.

Case in Point: On Flanders Trail, a significant Monterey Pine tree is angled dangerously over the Trail and leaning into two other Monterey Pine trees, as the following photos depict. This represents a potential public health and safety issue and should be addressed by the City expeditiously, as the General Plan/Coastal Land Use Plan Coastal Resource Management Element and the Municipal Code dictate, as follows:

Mission Trail Nature Preserve

P5-155 Remove dead/hazardous trees only as needed. Leave dead trunks in place when not hazardous to provide habitat for woodpeckers and other fauna. (LUP)

Moreover, for public health and safety purposes, the City’s Municipal Code requires the removal of trees.

Four Views of the Monterey Pine tree over Flanders Trail, as follows:
View of Caution Tape around trunk of Monterey Pine tree leaning over Flanders Trail with roots uprooted; Caution Tape placed there by a concerned resident.

View of Monterey Pine tree leaning into other Monterey Pine trees over Flanders Trail.

View of Monterey Pine tree lending into and against two other Monterey Pine trees over Flanders Trail.

View of Monterey Pine tree against another Monterey Pine tree over Flanders Trail.

In addition, during the last storm, a dead tree trunk fell over Serra Trail (center); notice the tree is in a grove of trees with their trunks covered with ivy, adversely impacting the health of the trees.
Ivy-Covered Tree Trunk (center) cracked during storm and fell onto Serra Trail.

Section of Fallen Tree Trunk with Embedded Acorns on Serra Trail.