Mo Co Budget approved

The part we might be most concerned with is this: “Also Monday, the board agreed to back a proposal from board chairman John Phillips to devote $1.4 million in transient occupancy tax revenue to the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. They also directed the organization to conduct a range of economic development initiatives, including a Big Sur tourism study and shuttle, and promotion of county destinations such as the Salinas Valley and River Road wine corridor, Lakes Nacimiento and San Antonio, the Pinnacles National Monument, and more.” From Monterey Herald http://www.montereyherald.com/supervisors-wrap-up-county-budget-hearings

US Open traffic, parking, and alternatives by Caltrans

Today’s Date: Wednesday, June 5, 2019

District:           05 – Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa        

                         Cruz Counties                                                  

Contact:          Susana Z Cruz (bilingual) or Colin Jones

Phone:            (805) 549-3138 or (805) 549-3189

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

U.S. Open Traffic and Transit Information

In preparation for the 119th U.S. Open Championship, the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Pebble Beach company unveiled a comprehensive transportation plan to ensure the safe and efficient movement of traffic and pedestrians during the championship, scheduled for June 10-16.

More than 16,000 satellite parking spaces have been secured to help ensure that the anticipated 250,000 fans at the U.S. Open experience trouble-free travel to and from the Pebble Beach.  Local traffic representatives from the California Highway Patrol, Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) have been involved in the 18-month-long planning process with the USGA and Pebble Beach Company.

All fans traveling by car during U.S. Open week should follow event trailblazing signage to California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) in Marina, CA, where complimentary parking and shuttle transportation will be provided to and from Pebble Beach. Shuttles will run continuously beginning at 5:30 a.m. PDT each day and continue for one hour following the conclusion of play. One-way shuttle times are expected to take approximately 30-35 minutes, depending upon traffic.

There is no general parking for fans with disabilities available in the immediate vicinity of Pebble Beach Golf Links. All other parking is by permit only. Parking restrictions surrounding the championship grounds and within the Del Monte Forest will be closely monitored and enforced. 17-Mile Drive will be closed to tourist traffic June 9 through June 16, 2019.

Handicapped-accessible parking spaces will be available at all championship parking areas for vehicles displaying appropriate HP/DP license plates or placards. Individuals requiring lift-equipped transportation are encouraged to contact the USGA Admissions Office at 800-698-0661 for more information. 

The cities of Carmel, Monterey and Pacific Grove are offering express shuttle bus services to the U.S. Open for residents and community guests. For more information on fees, daily schedules, frequency, and locations of service, please visit the Carmel Chamber of Commerce (carmelchamber.org), Cannery Row Company (canneryrow.com) and Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce (pacificgrove.com) websites.

Fans and local residents wishing to utilize ride-share options to be dropped off at the championship should utilize the designated Passenger Drop-Off area along Forest Lake Road, located near Gate 1 within the Del Monte Forest. There is no parking or staging for vehicles, so pickup times will need to be coordinated accordingly. Vehicles proceeding to the Passenger Drop-Off are instructed to enter the Del Monte Forest through the Pacific Grove Gate or Morse Gate located on CA-68. Please follow directional signs and attendants to the appropriate pickup and drop-off location. Due to traffic restrictions, access is limited to vehicles no larger than a 12-passenger van or limousine. Passenger Drop-Off vehicles are not permitted to pick-up or drop-off at any other location around the championship grounds.

For the week of Monday, June 10 through June 16, local residents and through traffic are encouraged to adjust travel around peak U.S. Open arrival and departure times (7-11 a.m. and 3:30-7:30 p.m.) if possible. The local residents and area commuters from Castroville Blvd. to eastbound Hwy. 156, there will be no left turn out of Castroville Blvd. onto eastbound Hwy. 156 from Wednesday, June 12 at 10 am through Monday, June 17 at 10 am. There will be a detour to turn right from Castroville Blvd. onto westbound Hwy. 156 traffic will exit at SR-183/Merritt Street then a left at Merritt Street and a left turn back onto eastbound Hwy 156.

Local residents and area commuters from the Salinas Valley are encouraged to follow alternate routing and trailblazing signage to General Jim Moore Boulevard, avoiding CSUMB and CA-1.  Due to U.S. Open traffic, delays can be expected along the primary routes of CA-1 from Exit 399A (Pebble Beach) to Exit 414 (Nashua/Molera Road). Monterey and Pacific Grove commuters should avoid the use of Exit 399A and CA-68 during peak times.

Caltrans will be conducting overnight maintenance work on Hwy 101 at Market Street beginning at 9 pm to 5 am each night: Sunday, June 9 through Tuesday, June 11 (into Wednesday morning).

Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol remain on call 24/7 to respond to traffic issues during the week-long U.S. Open Championship.

ALTERNATE COMMUTER ROUTES

Alternate Commuter Routing Inbound from Salinas traffic using Blanco Road

  • Proceed westbound on Blanco Road to Reservation Road.
  • Turn left onto Reservation Road for 1.0 miles.
  • Turn right onto Inter-Garrison Road for 0.5 miles.
  • Turn right to stay on Inter-Garrison Road for 2.2 miles.
  • At the traffic circle, take the second exit onto 8th Avenue for 0.8 miles.
  • Turn right onto Gigling Road for 1.1 miles.
  • Turn left onto General Moore Boulevard, proceeding southbound into Seaside, CA and towards CA-68.

Alternate Commuter Routing Inbound from Salinas traffic using Reservation Road

  • Proceed westbound on Reservation Road towards Inter-Garrison Road.
  • Turn left onto Inter-Garrison Road for 0.5 miles.
  • Turn right to stay on Inter-Garrison Road for 2.2 miles.
  • At the traffic circle, take the second exit onto 8th Avenue for 0.8 miles.
  • Turn right onto Gigling Road for 1.1 miles.
  • Turn left onto General Jim Moore Boulevard, proceeding southbound into Seaside, CA and towards CA-68.

From the North using CA-1 Southbound

  • Follow CA-1 South. Take Exit 406 for Lightfighter Drive for 0.5 miles.
  • Turn left onto 2nd Avenue for 0.9 miles and follow signage to the parking lot.

From the South using CA-1 Northbound

  • Follow CA-1 North.  Take Exit 406 for Lightfighter Drive for 0.3 miles.
  • Turn left onto 2nd Avenue for 0.9 miles and follow signage to the parking lot.

From the North using US-101 Southbound

  • Follow US-101 South.  Take Exit 336 towards Monterey Peninsula.
  • Merge onto CA-156 West continuing for 6.1 miles.
  • Merge onto CA-1 South continuing for 7.9 miles.
  • Take Exit 406 for Lightfighter Drive for 0.5 miles.
  • Turn Left onto 2nd Avenue for 0.9 miles and follow signage to the parking lot.

From the South using US-101 Northbound

  • Follow US-101 North.  Take Exit 326C towards Monterey Peninsula.
  • Turn right onto Sanborn Road for 0.8 miles continuing onto East Blanco Road for 1.6 miles.
  • Turn left onto CA-68 West/S. Main Street for 2.3 miles proceeding to Exit 20 for Reservation Road.
  • Turn right onto Reservation Road for 4.4 miles.
  • Turn left onto Inter-Garrison Road for 0.3 miles.
  • Turn right to continue onto Inter-Garrison Road for 2.5 miles (continue straight through traffic circle).
  • Turn slight right onto 8th Street for 1.0 miles and follow signage to the parking lot.

USGA will have more information about the championship, please visit usopen.com.

Caltrans has real-time travel conditions; please visit http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/

Public Meeting June 6th at 10 am at MAF re use of the old Naval Facility

The Monterey District of California State Parks will hold a public meeting on June 6, 2019 to present its’ plan for initial public tours of the Point Sur Naval Facility located within Point Sur State Historic Park.

The purpose of the meeting is to disseminate information and gather public input prior to offering the initial public tours of the facility. The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. at the Big Sur Station, Multi-Agency Facility, 47555 Highway 1, Big Sur.

Questions, inquiries and comments (for those unable to attend) may be directed to State Parks’ Supervising Ranger D.L. Kraft at dkraft@parks.ca.gov.

Mary Trotter sent me this. It was supposed to be noticed in several local media, but she was unable to locate it, so be sure to share this far and wide. Post to FB, twitter, and/or instagram so we can get the word out.

Naval Facility as seen from the Ocean.

June 6th at 10 am at the MAF Facility (Big Sur Station next to Cal Trans yard.)

“This will be your chance to ask questions and make comments about viewshed issues.  Eleven point 4 million dollars of the Prop 72 money went to preserve the viewshed surrounding this facility.  It is therefore important that everything be done to prevent the eye being drawn to the blot in the landscape through parking lots, reflections off of cars, crowds of people milling around, additional signs and night lighting.
Self directed tours are being planned, and they speak of a visitor center. Is this what Big Sur needs now in this period of over-crowding, over-use.  New easements and new roads are planned – once again in the viewshed. No water is available.  Will the new ADA bathroom also be in the viewshed? Please come and get your questions answered.” Mary Trotter

Draft (STR) Vacation Rental Ordinance now online

I realize I have surpassed my self imposed posting limit for today, but I know many of your are interested in this, so I wanted to get it out to you asap:

Vacation Rental Draft Ordinances and associated environmental analysis are available for public view at the following link:

http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/government/departments-i-z/resource-management-agency-rma-/planning/short-term-rental-ordinances-coastal-ref130043-inland-ref100042

In the link above you will find the following:

  • Notice of Public Availability of Proposed Vacation Rental Regulations [PDF]
  • Draft Ordinance Amending Title 20 (Coastal Zoning) Relating to Vacation Rentals [PDF]
  • Draft Ordinance Amending Title 21 (Non-Coastal Zoning) Relating to Vacation Rentals [PDF]
  • Draft Ordinance Amending Section 7.02.060 and Adding Chapter 7.110 Relating to Vacation Rental Activities [PDF]
  • Environmental Analysis

 

 

 

 

Mid-Coast Fire Brigade response to the BBC article

This is the response that Mid-Coast Fire Brigade sent to the BBC author, Lucy Sherriff. Beautifully written letter than will provide all with the background and historical information on the Brigade. Thank you, Cheryl for the clarity.

“Yesterday and today I was contacted by numerous upset citizens regarding an article written by you and published by BBC regarding fire protection in the Palo Colorado community.

I also spoke to Chief Matt Harris of Big Sur Fire Brigade who just forwarded me your inquiry.  Big Sur Fire Brigade is not the fire jurisdiction responsible for Palo Colorado and its environs.  Mid Coast Fire Brigade is responsible for all emergency incidents which occur between the southern border of Carmel Highlands (near Yankee Point Dr) and Hurricane Point.  The lack of mention of any officially organized fire protection entity seemed intentionally misleading since you drive right past the fire station on Palo Colorado Road and it is clearly signed.

Mid Coast Fire Brigade (www.midcoastfirebrigade.org) was organized in 1978 and officially established in 1979 as the agency having jurisdiction in this area.  The Brigade was established in response to a lack of resources available to respond to emergencies when CalFire was not fully staffed during their non fire season.  Cal Fire is charged with the wildland firefighting responsibility in state watersheds in California and the United States Forest Service is responsible for wildland firefighting in federally managed areas.   Local fire agencies respond in concert with state and federal agencies to wildland fires with either CalFire or the USFS in command of wildland fire incidents, depending on jurisdiction.  Local fire agencies have the primary responsibility for all other types of emergencies including structure fires, medical emergencies, vehicle accidents, and rescues including surf and cliff rescues.

Mid Coast Fire Brigade maintains two wildland fire apparatus one with the jaws of life, one structure fire engine, one water tender, one rescue squad capable of fire suppression and cliff rescue, one ocean rescue response unit, one utility, 2 UTVs and one Chief Officer vehicle.  These vehicles we designed specifically for the narrow mostly dirt roads in our area. The Brigade currently has 20 all-volunteer members on its roster, all of whom must maintain the same state mandated training standards as all other professional / paid and volunteer fire agencies state wide.  Most of our personnel are trained to the California State Firefighter 1 level, and all are trained in Hazardous Materials Operation level.  The Fire Chief is a certified state fire instructor for fire training and Hazardous Materials training. The Fire Chief is certified by the Monterey County EMS Agency to provide medical training in house and teaches EMT training at Monterey Peninsula Community College. Minimum medical training is Emergency Medical Responder and most personnel are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT).  The Mid Coast Fire Brigade launched Monterey County’s first Ocean Response Rescue Team and has officially implemented a Rope Rescue program.  Our volunteer firefighters live or work within our response area and dedicate themselves to the service of their entire community training at a minimum of twice a month to maintain their skills.  There are very few citizens in our response area that have not been contacted personally by the Fire Chief and asked to join the Fire Brigade and get involved to protect their community.  Most decline because of the time commitment required to maintain their skills and the time commitment to respond to emergencies at a moment’s notice, which may very well be your own neighbor.  Our response area covers 32 square miles including some of the most dramatic coastline in Big Sur including the Bixby Bridge and Hurricane Point.  The community we fight to protect is not limited to a small cluster of homes around where we live but our entire community at large.  The neighborhood mentioned in your article is effectively in the middle of our response area and less than 3 miles from our fire station.

In 2011 the Brigade completed building the communities first ever fire station.  The station was built with donations from the community that it serves and is utilized as a facility to house fire apparatus and for the community to gather in times of disaster.  The Brigade receives limited funds from the County of Monterey and relies on fund raising efforts and true volunteerism from its firefighting personnel as there is no pay at the end of the day.  The Assistant Chief and Fire Chief each have over 35 years of firefighting experience and both retired from Cal Fire as Fire Captains.

The Mid Coast Fire Brigade in conjunction with a long time resident and past Fire Brigade member conceived, developed and successfully implemented a Neighborhood Coordinator program.  The idea being that during an emergency a few phone calls could be placed by the Coordinator to the designated coordinator in each neighborhood so people could be quickly notified of an emergency. The Fire Chief placed the call on Friday night to the Coordinator asking that the notification process be started with the community to prepare to evacuate as Cal Fires official order may come much too late.

The Fire Brigade was actively involved in the fire fighting efforts and protection of structures during the Soberanes Fire.  July 23rd when the fire jumped Garrapata Creek and freight trained through the community destroying 57 structures there were no decisions made by any firefighting resources deciding which homes to let burn and which homes to save.  With the fire conditions that presented that night areas could simply not be accessed due to the intense fire activity.  In the very area presented in your article we were made aware of a community member that stayed behind to protect their  home and was asked to try to remove that person.  Despite our best efforts and due to the intense fire activity with numerous burning trees across the road, we were driven out of the area and could not make access.  The Brigade went through the proper channels to make notifications of the situation and arrange to affect a possible rescue of the individual as soon as it was deemed safe.

Because of the efforts of the Brigade numerous homes were saved that would have been otherwise destroyed as firefighting resources were so limited during the Soberanes Fire.  Spot fires were extinguished by the Brigade before they were able to spread and destroy additional structures in the community. We witnessed numerous neighbors that evacuated their homes during the fire and some that stayed but few asked the simple question..how can we help?  The Mid Coast Fire Brigade members walked away from their own homes not knowing what would be there when they returned to help others.  I am so very proud of them every day for all they give up to protect their community. The recent Tubbs Fire, Paradise Fire and the countless fires with large losses of homes and lives within their communities should tell you that you simply cannot deploy enough resources in the timeframe that they are needed in a major fire with burning conditions we have seen in last several years.  You cannot get out in front of a wind driven fire and stop the flaming fire front.  You do the best you can to minimize loss of property and lives and unfortunately not everyone will be happy with the outcome.

The Fire Brigade worked in conjunction with PG&E and AT&T, to restore power and phones to the area.  SPCA to provide food for pets as our community returned home. The County of Monterey and the Coast Property Owners Association (CPOA now CABS) to ensure dumpsters were in place to remove spoiled food and fire debris. The American Red Cross to build sifters, provide rakes and masks for people to sift through the remains of their burned structures and asked them to provide water as the private water systems were destroyed and/or filled with ash and fire debris.  All of this was in place prior to our community returning home three weeks after the fire erupted.

Prior to the Soberanes Fire the Mid Coast Fire Brigade established an annual Wildland Hazard Inspection program to educate the community on providing defensible space around their homes and suggested products to help defend their homes.  In 2010 the Mid Coast Fire Brigade organized and participated in a grass roots effort to clear 4 miles of the Palo Colorado Road right of way of dead trees and undergrowth using donated equipment and volunteer personnel from the community.  In 2013 the Brigade organized and participated in another road clearing program on a private road, which leads to the residents mentioned on the article to remove dead trees that had become a life threat to residents traveling on the roadway.  This project required the telephone company to lower its telephone lines which serviced the area, dead trees were removed using volunteer personnel and equipment, once the trees were removed the telephone company replaced and repaired their equipment improving service to the residents affected.  In 2015 the Mid Coast Fire Brigade secured a $750,000.00 grant from the United States Forest Service to construct a shaded fuel break along the ingress/egress routes, ridges and escapes routes so vital to the community, this project was completed May 31, 2016, less than 2 months before the Soberanes Fire erupted.  This project allowed resources access to roads which  otherwise may not have been accessible due to brush covered roadsides and overhanging tree limbs that limited the height of vehicles able pass on the roadway.  In 2017 the Brigade applied for and obtained a $36,000 grant to install 30,000 gallons of water storage for fire protection at a critical location in the community (there is no public water system and only a few private hydrants in the community).  The Mid Coast Fire Brigade is currently working with Cal Fire to re-establish and expanding the fuel breaks to help protect the Mid Coast community at large and not just focusing on a small portion of the Community, as noted in the article.  The Mid Coast Fire Brigade has worked relentlessly with the County of Monterey and Supervisor Mary Adams office to ensure that our community does not go forgotten and we have been the go to organization to ensure communication with the community and the needs of the community are not forgotten as there is not an official government entity here to fight for the community.

We have a fire service in California that is unrivaled anywhere in the world with the quickest access to resources.  With Big Sur Fire Brigade and United States Forest Service to the south, Cal Fire and Monterey County Fire agencies to the north, the quickest mobilization of resources is available for any emergency in our area.  We train and work together well and if there is any take away from this it would be that no single person or agency can do this job alone, we need to work together in the system that is already in place.

We have a community that is united, and although we may not always agree with each other I cannot imagine a better place to live and call home than Big Sur.

Cheryl Goetz
Fire Chief
Mid Coast Fire Brigade

Meet with Coastal Commissioner Carole Groom Friday

Dear BSMAAC stakeholders:

This Friday, March 22, 2019 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. at the Big Sur Lodge, Supervisor Adams is hosting Coastal Commissioner Carole Groom for a Big Sur community meeting. The meeting will include presentations from your neighbors on how the Commission’s mission to ensure coastal access intersects with the day-to-day experience of residents, public safety professionals, and business in Big Sur. There will also be a 30-minute public comment period.

You can arrive as early at 1:15 p.m. Parking for the meeting will be in the lower lot only.

Please see the attached flyer.

We look forward to seeing you.

On behalf of Supervisor Mary L. Adams,

Sarah Hardgrave

Policy Analyst

Office of Supervisor Mary L. Adams

California Film Commission and Bixby Bridge

Diehl
Date: March 7, 2019 at 11:12:21 PST
To: Klosterman, Eric

Thank you for your response.

Fyi the most recent construction vs film use of Hwy 1 scheduling conflict was this week, which also included completely barring visitor access to the Bixby Bridge viewing turnout & OCR parking area, enforced by numerous CHP personnel. So while your assurances are welcome they do not match my experience on the ground.

Martha  Diehl
from my smart-alec phone

On Mar 7, 2019, at 09:20, Klosterman, Eric wrote:

Hi Martha,

Thanks for your requests.  The California Film Commission, together with Caltrans and the Monterey County Film Commission, has been working to address the concerns of residents in the Big Sur/Bixby Bridge area of Monterey County.  We have long had a moratorium in place during the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day on filming requests that involve any kind of traffic control.

Caltrans does not allow productions to take over exclusive use of turnouts.  Caltrans is the permitting agency for filming on State highways, so they are always in the loop and their local engineers advise the permit office of any planned roadwork that might interfere with or exacerbate filming impacts.  I know of one occasion where the maintenance department of Caltrans didn’t let the traffic engineer who approves permits know about some work they were planning until after he had approved the film permit.  Caltrans has put procedures in place to avoid that happening again.

Monterey County Film Commission is notified with a draft copy of every CFC permit application for Monterey County and can communicate other local events to us that may conflict with proposed filming activity.

We work with the CHP to make local patrol officers assigned to film shoots aware of the needs of the community and insure they do not hold traffic longer than is permitted.  CHP will always suspend filming activities if emergency vehicles need to get through.

We are not issuing permits for helicopter filming below 1000 feet at Bixby Bridge at the present time.  Drone operators who are permitted to operate over the Caltrans right of way are required to follow all FAA regulations.  The FAA has jurisdiction over all aircraft once they are in the air.  Property owners, including State and local governments can set rules for take offs and landings from their property so as to insure public safety.

We take all the issues you raise into consideration with each permit application.  We are exploring with Caltrans other measures we can take in the permitting process to minimize the impact and frequency from filming.  We continue to work with all the stakeholders to develop guidelines that are responsive to their needs.

Eric Klosterman, Permit Department Manager, California Film Commission