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MCHA News Flash Vol. XX March 2014

2014 Education Leadership Seminars


Agenda | Minutes | Goals & Objective | Current Issues | Urgent Action

MINUTES: March 6th, 2014 Meeting  

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Call to Order:  Gary Cursio called the meeting to order at 8:32 am, Redwood Room, Portola Hotel.


Present: Henry Ruhnke, Sam Teel, Gary Cursio, Rick Aldinger, Bonnie Adams, Rick Heuer, David Armanasco, Michael Bekker, Barbara Meister, John Narigi, Rene Boskoff, Hunter Harvath, Tom Rowley, Rod Schinerer,


Guests: Beth Palmer and Brian Boudreau, Monterey Downs


Executive Committee Referral: None


Member Issues: None


Special Presentations/Roundtable/Action Items:


Report on Monterey Downs (MD) by Beth Palmer and Brian Boudreau. Palmer presented the key components of the MD Project

  • The FORA plan is intended to rebuild the economic impact of Fort Ord and minimize the impact of the base closure.
  • The FORA plan would develop 3300 acres of the 28,000 acres in the Plan area. The balance is open space.
  • The horse park/show park facility would have shows and events 2-5 days in length.
  • The indoor sports arena will be a multiuse facility and would host sport events, concerts, small corporate events, etc.
  • The proposal would be about 20% the size of the Del Mar operation. The proposal is to have 38 days of racing over a 9 week period (Sept-Nov weekends). The operation would employ 700-1400 FTE.
  • Racetrack visitors spend 7x/day over what normal visitors spend.
  • There will be an outdoor pedestrian mall, “The Country Walk.”
  • A 200 room extended stay hotel, retail and office space, tennis and swim center are proposed.
  • Workforce housing, apartments and conventional single family units are proposed.
  • Purchase of the “endowment parcel” will help fund the Veteran’s Cemetery. Current state funding will only fund Phase I, the Columbarium.
  • The project includes 18% open space.
  • They are working with Hartnell to restart a veterinary tech program.
  • Jobs: 3,000 permanent; 1500 construction jobs over a projected 13 year period.
  • MD will pay $50 million in FORA fees and $23 million to Seaside.
  • FORA has rights to 6,600 AFY from Zone 2C. 2,800 AFY is used. MCWD is contractually obligated to provide 1,700 AFY.
  • The EIR is being completed. Public release is expected this summer. The project applications will include a specific plan and subdivision maps. Hearings are expected to begin late fall.
  • MD land is in Seaside and unincorporated Monterey County; Seaside will annex the County portion.
  • Bekker asked about traffic mitigation. Boudreau and Palmer said in addition to the fees previously mentioned, MD will be responsible for construction of the direct impact improvements.
  • Cursio asked about water. Boudreau said it is all being addressed in the EIR but the water is available via the FORA rights and contractural obligations.
  • Boskoff asked about other events that might be held at MD. Palmer said MD would be open for a broad range of activities.


The presentation/Q&A ended. Palmer and Boudreau left.


Additions to the Agenda:


  • None


Task Force Updates:


Coalition of Peninsula Businesses/Regional Water Project:


  • Narigi reported:
    • CPB opposes the PWN initiative.
    • The MPRWA TAC has asked that a white paper on the PWN proposal be prepared and requested that the Mayors consider taking a position on the initiative.
    • The TAC continues to question the GWR project. There are still no source water agreements. The water rights issues are headed to arbitration.
    • The time period for completion of the CAW EIR has been extended by the CPUC.
    • Rationing is a potential impact in the short term. Boskoff asked about rationing baseline. Narigi said there is nothing in writing. Dave Stoldt will be invited to the April meeting to discuss the issue.


  • Armanasco gave an update on Deep Water Desal

o    The EIR is being finalized

o    They will be submitting to the State Lands Commission in the spring. The SLC process will take about 1 year. The application will subsequently be submitted to the CCC.

o    DWD is intended to be a regional water source and is not dependent on what CAW builds.


Public Water Now:


Heuer reported

  • The group is doing public outreach and developing funding sources for the campaign.
  • Monning’s office is researching questions re the effect of PWN on SB936; Dave Stodt has said he does not think there will be an impact but the answer is not clear.


Monterey County Business PAC:


Cursio reported that the GAC subcommittee had met and is recommending that MCHA not continue with its membership in the MCBPAC. The Board will consider their recommendation 3/11.




Charles was not available. She has sent a short report that will be circulated by email.


2014 Elections


The GAC will hold candidate interview April 15. The date is being held for the interviews but it who will be interviewed is yet to be decided. It will depend on candidates for offices.


Event Task Force


Ruhnke reported he had attended the most recent ETF meeting. The discussion at the meeting focused on the cost of holding an event. Heuer said the cost should be balanced against the economic benefit of the events.


Old Business






  • Teel said he had been approached by Jan Leasure about support for a County short term rental ordinance similar to the Pacific Grove ordinance.
  • Bekker said we should watch HR 2126, the California Ocean Protection Counsel. Bekker will follow and report as needed.
  • Ruhnke said we should the City of Monterey has budgeted $25-30,000 study a sales tax increase and to survey residents on the issue. Ruhnke and Meister will follow and report as necessary.


Monterey Downs


It was agree to offer support for the MD project. A formal endorsement will be considered at a later date. (Aldinger, Bekker, Rowley, Heuer, Cursio and Teel present)



ADJOURNED at 10:12 to April 3, 2014.


Prepared by Dale Ellis, Government Affairs Director

Monterey County Hospitality Association

Monterey County Hospitality Association PO Box 223542 • Carmel, CA • 93922 •
(PH) 831.626.8636 • (FX) 831.626.4269 Info@mcha.net