MINUTES: January 9, 2014
Minutes: January 9,
Call to Order:
Gary Cursio called the meeting to order at 8:30, Redwood Room, Portola
Gary Cursio, Sam Teel, Bonnie Adams, Rick Heuer, Rod Schinnerer, Tom
Rowley, Henry Ruhnke, Rene Boskoff, David Armanasco, John Narigi, Hunter
Harvath, Mike Bekker, Deidre Whalen, Barbara Meister, Nicole Charles,
Carol Chorbajian, Janine Chicourrat
minutes of the November 2013 meeting were not available.
Executive Committee Referral:
Member Issues: None
Special Presentations/Roundtable/Action Items:
The Hon. Ralph Rubio, Mayor of
the City of Seaside was present to discuss the Monterey Downs project. The
key points presented by Mayor. Rubio were:
Seaside has an exclusive
negotiating agreement with the developers of the proposed Monterey Downs
Seaside is not an advocate
for the project but is viewing the project favorably.
The project site is
approximately 700 acres and is in both the City of Seaside and the
unincorporated area of Monterey County. The project site does include
the “endowment parcel.”
The project is anticipated
to have a major positive economic impact of about $100 million per year.
It is a $750 million project. It is anticipated that the project will
pay $23 million in fees to the City of Seaside and the County and an
additional $50 million in fees to FORA.
The project is anticipated
to provide about 3,000 jobs.
The administrative draft EIR
is being done and includes a specific plan for Monterey Downs and an
economic analysis/revenue sharing component. It is expected to be
available in 2 to 3 months.
Once the environmental
documents are complete the public review hearing process is expected to
take about six months and will conclude with a development agreement
between the developers, the County and the City.
Boskoff ask how many housing
units will be created. Rubio said that the plan calls for 1,200 to 1,500
units. Rubio went on to state that water is a key issue. Marina Coast is
the water vendor to FORA and will ultimately supply water to the
Monterey Downs project. There are conflicting opinions as to how much
water is available. That will be addressed in the environmental
Teel asked how the fees
would be used. Rubio said that the majority fees will go for
infrastructure improvements to mitigate the off-site impacts of the
Teel asked about the project
timing in relation to the possible MCHA endorsement. Rubio said that an
endorsement consideration should probably wait until the environmental
reports and specific plan are available for public review.
Narigi asked Mayor Rubio about
the Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority position on the Public
Water Now petition. Rubio said that the Agency is focused on getting a
project completed and considered the petition a diversion. Heuer noted
that the MPWMD could simply enact the petition.
Additions to the Agenda:
The GAC received a report on
proposed signs for the Hyatt Regency. It was moved by Boskoff, seconded
by Schinnerer and passed unanimously to support the proposed signs.
Ellis reported that the
County Planning Commission had received a short presentation from staff
on the status of a special events ordinance. It was decided to ask
County representatives to attend the February GAC meeting to update the
GAC and discuss potential issues with the ordinance.
Chicourrat discussed the
letter being sent to the owners of the properties that would be voting
on the Conference Center Improvement District asking for their support
Task Force Updates:
Coalition of Peninsula
Businesses/Regional Water Project:
There are some very vocal
complaints about the new Cal am billing structure. Cal Am will be
meeting with different groups to explain their billing and fees.
The Public Water Now
petition has been submitted to the Water Management District and is now
before the County Elections Department for validation of signatures. It
is expected that the petition will qualify for the ballot.
Cal Am is working toward
permits from Marina and the Coastal Commission to install test wells at
the Cemex site in August.
The groundwater recharge
studies are continuing. It is clear that the GWR project will not meet
the CDO deadline.
Public Water Now:
Cursio said that the
district board may need to be lobbied to assure that the board does set
the matter for the ballot rather than enacting the petition.
Heuer said that a major
concern will be making sure of the validity of the future studies
information and the cost of those studies.
Narigi indicated that
getting the true facts out will be a major undertaking.
Teel suggested that the GAC
form a subcommittee to work with other groups in opposition to the
petition. It was decided that Teel, Cursio and Chorbajian would be the
Future Agenda Structure:
Ellis explained that the
future agendas would be more streamlined and would include only those
items where there was a need for discussion or news to report. A regular
conference call will be held the third Monday of each month between Cursio,
Ruhnke, Teel, Adams and Ellis to set the next month’s agenda.
The purpose for the change is
to focus the GAC tension and energies on those issues that are most
important to the Association and to reduce the number of “placeholder
items” on the agenda.
GAC 2014 Goals:
The GAC reviewed the 2013
goals and discussed changes for 2014:
Harvath said that language
should be added to goal 3 to have more consistent communication with
Whalen said that she felt
some language should be added to goal 5 to promote the Sanctuary as part
of the areas tourism opportunities. It was indicated that support for
the sanctuary was included within MCH is policy statements.
Narigi noted that goal 4
included language regarding evaluation of the PAC’s effectiveness. That
should be reviewed in 2014.
Ruhnke stated that the goals
should reflect the intention of the GAC to be more proactive than
The GAC was in general
agreement with these statements and directed Ellis to edit the goals
accordingly for consideration by the MCHA board at the retreat.
Chicourrat discussed the
letter that was prepared to go to owners urging them to support the
conference center improvement District. Ballots are expected to go to the
owners after January 20. It was moved by Chorbajian, seconded by Harvath
and carried unanimously to approve the letter.
MCHA Policy Manual:
A subcommittee of Horvath and
Teel was appointed to work with Ellis and Adams on completion of the
policy book update.
ADJOURNED at 10:12 to February
Prepared by Dale Ellis,
Government Affairs Director
Monterey County Hospitality