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   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county

Ventana Chapter Negotiates Reduction in Land Use Appeal Fees with FORA

September 2012

Bolstered by letters of support from the ACLU, the League of Women Voters, and the Preston and Abrams Parks Tenants Association, the Ventana Chapter on July 26 persuaded the Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA) Board of Directors to lower the fee for appealing a land use decision at the former Fort Ord from an amount equal to that charged by Monterey County, currently $5,040, to the average of the amount charged by the nine jurisdictions represented on the FORA Board of Directors (minus the highest and lowest), currently $737.69.

The 1998 settlement agreement between the Ventana Chapter and FORA is incorporated into FORA’s Master Resolution. It establishes the criteria which the FORA Board of Directors must use in determining whether or not a land use project proposed for the former Army base is consistent with the Base Reuse Plan. The mandatory criteria constitute a powerful tool which the public can use to require that new projects at Fort Ord are consistent with Base Reuse Plan vision for Fort Ord redeveloped as a series of pedestrian-oriented villages and protected habitat areas surrounding CSUMB.

In recent years, a stumbling block for public participation in FORA decision-making has been that in the years since the Sierra Club-FORA 1998 settlement agreement was adopted, the County of Monterey increased its land use appeal fees from $252 to $5,040. The July 26, 2012 action by the FORA Board of Directors accepts the Ventana Chapter’s request to amend the settlement agreement as it pertains to the manner in which FORA’s appeal fees is determined.

The Ventana Chapter appreciates the cooperation of many organizations and individuals and particularly the FORA Board of Directors in achieving an amendment of the 1998 Sierra Club-FORA settlement agreement as it pertains to the amount of FORA's land use appeal fee.

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