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   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county

Seaside Releases Monterey Downs Horse Track and Housing Project DEIR

April 2015
Monterey Downs This aerial photo shows the vast oak woodlands that would be wiped out to accommodate this enormous development. Why destroy the natural gateway to the National Monument when so much of the urban area of Fort Ord remains dilapidated and condemned? (Photo and graphics by Steve Zmak) Click for full sized image.

The City of Seaside in Monterey County has released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for a proposed horse racing track and housing development on the former Fort Ord military base. Ventana Chapter has retained coastal ecologist Dr. Peter Baye to review biological resources in the document and to prepare comments prior to the deadline of June 19. Sierra Club has been following development at Fort Ord since the 1990's when we sued on deficiencies in the Environmental Impact Report and reached a settlement agreement. Since then, we have several times had to retain attorneys to defend our agreement in order to keep environmental controls in place.

The Applicant seeks a project which proposes to construct Monterey Downs, a racetrack and other equestrian use facility, 1280 dwelling units (detached single-family and multi-family), a mix of commercial, office and hotel uses and more. The City of Seaside has circulated a document describing the project as likely to have significant impacts to aesthetics, air quality, loss of coast live oak and landmark coast live oak (some estimate a loss of over 40,000 trees), greenhouse gas emissions, increased traffic and dwindling water supplies. The documents can be viewed on the City website at:

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