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Water Restriction in Place Countywide

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Stephen Goldfarb July 18, 2014 at 11:07 AM
The irony is that had the city acted in conformity to the MSCP, it would have obtained 1694 acresRead Moreat no cost. With sound planning and clustering, development could have occurred on 565 acres. The 1694 acres of free conservation land would have allowed ample land to be added to Mission Trails Regional Park. The city instead chose to act by stealth to acquire all of the East Elliott property. The result is that the city had to pay for all of a private owner's property. The city has acquired or owns about 736 acres. The purchase price has ranged from about $19,000 an acre (in 2002) to $35,000 an acre. If we took the midpoint of that, $27,000, gives an estimate that the city has spent about $19.8 million dollars. If the city allowed development, as is the intent and purpose of the MSCP, it would have acquired 1694 acres at no cost. This is far greater than the land it acquired by its "plan" to restrict owner development so it could buy the private property to expand the park.
Stephen Goldfarb July 18, 2014 at 11:49 AM
The irony is that had the city acted in conformity to the MSCP, it would have obtained 1694 acresRead Moreat no cost. With sound planning and clustering, development could have occurred on 565 acres. The 1694 acres of free conservation land would have allowed ample land to be added to Mission Trails Regional Park. The city instead chose to act by stealth to acquire all of the East Elliott property. The result is that the city had to pay for all of a private owner's property. The city has acquired or owns about 736 acres. The purchase price has ranged from about $19,000 an acre (in 2002) to $35,000 an acre. If we took the midpoint, $27,000, leads to an estimate that the city has spent about $19.8 million dollars. If the city allowed development, as is the intent and purpose of the MSCP, the 1694 acres it would have acquired at no cost is far greater than the land it acquired by its "plan" to restrict owner development so it could buy the private property to expand the park. Stephen Goldfarb
Stephen Goldfarb July 22, 2014 at 12:36 AM
The planners of federal Habitat Conservation Plans, and in turn the MSCP, recognized theRead Morepossibility that there could be conflicts between allowed development and conservationists. They therefore built into the regulations protections for private development. The MSCP says in Section 6.2.3 (Development), for example, "The development of the MSCP Plan has been guided by the fundamental principle that private property rights shall be respected." That principle should provide powerful guidance to the city. But it was not to be for those who are motivated to find a means to take over private owners' land. That is the context in which the city's designating the bulk of East Elliott to open space, ignoring the existing very low density zoning, and then buying land at low valuations should be evaluated. Stephen Goldfarb
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