Pebble Beach in Monterrey Reached Agreement for Ritzy Development
For once an environmental compromise has occurred in Monterrey California where a battle over surrounding woodlands near Pebble Beach Resort is to be expanded upon with mansions and lodging. It only took 50 meetings and nearly two decades for the plan to commence but it’s finally reached an arrangement this Wednesday.
The Pebble Beach Co. owned by the infamous Clint Eastwood, Golfer Arnold Palmer, and former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth, ran into an environmental road block over their plans to develop a luxurious playground for the elite rich folks that frequent the area. The prime area of real estate that cost them $820 million in 1999 is located right along the California Coast where drivers and motorists can see the beauty of the coastal beaches and sunsets. It’s stretched out over a 17-mile long area that hugs the Pacific coastline and passes famous golf courses and mansions that the Golden state is so well known for. Surrounding the already existing Pebble Beach resort is a rare wooded area home to thousands of extremely rare Monterrey Pines. It also inhabits the endangered California red legged frog, Yadon’s piperia, and holds numerous rare species of orchids and endangered plants.
The original proposal was set to cut down nearly 18,000 pines from the Del Monte Forest and add an 18-hole golf course, driving range, luxury homes, commercial space and other amenities. The Coastal Commission rejected the plan after their staff provided a 200-page report detailing the rare and protected habitats it would destroy in the Monterrey Pine Forest. The area contains 3-4 special status species that some qualify for ESHA (Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area) on their own.
As of now, the developmental project has scaled their footprint way down. The Golf courses were out of the question as well as the driving range and equestrian center. Instead of all the fancy amenities, they will be adding 140 rooms to their existing Inn, add a 100-room hotel on an old quarry, and build 90 luxurious mansions on the scenic coast. This will result in only 6,000 trees being cut opposed to 18,000.
Moreover as part of the deal the company will have to preserve 635 acres of the native forests and create more public access ways through a 10-mile span. This means more scenic overlooks and trails throughout the Del Monte Forest.
“It’s a historic day for us, because it shows that the public sector and private sector can work together in a cooperative manner,” said Bill Perocchi, chief executive officer and part-owner of Pebble Beach Co.
Conservationists are still a little weary of the plan and hope this is the last development plan for this area. Even though they were able to come to terms it doesn’t mean that it will be the end of it. Sierra Club member Kevin Collins is a little skeptical and says that only time will tell.
So maybe not everybody got what they wanted but at least there was a little comprising on both ends. If only more environmental issues could be solved this way then the world could live a little more harmoniously.
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