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The Lockean Project

The coming of the condos

“The coming of the condos,” Carmel Pine Cone – May 12, 2023

A four-story commercial-style condo complex could soon be towering over your single-family home. It is already happening in other cities. New laws now allow the state to take over our zoning, building, and development laws, nullify setbacks, increase building heights, ignore forest protection, and deny public approval.

Recently The Pine Cone editorial accurately explained that nowadays, it’s the developers who are the heroes, and any city that tries to protect its restrictive zoning code is a villain.

Our community is not only worried for our lifestyle, but for future global generations who would miss out on today’s timeless village if these new draconian state laws continue to erode local governance.

None of the recent laws require developers to provide new parking, water and sewer, schools, firefighters, law enforcement, parks, traffic mitigation or any other community service in exchange for the right to build. On top of that, there are no assurances of affordable housing.

Our Neighborhood Voices is a group planning a ballot measure to give authority back to each community that needs our help.

My husband and I have personally polled 11 care providers who help us with our bedridden neighbor. They work in Carmel and live in Marina and Salinas. They have all said they wouldn’t want to live here even with affordable housing, because they like living in their communities with their friends and family in larger homes.

More homes would be great, but we do not need a 1,000 percent increase in new homes for our 1 square mile.

With the cost of land, we can’t afford to build this affordable housing unless developers demolish entire commercial or residential blocks and erect ugly public housing several stories high.

Unfortunately, the state’s outrageous penalties could bankrupt Carmel for not meeting this colossal goal. Carmel has maintained a unique character by managing development, and that is why so many people from around the world come to see our exceptional village.

David O’Neil, Carmel