Monterey Downs - Horse Park Development:
The Monterey Downs development is currently opposed. ForU is currently collecting additional information to provide to you.
It is a policy of Fort Ord Rec Users to organize and lobby against public or private development inconsistent with our mission to preserve and enhance recreation use and the natural habitat of the former Fort Ord. Consistent with this policy, constituents of Fort Ord Rec Users appeared and addressed the Board of Supervisors in public comment on July 26, 2011. Multiple speakers expressed opposition to the closed session “negotiations” of a “Development and Disposition Agreement” between the County Redevelopment Agency and Monterey Downs, LLC, which were to occur immediately thereafter.
Opposition to the County’s closed session negotiations were premised on three grounds:
Monterey Downs was described in a May 11, 2010, article in the Monterey Herald as a 450-acre, mixed-use development, including a 1-mile training track and 730 single-family homes. The Herald article reports that plan includes: the very large 1-mile training track and horse-training facility; a "pedestrian village" with commercial space, offices, 400 apartments and a 200-room hotel; a 6,500-seat covered arena; a horse park on 90 acres with outdoor arenas, horse stalls, a Grand-Prix-sized field, a visitor center, veterinarian clinic, and 26 private, 2-acre yards; public horse stables with about 100 rental stalls; about 360 single-family homes on county land that would be served by fenced horse trails leading to the horse park and back country trails on Bureau of Land Management land; another 370 homes are planned for 50 acres within the city of Seaside, which also would connect to horse-activity areas.
On August 9, 2011, a more formal presentation was made by Monterey Downs LLC to the Fort Ord Subcommittee of the Board of Supervisors. The presentation was well attended by the forU members. The description significantly differed in many aspects from the above description. With the planned closing of Golden Gate Fields in Alameda County and the previously closed horse betting/race facility in San Mateo County, Brian Boudreau identified the demand for his planned 1 mile horse-training track and facility to serve as a venue for public horse races. The plans differed in many ways from what was previously described.
There has been no disclosure of economic viability by the developer or the County.
Monterey Downs, LLC. is led by Brian Boudreau, president of Malibu Valley Farms in Calabasas, a self-described developer who is very active in the horse racing world. Other principals include Matt Osgood, president of Vintage Communities in Orange County, and David Chang of CCL Holdings, also of Orange County.
If approved, the Monterey Downs development will span former Fort Ord lands currently owned by the City of Seaside and Monterey County Redevelopment Agency.
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a. LACK OF DISCLOSURE: forU has been unable to review development plans proposed for Parker Flats by Monterey Downs, LLC, and is unable to provide information to its constituents of the developers’ proposed habitat preservation and enhancement of recreational use. The size of the project and the current mixed-use is presumed to be inconsistent with the forU mission.
b. LACK OF TRANSPARENCY: forU is in favor of public input prior to closed session negotiations of price and terms.
c. LACK OF AUTHORITY: forU opposes any continuation of planning efforts or project approvals by the Monterey County Redevelopment Agency as such acts are prohibited by enactment of Assembly Bill 26 into law in 2011. While legislation provides a means for Monterey County to reaffirm RDA authority to act, such remedial measures have not occurred.