“The entrance to Back Ranch Road is almost a secret, where drivers duck into a cleft along a Highway 1 bluff and climb to a meadow overlooking the Pacific Ocean,” Jason Hoppin reports for The Santa Cruz Sentinel.
“You would think the highway vistas – ordered rows of artichokes and Brussels sprouts spilling over wheat-colored cliffs – cannot be topped, but the view from the meadow falsifies the idea. It is so beautiful up there it can knot your stomach,” Hoppin reports. “It is also a backdrop to what could be the next chapter in the 40-year history of North Coast development wars. On an abandoned quarry just beyond Back Ranch Road, a top Apple Inc. executive plans a dream home that some say is too expansive and too far out of place for Santa Cruz County’s North Coast. In 2010, Apple vice president Bob Mansfield and wife Andrea sought county approval to build on 45 acres covering a prominent knoll. The home would sit atop an old quarry that one neighborhood historian believes provided the asphalt to pave not only downtown’s Pacific Avenue, but San Francisco’s Market Street as well.”
Hoppin reports, “And while Bonny Doon homes are spaced far apart from one another (a feature enforced by zoning rules), that hasn’t stopped some from objecting to the scale. That has set the stage for the county to decide a series of questions: How big is too big? How do you define the character or a rural neighborhood? And how much say should one’s neighbors have over one’s home?”
“‘It just feels like, whether they’re from out of town or not or the 1 percent or not, there’s no respect for what our county has developed over the years,’ said Jonathan Wittwer, a prominent conservation attorney representing a group of concerned neighbors. Wittwer, a resident of Smith Grade, also would be a neighbor,” Hoppin reports. “And just as Wittwer is no normal neighbor, neither is Frediani. She is a fierce defender of woods, and has acted as a forestry consultant to the local Ventana Chapter of the Sierra Club, which has a reputation for taking aggressive environmental stances on everything from bicycle paths to the expansion of Highway 1, often through litigation.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: “It just feels like, whether they’re from out of town or not or the 1 percent or not…” And there you have it, the whole issue in a nutshell.
Opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got ’em, but the ones in California are often inflamed beyond recognition. Bonny Doon’s certainly got at least one massive ‘roid-encrusted rosebud. That balloonknot must sleep on a doughnut pillow.
Bob, just give up now. After spending millions and well over a decade, Steve died waiting to get his house built.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]
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