Letters from the chair

Council a forum for community, wants to hear your voice

March 13, 2014 

Hip hip hooray! We have rain and we hope it doesn’t stop.

The North Coast Advisory Council has been busy conducting site visits, even in the rain, glorious rain, while I sit in my chair. Thank you, Land Use Committee. Almost all of the projects before us have passed scrutiny with well-thought-out recommendations and concerns.

The projects include: new houses, remodels and a “soldier pile” retaining wall (using vertical steel posts to support horizontal panels) retaining wall along Highway 1 north of Ragged Point.

Despite the rain, the NCAC is still concerned about additional water usage, sewage overload, drainage and our environmentally sensitive habitat area, which includes the whole town. NCAC recommendations take these factors into careful consideration, along with the needs of Cambria and San Simeon residents.

Lately, I’ve noticed our village overrun with banners, posters, flyers, sandwich boards and oversize signage. Sandwich boards violate county code, as do oversize business signs.

Tourists may find our town to be a bit tacky.

The NCAC has been so busy with construction projects, we’ve not had time to deal with code violations and clutter. Please come to the next NCAC meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, at Rabobank, 1070 Main St., and voice your opinion.

The majority of Cambria and San Simeon is made up of residents who do not depend on the tourists to make a living. They don’t have a Tourism Board or Chamber of Commerce with $250,000 a year to promote visitation. They complain quietly to their friends and neighbors and feel helpless in the face of the tourist influx. A full-time resident recently asked, “How could we retired, full-time residents be more fully represented in the Chamber of Commerce and Cambria Tourism Board deliberations?”

She questions whether profit should take precedence over the tranquility of the environment in which we have retired.

What happened to our peaceful little village? It’s gone! What can we do? In a recent Tribune letter to the editor, one longtime resident wrote about the Amgen Bike Tour coming to Cambria. She asked if we could still stop it in light of our drought.

Some residents will watch the cyclists, many will leave town, and others will hunker down in their homes to avoid the congestion.

What do you think? The NCAC is here to allow people to express their concerns, desires and hopes, no matter which side of these issues you are on. We hope to see you on March 19 or at our Community Outreach table at Cambria Farmers Market on March 14.

Claudia Harmon Worthen is chairperson of the North Coast Advisory Council. This is one of a series of columns about the North Coast Advisory Council of Cambria and San Simeon to the Monterey County line. For more, go to http://NorthCoastAdvisoryCouncil.org.

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