Pictured, a conceptual drawing of an affordable housing project located on a large city parking lot.
Like other cities across the Monterey Peninsula, the City of Pacific Grove is grappling with the challenges created by high housing costs. A key goal for the city is to add affordable housing, says Mayor Bill Peake. Ideally, housing is located near work, reducing traffic and its carbon emissions and ultimately improving quality of life. Current city efforts are headed in two directions: City-sponsored affordable housing and city incentives for private development. Such a project would require a partnership with a developer, with the city providing land, water, and possibly funding. The other effort, city incentives, involves new regulations such as an inclusionary housing ordinance and loosening accessory dwelling unit restrictions. The inclusionary housing ordinance would encourage higher housing densities to make adding affordable housing units cost-neutral for private developers. As an MBEP member, the City of Pacific Grove is working in partnership with MBEP to achieve those affordable housing goals.
Another key goal for the City of Pacific Grove is to reduce single-use plastics as much as possible, says Peake. “Our community has a long-standing desire to improve our environment and keep the bay pristine,” he said. “The City’s environmental program manager is working with the city’s Beautification and Natural Resources Committee to develop new regulations to move us in the direction of eliminating single-use plastics in retail businesses, particularly for food containers. Other community organizations are partnering with the city in this effort: The Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce, Sustainable Pacific Grove, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey Regional Waste Management District and the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History.”
The goal will require a dedicated, longterm coordinated effort by businesses and residents to make it work, says Peake, but there is significant support throughout the community to make it succeed.