Information and Comment Page

Why A Pogonip Website?

The Monterey Bay Conservancy provides this website as a public service to heighten awareness about critical community resource issues with a focus on the Monterey Bay Area's severe groundwater overuse and, further, as a resource for those wishing to know more about the past, and perhaps participate in the present and future of Pogonip. The public's input is welcome on this website.

The Monterey Bay Conservancy (incorporated as the Pogonip Foundation, Inc.) is a California incorporated IRC 501(c)3 public benefit nonprofit organization founded on the following objectives, below.

Your tax deductible contributions, your interest in our future, your increased awareness about our water predicament, and your support are needed to further our efforts and are appreciated. These can be directed to our offices located at 501 Mission Street, Santa Cruz, California, 95060. Please feel free to contact us anytime concerning our activities and your ideas, your reactions, and your concerns by phone to (831) 429-4009 or 476-7662 or by email to

The Monterey Bay Conservancy's mission is to heighten awareness about our regional water situation and to assist government and our community in the establishment and maintenance of a socio/economically responsible and self sustaining use of all our regional water resources, with a focus on the self sustainable use of the Monterey Bay Area's and Santa Cruz's vital and seriously abused ground water.

How Do I Contact You?

You can e-mail us, call/fax us at (831) 479-4009, and mail us @501 Mission Street, Santa Cruz, California, 95060. Send your e-mail now!

Letters and Comments

Letter of April 8, 1998 from Douglas Deitch (without exhibits)
501 Mission Street
Santa Cruz, California, 95060
(408) 476-7662

Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department
ATTN: Ms. Susan Harris
323 Church Street
Santa Cruz, California,95060
Fax 458-2642

Re: Comments on Pogonip DEIR

Dear Sirs,

Below, please find my comments on the Pogonip Draft EIR

I. No Extension of Urban Services

The Master Plan and DEIR contemplate an unnecessary and improper extension of urban services to Pogonip (i.e water and sewer) which will be growth/use intensity inducing and ultimately and irretrievably disruptive to the cultural landscape on Pogonip. This extension of urban services into a natural/open space/greenbelt area is further counter to General Plan Goals, Policies, and Objectives contained specifically in CD1.3.2 and L 3, and elsewhere in the Plan.

The Master Plan should instead require that all activities conducted on the largest Open Space/Natural Area in the city acquired with CALPAW funds for these specific purposes will be serviced by available on-site and self sustainable resources (as they always traditionally have been) in keeping with the legislative intent and purposes and provisions of the General Plan, California Public Resources Code Sections 5902(k), 5905, and 5907(a)(L) and other provisions of the California Wildlife, Coastal, and Park Land Conservation Act, and the terms and intent of the State Parks Operating Agreement.

The City of Santa Cruz must make exceedingly prudent use of its limited and precious water resources. The water supply situation in the city and county can most accurately be described as being in a crisis state. In any new development (particularly one such as replacing a natural greenbelt grassland area with a new water intensive use, as the Homeless Garden Project aspires to do), self sustainable use of on site resources should be incorporated into the project as at the least a conditional first priority. However, in spite of the environmentally conscious and natural/organic orientation of the garden project (and their probable desire to utilize on site, self sustainable water), there is no analysis or discussion of the adequacy or possibility of on site services.

The new garden development anticipates using around 15 acre feet per year. The DEIR indicates a consistent yearly flow in Pogonip Creek (for the period indicated) of about .5 c/f/s, which extrapolates to a daily yield of around one acre foot per day. This indicates a potential for an abundant sustainable water resource which should properly be utilized to service needs on Pogonip.

The California Wildlife, Coastal, and Park Land Conservation Act defines "stewardship" as "the development and implementation of major programs for the protection, rehabilitation, restoration, and enhancement of the basic natural systems" of the properties acquired under the initiative. As noted in the DEIR, "the abundant spring flow available on site has historically served as the water source for the property" which included the water intensive uses of a golf course, pastures, polo fields, and clubhouse. This self sustaining water resource and system which has so well always served this property is such a natural system.

Properly designed and managed, the abundant naturally occurring water on the property, in conjunction with a gravity flow distribution and storage system (such as the historic reservoir/lake which is pictured in the Master Plan on page ii-additionally please see Exhibit A), can service the property's supply and fire needs, enhance the cultural landscape and historic integrity of the site, be a model of proper and responsible resource management in our natural/open space greenbelt areas, and increase wetlands habitats at the same time.

To responsibly proceed in this matter, the city's and any others' riparian and other legal rights relative to this resource and the resource's full potential should first be investigated and defined. Why this analysis has not already been undertaken in this process (nor at any other time during the ten year tenure of ownership of the city) is baffling. To mitigate any possible effects to the creek environments on site, water from the creek(s) might be extracted at the property's boundary at the creek's exit point and pumped to the storage site. Waste services can be adequately handled by natural on site septic systems (including outhouse-type toilet facilities such as are used in Nisene Marks Park) and portable toilets when a heightened demand arises.

It should be noted that the clubhouse restoration project (please see Exhibit B-POGONIP CLUBHOUSE TIMELINE), which has already been once approved by the city in 1992 (App. #90-186), was to be provided water and waste services by a new 11 g/p/m on site well (which had been specifically drilled for this purpose and is in place) and septic system (please see Exhibit C-National Testing Laboratories Water Testing Report #9570880 on new well and Exhibit D-Letter of 7/18/90 from Ray Toshitsune, R.E.H.S., County of Santa Cruz to Steve Homan, R.E.H.S. concerning new Pogonip Clubhouse septic system).

If a new development project needs extension of urban services for its needs, how can it not be considered an be an urban development? Urban development in open space/natural areas of CALPAW properties is not a proper use of the property under the operation agreement with the State of California (please see Exhibit E). The $480,000 estimated to extend water and sewer to the clubhouse essentially to serve the new demands created by the new garden project development should better be utilized to develop the on site and sustainable water and waste resources.

II. Master Plan/DEIR Compliance/Coordination With Provisions of Sale and Purchase Agreement (Cowell) and Agreement To Locate Right Of Way and Right of Way Option Agreement contained in Sale and Purchase Agreement (Eastern Access-UCSC), GB-0 Expired

There is no analysis and discussion of the status and possible effects or constraints created, if any, by the provisions of the Sale and Purchase Agreement and reversion with Cowell Foundation (through which the property was originally acquired) and/or the Agreement To Locate Right Of Way with UCSC and the Right of Way Option (concerning eastern access to UCSC through Pogonip). In that many possible routes and modalities for Eastern Access have been discussed (please see Exhibit F) and that the legal right to access across Pogonip is a legal, though perhaps maybe only a hypothetical possibility, analysis and discussion should be conducted.

Additionally, under Public Policy and Regulation (IV. A-2b), I believe that the Green Belt Overlay District (GB-0) expired in 1994.

III. Trails Alternatives

Through the lengthy, proper, and well attended public process conducted in the course of the development of the Pogonip Land Use Options Report which was adopted by council on 1/26/93 (please see Exhibit G), a community consensus was established which incorporated the concept of multi-use trails in Pogonip. However, essentially multi-use "trails" are no longer being considered at all. The alternatives now are mainly comprised of presently existent, long established, and in some cases perhaps even historic multi-use roads.

Pogonip represents a potential for a needed and viable route for purposes of bicycle access to and through UCSC from Santa Cruz's urban center. As a commute cyclist and owner for many years of the office building located at the corner of Mission/King/Union Streets, I can personally attest to the high speed and volume of traffic, high accident and violation rate, and inadequacy of safe bike lanes. The current bike route from UCSC which goes down High Street to King Street and then Mission Street is a dangerous route.

To address serious and real health and safety issues presented by the other aforementioned bike route, a reasonable, safe, minimal and non obtrusive year round bicycle commute access through Pogonip to UCSC on an already existing road surface/route for UCSC students, employees, and visitors should be established. The new "Connector Trail" at the top of Pogonip and UCSC cannot serve this function as one would be required to go to the top of UCSC to end up way up Highway 9 via Rincon. To address and mitigate health, safety, and environmental concerns, such a route might be designated as an access with either prioritized or exclusive bicycle use. UCSC's concerns about this route's exit point on Coolidge Drive can be easily addressed by appropriate traffic control devices. In any event, speed control on all fire road surfaces should be controlled with earthen speed bumps.


Douglas Deitch

Letter of March 16, 1998 from Cathy Puccinelli
335 Golf Club Drive, Santa Cruz

Fight for What You Love

Dear Reader,

Pogonip was purchased by citizens with the intent to preserve a pristine undeveloped environment of natural beauty. The community vision was to preserve this land with its view, rolling and sweeping across uplands and lowlands, green belting our City.

A draft Master Plan has been released by the City that will change the face of Pogonip forever. The development of Pogonip will elicit controversy from the environmental preservationists and the politically charged Homeless Garden Project and Campground advocates. This letter is written to inform all of you who are enjoying Pogonip that now is the time to speak out.

The Homeless Garden Project would entail the complete development of all the Lower Meadows, expanding sewer and plumbing, outdoor lighting (III-13 eir). Expanded parking (30 and 45 car lots), and turnouts every 400 feet would encourage vehicular traffic far exceeding any traffic experienced in the past umpteen years (refer to Master Plan 2-10).

The Project proposes two locations of buildings: a 1500 sq.ft. multi-purpose building for kitchen/bathroom/offices, 2800 sq.ft. of greenhouses (two at 20x70) and some 500 sq.ft. storage shed buildings. The plan requests some exterior lighting for security purposes at the Garden Center (Master Plan 2-10). From the trestle to the existing park gate, Golf Club Drive would be expanded to 28 feet in width creating a super park access and maintenance road (see draft eirIV.G16-17). This lovely old rodd with its sweeping vistas would disappear forever.

The meadows and terraces are for the kite hawks to hunt, coyotes to prowl, and humans to marvel. Although we may be sympathetic to the Garden Project, Pogonip is not the appropriate site. Pogonip is not agricultural land. The garden project does not preserve land; instead, it creates environmental disturbance, initially and ongoing. Pogonip was not intended to be for a project, self-managed by a small, select, politically vocal group heralding good intentions.

The ambitious Homeless Garden Project does not conform with the preservation of Pogonip. Any break of the ground to row crop is not in keeping with the intent and effort of preserving this open space. To disturb this land in order to establish a minor agricultural operation catering to the needs of a few is irresponsible and short sighted.

According to the draft EIR, the City considers the Homeless Garden Project a key element of the Master Plan, a key element which the draft EIR says "causes harm to equally or greater value habitat," and further states "the impact remains significant and unavoidable." The draft EIR is filled with "unavoidable significant impacts" including, but not limited to, "slope instability, major erosion damage, and hydrology problems." The draft EIR suggests another place off-site be found for the Homeless Garden Project (draft eirV-7).

Project defenders will tell you that these impacts can simply be mitigated away. Tell that to the next kite hawk you see.

Regarding the one acre campground and restroom facilities proposed for the Lower Meadow at the existing Kiosk, across from the proposed garden project, this again is another bad idea. The draft EIR notes this would increase the demand for ranger services beyond what is currently available and lists reasons why the increased need (draft eir IV.H-4). Can you guess why?

Preserve the meadows: don't spoil Pogonip. Fight for what you love. All runners in the Firecracker 10K, daily walkers and hikers speak out

'Save Pogonip'.

Call any member of the council at 429-3550. The next public meeting is Tuesday, March 31, at 7pm at City Hall. (Call 429-3206 to confirm.)


Cathy Puccinelli

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