By Joanne Nathan
Posted November 24, 2003
When you hear terms like, “Community Plans”, “Town Plans” and “Village Plans”… take notice and take action!
Santa Cruz County, CA – Most of us would appreciate living in affordable, well-designed communities with safe and beautiful places to ride bicycles, to jog, to walk, to shop, to play, to dine and to work. However, many community plans that promise to deliver these things actually have two purposes. One is the ostensible purpose of making a community plan acceptable to people and the other – the real purpose – is designed to take away personal choice and usher in a new form of governance.
Community Plans are about creating Sustainable Communities. At first blush, the words sound good, but the ideas behind them are not. Sustainable Communities are based on a new set of values where, for example, nature takes precedence over man and where non-elected council members decide what we can and cannot do.
Are Community Plans Really a Product of the Community?
Current Santa Cruz County 2nd District Supervisor Ellen Pirie claims that plans in her district – The Seacliff Village Plan, the Corralitos Valley Community Plan and the Aptos Village Plan – are derived from each community. But this is not true. All three plans receive support from organizations outside their respective communities and are fueled by the Santa Cruz County Planning Department and other government agencies.
Some neighborhood residents are recruited to join newly forming planning committees, and there may be valid issues that need to be addressed, but selective community presence in name and/or participation is designed to garner the appearance of broad community support for a plan that has been predetermined – and not fully revealed.
The plans that neighborhoods actually end up with are not local and they are not popularly driven. All of the plans in Supervisor Pirie’s district have a predetermined outcome and follow guidelines similar to those presented in “The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide – An Introduction to Sustainable Development Planning” put out by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) . ICLEI is a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Toronto, Canada.
Agenda 21 is a world-wide blueprint for implementing Sustainable Development that is designed to control everything we do, from the cradle to the grave and the bedroom to the boardroom.
The foundational infrastructure for Sustainable Communities is created by implementing Smart Growth. Smart Growth policies are characterized by the development of rails, trails and high-density real estate, accomplished by central planners in coalition with select businesses. Under these policies, private automobile use is discouraged (taking away our freedom of mobility), residents are crammed into dense living and working conditions, and control of public utilities and natural resources is consolidated in a central authority.
The Santa Cruz County Planning Department has been implementing Smart Growth and Sustainable Development objectives through directives from Santa Cruz County Measure C – “Decade of the Environment”. Measure C was endorsed by the Supervisors in 1990 and again in November 2000 under a new name: “Environmental Principles and Policies to Guide County Government”.
A look into Agenda 21 and Measure C explains the reason for Highway 1 traffic congestion and the phenomenon of shrinking roads and insufficient parking spaces. Santa Cruz Measure C matches Agenda 21 ICLEI guidelines to create disincentives for us to drive our cars. Recommendations to eliminate personal automobile usage in exchange for mass transit are always active ingredients to Sustainable Community Campaigns.
Development of the Corralitos Valley Community Plan
The Draft Corralitos Valley Community Plan (dated February 2000) explains that the development of an area plan was addressed on September 6, 1990, during a Town Hall meeting with former 2nd District County Supervisor Robley Levy. People in the Corralitos community had gathered to discuss the county’s purchase of land for a park, allocation of grant money for water quality programs and development of a Town Plan.
“Following the September Town Hall Meeting,” the draft plan states, “the Corralitos Community received assistance from the County’s Planning Department to develop a “Valley Plan” for the Corralitos area… The county allocated $12,500 from the General Plan Update budget and arranged for the City and Regional Planning School of California State University (Cal Poly) to assist in the planning efforts for the Corralitos community.”
By 1997 the “Planning Team” included partnerships between the County of Santa Cruz Planning Department, the City of Watsonville, the Corralitos Valley Community Council (CVCC) and other groups, agencies, organizations and interested community members.
The current Chairman of the Corralitos Valley Community Plan, Daniel Mountjoy, holds a PhD in Human and Community Development from the University of California at Davis (UC Davis). He works as an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a division called the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The USDA and NRCS work diligently with other federal, state, and local government and non-government organizations (NGOs) to develop Sustainable Rural Communities that are also in step with the Agenda 21 ICLEI Planning Guidelines.
Plans Claim to Guide, Protect and Enhance the Community
Some people believe that neighborhood “plans” will help “guide”, “preserve” and “enhance” their community.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, the words “guide”, “preserve” and “enhance”? should be substituted with “control”.
Control with a Carrot and a Stick
ICLEI, the International Council, explains that since local government will never be in a position to monitor and guide the millions of daily actions of local residents, “positive and negative feedback” is a valuable tool in the development of Sustainable Communities. The establishment of clear incentives and rewards for approved behaviors and clear disincentives for what they deem to be undesirable behaviors is part of a strategic “Action” plan. Incentives can include rewards ranging from public recognition to financial rewards or rebates. Disincentives can range from simple notification of problems to the imposition of fines and regulations.
ICLEI stands for policies that are anti-constitutional and anti-human. It is no surprise that we have seen increasing regulations and arbitrary code-enforcement policies adversely affecting mountain and rural residents. Many have been driven out of their homes and forced to sacrifice their livelihoods. Agenda 21 plans include policies that make it hard for rural residents to protect themselves against fire, while simultaneously rejecting solutions to create viable water supplies.
Why is this happening?
The true objective behind Sustainable Communities and larger regional plans is to restructure government by taking clearly defined political boundaries represented by elected officials and incorporating them into larger intra-regional councils that are run by non-elected and unaccountable bureaucracy. This creates the opportunity for the formation of new councils, committees, associations, organizations, agencies, etc., that typically report to higher apex councils. This is the same governmental operating system used in the twentieth century Russia, Italy, Germany and throughout the soviet bloc. The purpose of such a defacto governing system is to “partner” government with business and gain control over the production and distribution of all resources.
Don’t be fooled.
Community Plans shift the answer of “Who decides?” from you to a coordinated but often unknown system of councils that partner with government enforcement agencies. The goal is to modify individual behavior so that people become molded into compliance to the dictates imposed by the minority-rule of elitists.
These dishonest plans have flourished in Santa Cruz County under the watch of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors. They arranged for these plans – they misled the public about these plans – and now they should make these plans go away! Now is the time for the current Board of Supervisors to abandon its destructive course and begin to administer government within constitutional boundaries.
Now is the time for all good people to start understanding the internal workings and ultimate implications of Sustainable Development/Agenda 21. Don’t be confused by Agenda 21’s “warm and fuzzy” programs including: Community Plans, Smart Growth and Sustainable Communities.
NOTES: Supervisor Ellen Pirie at the Corralitos Town Hall Meeting, Corralitos Women?s Club, August 28, 2003.  DRAFT Corralitos Valley Community Plan, County of Santa Cruz, February 2000 p. I-4.  Seacliff Village Plan Committee Supporter List (Retired Senator Henry Mello, Supervisor Ellen Pirie, Robert Switzer of Trade and Commerce Agency, Santa Cruz Environmental Council, Save our Shores, Santa Cruz Community Foundation, etc.)  Aptos Village Plan Meeting June 7, 2003 Supervisor Ellen Pirie and the County Planning Department sponsored a facilitated meeting with $10,000 paid to the consulting firm of Moore, Iacofano and Goltsman (MIG).  Pirie, Ellen, “What is Smart Growth?”, Mid County Post December 3-16, 2002.  The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Nairobi, Kenya, 1996.  Joan Peros, Geopolitical Journalist, United Nations Conferences.  Mauriello, Susan (County Administrative Officer), Letter to Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors submitting “2001-2002 Annual Environmental Progress Report for adherence to Measure C programs”, May 28, 2002.  DRAFT Corralitos Valley Community Plan, County of Santa Cruz, February 2000 p. I-4.  Ibid., p. I-4.  Ibid., p. I-5.  Revised Draft Corralitos Valley Community Plan, County of Santa Cruz, May 03, 2002.  cf. USDA Policy Statement on Sustainable Development http://www.usda.gov/da/infores/dirs/sm/9500-6.txt  Smithson, Julie Kay, Acronym Glossary, Property Rights Research, 2001.  The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide: An Introduction to Sustainable Development Planning, Section 6.4: “Community Feedback”.  What UNEP considers to be Unsustainable – Agenda 21 and Global Biodiversity Assessment Report.  cf. Revised Draft Corralitos Valley Community, May 2002 pp.5-6. for example: “[The core planning area] covers the entire 27 sq. mile area of the Corralitos-Browns Creek watersheds.”  Monmonier, Mark, How to Lie with Maps, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2nd ed., 1996. (Available for purchase through the American Planning Association)  Lively, Don, “Do we need another entity telling us how, where to live?”, Contra Costa Times, October 22, 2003.
O’Toole, Randal, The Vanishing Automobile and other Urban Myths – How Smart Growth will Harm American Cities, The Thoreau Institute, Bandon Oregon, 2001.
Hillman, Robert, Reinventing Government: Fast Bullets and Cultural Changes, A Special Report from the Murchison Chair of Free Enterprise, University of Texas at Austin, 2001.
Santa Cruz County: Local Agenda 21 – A Community Action Plan. Our Agenda for the 21st Century, The United Nations Association of Santa Cruz & ACTION Santa Cruz County, Boulder Creek, CA, September 1997.
Community Plans = Sustainable Scams by Joanne Nathan