WATSONVILLE -- How's the Pajaro Valley's 10-year-old compromise on urban growth going?
A progress report, released Friday by Action Pajaro Valley, the nonprofit that helped broker a deal to balance the housing and jobs needs of Watsonville with the desire to preserve the environment and farming, reveals mixed results.
The 143-page report also includes a hefty addendum filled with demographic, housing and land-use data.
"Action Pajaro Valley is looking inward, looking backward and looking forward, looking in all these directions to look at what worked, what didn't work and what is our next step," said Lisa Dobbins, executive director of Action Pajaro Valley .
The report comes as Watsonville eyes modifying one of the group's signature successes: Measure U, a 2002 voter-approved initiative that detailed where the city could grow.
A controversial proposal to expand the approved boundaries to include 80 acres of farmland near the Riverside Drive interchange with Highway 1 is set to come before Watsonville voters by November 2014.
The report highlights several achievements. Among them:
But not all objectives have been met. Though annexed, industrial jobs have not
The intensity of development near Buena Vista Road and Atkinson Lane -- sites set aside as future growth areas by the Action Pajaro Valley participants -- continues to generate disputes.
Among the lessons learned, the report acknowledges, is that though a diverse group of stakeholders worked on the plan, the engagement of neighbors most affected by decisions was "insufficient."
Also more attention should have been paid to economic and technical feasibility of plans.
"Just annexing a property does not assure development will work," the report notes. "Assumptions about development potential should be tested for financial viability; otherwise plans might be little more than wishful thinking."
Follow Sentinel reporter Donna Jones on Twitter at Twitter.com/DonnaJonesSCS