Two new Coastal Commission members seen as friendlier to environment

By on Sat, August 22, 2009

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass has appointed Santa Cruz County Supervisor Mark Stone and Oceanside City Councilmember Esther Sanchez to California’s Coastal Commission.

The San Diego Union Tribune has a short profile of Esther Sanchez:

Sanchez, an attorney, has served on the Oceanside City Council since 2000. She also has worked on the planning group for a major regional habitat conservation plan and supported other environmental protection efforts.

"In ensuring development projects are consistent with the vision Californians have for their beloved coastline, the Coastal Commission should listen closely to, and be reflective of, the communities it serves," Sanchez said. "I will do my best to be a voice for all Californians in guiding responsible planning of our coast."

The Mercury News profiles Stone:

Stone, a resident of Scotts Valley, has served on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors since 2003. Previously, he was a trustee for the Scotts Valley Unified School District and maintained a private law practice. He is married with two children.

As a supervisor, Stone has always been cautious of new development and supportive of environmental programs. He was one of the leading proponents of the county’s new Commission on the Environment, a panel that has begun to address such issues as climate change and water conservation.

Stone says he sees these global issues becoming an increasing priority for the state, citing a demand for energy projects and desalination plants along the coastline.

"California is taking some different directions in respect to planning, and the Coastal Commission needs to be a part of that," he said. ...

Stone replaces 12-year incumbent Dave Potter, a Monterey County supervisor, whose last re-appointment was strongly opposed by the environmental community.

Potter’s 2007 commission vote in support of the Pebble Beach Co.‘s expansion plans are held up by environmentalists as evidence of his pro-development agenda. Potter has also received low marks in the Sierra Club’s annual scorecard.

Potter, though, says he leaves behind a legacy of fair and balanced judgment on coastal issues.

There is more about Stone and Potter at the Monterey County Herald.