Monterey sets eyes on waterfront renovations

Monterey >> With the majority of its sewer upgrades done, road improvements in full swing and the Conference Center set to finally be completed by the end of the year, Monterey city officials are now turning their attention to the renovation of the city’s waterfront area.

Kim Cole, the acting community development director and Acting Public Works Director Steve Wittry, say the makeover will include the entire resurfacing and realignment of the waterfront parking lot, the relocation of the trash compactor from the end of Wharf 1 to the parking area, improvements to the dry boat storage area and construction of a new restroom next to the city harbor master’s office.

Cole pointed out some of the conceptual lay-outs are still in process, while Wittry noted how involved making changes to a waterfront area can be. Some parts of the plan are further along than others, Wittry said.

“There are challenges any time you’re dealing with projects near the water,” said Wittry, noting that a waterfront plan takes longer to plan and complete because of both the public and environmental processes involved.

Late in 2009, City Council directed staff to develop a long-term, visionary master plan for the waterfront area.

Through collaboration between city staff and various boards and committees, along with public workshops and input, the plan was adopted in 2016.

It had to address the relationship of the waterfront to Custom House Plaza, the Conference Center and the downtown area in terms of parking and mobility and address the potential side effects of coastal erosion and sea level rise.

The plan would also serve as an implementation tool for the General Plan and Local Coastal Land Use Plan, replacing all existing land use documents that address the area bordered by the Coast Guard pier to the west, Sloat Avenue to the east, Del Monte Avenue to the south and the north end of the harbor to the north.

Wittry said currently it’s the waterfront parking lot that is the portion furthest along. It’s estimated to cost more than $1 million and to be done by next summer.

“In the center from the causeway towards the harbor master’s office, there will be a walkway and it will be fully landscaped,” Wittry said. “It will give it a much more open look.”

Cole said the relocation of the trash compactor will relieve the congestion of garbage trucks on collection day.

According to Wittry, the new facility is estimated to cost $500,000 and will be away from the water and closer to the Lighthouse tunnel. Cole said it will include three sections — one for regular trash, one for recyclables and one part for what’s called “organics diversion.”


“You’re going to see this issue of ‘organics diversion’ come up more and more in the future.” said Cole. “All restaurants will be complying with more stringent state regulations when it comes to food scraps and sending them to the landfill.”

She also said the city plans to improve the existing boatyard at its location on Figueroa Street.

“There was a lot of reasoning to locate the boatyard there in the long term and aesthetically the city really wants to improve that area,” said Cole.

Wittry said the city is still of examining the feasibility of an additional restroom. Its construction will cost approximately $250,000.

“It may need additional money and may change as we get further into the design process,” he said. “Funding for whole waterfront plan – it’s an expensive process.”

Overall, revamping the city’s waterfront area is an endeavor that Wittry said is very much underway, noting the parking lot is in final stages of environmental review before it goes to the Coastal Commission.

“The parking lot alignment is the farthest along with the goal to get it done by summer 2018,” said Wittry, who noted that his crew is also aiming to get the trash compactor installed before summer. The restroom design is scheduled to be completed by the spring of 2018.

Carly Mayberry can be reached at 831-726-4363.

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