Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Science & Environmental Policy


he population of the Monterey peninsula is increasing. Developers are looking to expand housing and other commercial and public building into previously undeveloped areas. Because faults cut through the peninsula and surrounding areas, the possibility of building on potentially seismically hazardous areas increases as the population expands. Upon examination of the current Monterey County policies on building and planning I found those policies did not fully reflect the current scientific knowledge about active faults in the region. The Monterey County General Area Plan is currently being revised as a normal process of revising the Plan every 20 years. The last Plan was written in 1982. However the County does not have a full time geologist working on the Monterey County General Plan update. Economics and workload are the determining factors for using a consultant versus a full time county employee. The known faults that were deemed inactive by the State Geologist at the time of the last Plan are generally accepted to be active by geologists who have mapped the region both before and after the implementation of the 1982 Greater Monterey Peninsula Area Plan (Greater Monterey Peninsula Area Plan, 1982). Although the State encourages cities and counties to be more stringent in their zoning than what is mandated as the minima by the Legislature, Monterey County has not created policies that are more conservative than the State's. The most current geological studies of the area have identified more than a single fault with the potential to inflict severe loss of life and property. It is uncertain to what extent these findings will be implemented in the current revision of the Monterey County General Area Plan.


Capstone Project (B.S.) Earth Systems Science & Policy Institute