The Cambria Vacant Parcel Assessment report:
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This report sets forth priorities for vacant parcel acquisition for the entire community of Cambria. It is a continuation of a 2007 report entitled, Cambria’s Lodge Hill Transfer of Development Credits Program: Assessment of Retired Lots and Future Acquisitions Based on Conservation Value. Both of these reports put heavy emphasis on conserving the natural habitat, open space, and particularly the Monterey Pine forest of Cambria. The Cambria Forest Management Plan, prepared by Jones and Stokes Associates (2002), states, “The importance of this tree as a world resource is unparalleled…”
A criterion was created in 2007 to effectively prioritize all vacant parcels. This report uses the same criterion, but expands it further. A list of categories was used to value each individual parcel. These categories were valued on a number scale and totaled resulting in a “conservation value”. All values were entered into a GIS database using current technology and mapped in order to visually represent the findings. GIS was also used to help answer more specific questions and analyze priority trends.
The first step to completing this assessment was to conduct a field visit to every vacant parcel and evaluate each in regard to the appropriate category. A GPS unit with ArcPad 6.0.1, a GPS software, was prepared by loading the parcel database and road shapefiles. The GPS unit was used not only for navigational purposes, but as a tool to enter the field visit findings directly into the database as well. For accuracy and efficiency reasons, only certain categories were valued by an actual field visit. Once the field data collection phase was complete, the second step was to value the parcels regarding the remaining categories.
ArcGIS 9, a GIS software, was used to analyze each parcel and enter the remaining category values. This involved selecting individual parcels or groups of similar parcels and inputting the appropriate value into the database. The third step was to total all the category values for each examined parcel to produce the “conservation value”. These parcels were then separated into three separate classes based on their “conservation score”, which effectively prioritizes the parcels into “low”, “medium”, and “high” priorities.
The findings pointed strongly towards the area of Special Project Area # 1 from the 2007report. This particular area has a high number of “high priority” parcels among a largepopulation of already conserved lots. This area is of great value and should be considered first.
In addition, there are other areas of high interest throughout the community. The chosen areas with large populations of “high priority” parcels, examined in the results section of the study, total around 173 “high priority” parcels adding up to 965,659 square feet or about 22 acres of potential land protection.