In 1978 the Carmel Valley Village Improvement Committee was formed by a small group of local residents to influence Village direction, and to preserve its beauty, charm and rustic lifestyle.
Over the past 38 years CVVIC has created the Welcome Garden at the Village entrance, built a network of pedestrian pathways, provided rustic outdoor lighting fixtures, and fought for utilities to be placed underground throughout the Village. Trash pickup, and maintenance of the gardens and pathways is all provided by the efforts of CVVIC.
In 1995, CVVIC purchased a 1.44-acre parcel of land east of the Carmel Valley Community Park that was deeded to the Carmel Valley Park District for public use. This open space also houses the Carmel Valley History Center.
We represent the Village at the Carmel Valley Blue Ribbon Road Committee addressing Village safety, and we provide rent and upkeep for the Sheriff’s Community Field Office located at the Park Activity House.
CVVIC depends on assistance from our community to help us provide safety improvements, and to maintain the beautiful gardens and pathways that take you through our Village.
Click below to see what CVVIC has accomplished over the past 38 years:
2016: Pathway Safety Project
Many years ago, CVVIC built a retaining wall in front of the Little European Inn. Because a pathway was needed to walk from Pilot Road to Kasey’s, the hill was cut and we widened the pathway back to the County line. The retaining wall was necessary to keep it clear of eroding dirt and provide a visual line of sight so people would not walk onto Carmel Valley Road.
By 2016, the wall was in a state of disrepair. It was difficult to see how to get from the pathway from Pilot, past the Inn’s driveway and then onto the designated pathway in front of the Inn. Once again the pathway was cut back to the County line and a retaining wall built to keep the pathway clear and allow drivers to see pedestrians.
2016: Welcome Garden Redo
At the beginning of 2016, CVVIC relandscaped and refreshed the Welcome Garden, including repainting the beloved sign.
2015: New Sheriff’s CFO
At the end of 2015, we moved the Sheriff’s deputies’ office to the Activity Building in the Community Park on Ford Road, a much more central, visible location.
2015: New Pathway, New Barrels, Refreshed Sign
CVVIC extended its pathway system to Via Contenta, replaced aging wine barrels with new ones, worked with the Park District to obtain recycling containers to go with the trash containers, and refreshed the sign in the Welcome Garden.
2014: Sheriff’s CFO Moves to New Location
With a savings of $5400/year (and a facility that the deputies like very much), the CFO moves to the Sotheby’s building at the corner of CV/Boronda roads.
2012: Party in the Village!
CVVIC, together with the Carmel Valley Historical Society, threw the first Party in the Village! in October 2012 as a joint fundraiser, but also to build camaraderie and Village spirit.
2002: Sump Pump Relocation
CVVIC coordinated an effort among the Public Works Department, Waste Management, the Fire Department, and local property owners to re-route a sump pump system that was regularly discharging water onto Pilot Road and Delfino Place. Once re-routed into a county storm drain system, further damage to paved areas on Delfino Place and a potentially unhealthy situation were both eliminated.
2000-2013: Monterey County Sheriff’s Community Field Office
Historically, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department has had a very large territory to cover; therefore, law enforcement had not been very visible in Carmel Valley Village. To address this problem, CVVIC asked the Sheriff to establish and maintain a Community Field Office (CFO) in the Village. Because the Sheriff had no budget to do that, CVVIC stepped up and rented an office space, which it paid for and had cleaned, at an annual cost of $8,400 for many years. Read more in a Pine Cone article here (scroll to page 8 in the PDF).
1995: Community Park Addition
In 1995, CVVIC received a large bequest that it used as a down payment on a parcel of property next to the Community Park on the east side. With additional fundraising, CVVIC was able to pay off the mortgage and then grant the property to the Carmel Valley Recreation and Park District for public use. The District then allowed the Carmel Valley Historical Society to build a museum and a paved parking lot on the site. In addition, there is a large gravel area that is used annually for the Carmel Valley Fiesta as well as for storage. The Park District built much-appreciated public restrooms, as well.
1989-Today: Benches and Trash Barrels
Members of CVVIC purchased benches, which were then placed around the Village for the benefit of pedestrians. The following year, CVVIC responded to a trash problem by placing wine barrels, donated by a local winery, around the Village as trashcans. CVVIC maintains and empties these regularly.
1989: Ford Road/Carmel Valley Road Intersection
CVVIC dealt with a serious erosion problem at this intersection by stabilizing the area and supporting the pathway above it. Following a traffic fatality here, CVVIC worked with the Public Works department to reduce a berm that caused poor visibility to drivers.
1989-Today: Welcome Garden
The beautiful garden at the western edge of the Village includes a carved wooden sign, grape trellises, handmade wooden benches, beautiful flowers, and wine barrel trash receptacles. Local clubs, such as Rotary and Kiwanis, display their signs here, as well. CVVIC maintains this garden, as well as other planted areas throughout the Village, at a cost of about $2,000 per year.
1988-Today: Pedestrian Pathways
Since 1988, CVVIC has been creating–from scratch and solely from donations-pedestrian pathways that meander through the Village, providing safe passage for pedestrians while preserving the rural nature of the Village. (No urban sidewalk and gutters here!) The pathways stretch from Rippling River on the east to the Community Center on the west end of the Village and cost tens of thousands of dollars to install and maintain. In 2013 alone, CVVIC spent almost $10,000 to repair existing pathways.
CVVIC is currently raising funds to extend the pathways from Tularcitos School along Via Contenta, thereby encircling the Village with pathways and giving children a safer way to walk to and from school. Future projects may include pathways to Rosie’s Bridge, to reach the Little League Field off Paso Hondo, and possibly reach all the way to Garland Park.
1982-1989: Swartz Park and the Gaslight
CVVIC maintained this tiny jewel of a pocket park, located at the northeast corner of El Caminito and Carmel Valley roads, until the Carmel Valley Recreation and Parks District took over its maintenance. CVVIC successfully preserved the gaslight that is part of this park (near what is now the Bernardus tasting room, which used to house a Bank of America branch) and that maintains a connection with the history of the Village.
The plaque at the base of the gaslight reads: “This lamp was lighted on February 7, 1968 to commemorate the bringing of natural gas to the Carmel Valley Village area by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.”
1980’s-Today: Utility Undergrounding
CVVIC’s first project was an 8-year-long collaboration with Monterey County and PG&E to underground utility wires in the Village. Compare these two photos, taken from the same spot, looking west toward the wire-filled view, and east toward the area with undergrounded utilities.
In 2013, CVVIC worked with Public Works to secure public funding that will continue the undergrounding from the western edge of the village to Garland Park, creating a more scenic approach to the Village. As of summer 2013, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the project. Work won’t begin for some time and is slated to be completed by 2020.
1980’s: Rustic Lampposts
CVVIC was instrumental in converting the existing, very urban feeling “cobra head” streetlights to today’s wooden, low-watt lanterns. These fixtures were installed in coordination with local businesses in an effort to create a more rustic atmosphere, while maintaining safety at night. Unfortunately, in 2012 PG&E informed CVVIC that the wooden poles must be replaced with poles from PG&E’s existing, approved inventory; CVVIC is working with our County supervisor and PG&E to reach a mutually satisfactory solution.
Who is CVVIC?
Please send us a note introducing yourself and letting us know how you would like to help – either by contributing labor or materials for a specific project, or volunteering your time on a regular basis. We’d love to have you join us!
Kristin Setliff Blackwell
Marj Ingram Viales