The Watchdog Newsletter
14 November 2001

Greetings SOFAR Supporters and Happy Fall!

Our downtown office is humming smoothly along now, thanks to Duncan’s leadership and Lynne’s cheerful and attentive efforts. Stop by if you’re downtown (440 11th Avenue) and say hello!

Star Party

Thanks to all who came to our Star Party on October 22nd. Attendees were treated to an outstanding autumn evening at the observatory on Mount Laguna, and shared poetry, music, good food, old and new friends, and, of course millions of brilliant stars! Many said this was one of our best events yet! Gracious thanks to all who volunteered their time and energy to make this event a success. And if you didn’t make it this year, make sure you come next time!

Regional Planning

SOFAR continues to weigh in on the proposal to reform regional governance in San Diego. Even though the legislature didn’t forward RGEC’s recommendations related to governance (see Watchdog August 31st), SOFAR is still promoting the enactment of a regional plan prior to governmental reorganization. We’ve sent dozens of letters to our local legislative officials in hopes of receiving their support. SOFAR maintains that new forms of government merely postpone the critical need for a region-wide land use plan implementation. We urge you to let your local elected officials know that you support a regional plan, too. Please click to for a very complete listing of local and national political contacts.

Volunteer Help Needed

Help contribute to the most successful activist group in San Diego—SOFAR needs help maintaining its project database. This is an on-going assignment that helps us to continue our role as watchdog of San Diego’s backcountry. We need a volunteer who is available every week to coordinate with Duncan on significant projects so we can keep our supporters and other interested persons up-to-date with the deluge of development happening in our area. Outside of the government planning departments, SOFAR is the only group maintaining such a list of significant projects online. This is an especially good opportunity for planning students or others interested in learning more about local planning. Call Duncan at 619-230-1963 if you are interested in helping us in this task.

GPA 96-03

We have good news on the battle over GPA 96-03 (200,000 acres of agricultural land). The County has officially retreated from their so-called "new EIR" by extending the time period for public comment. Decoding the County's language for the time extension means that after reading the comment letters the County realized they were headed for another legal disaster and decided to buy some more time. We hope that in the "new" time period the County will consider the option of substantially changing their project to serve the public good instead of trying to create new ways to get around an illegal project! Indeed, the County is treading on thin ice in trying to resubmit the very same project that thus far has failed three times to meet legal standards. Stay tuned for another breakthrough.

Thank you for your continued support!

SOFAR is a membership-based watchdog group committed to defending the San Diego backcountry against Urban Sprawl & working toward the adoption and implementation of a plan to preserve rural resources and revitalize our urban areas.

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