The Watchdog Newsletter
23 January 2000

Final Victory For San Diego Activists

The Planning Commission continued their hearing on Jacumba Valley Ranch from January 21, 2000 to February 18, 2000. The major issue was the lack of input from the Regional Water Quality Control Board in regards to the major use permit application for a small wastewater treatment plant for the project. This massive proposed project would put 1,048 dwelling units, a 200-room hotel, golf course, congregate care facility, and commercial area on 1,250 acres of farmland, including several hundred acres of prime soil and wetlands. This huge project would overwhelm the rural town of Jacumba and deplete their sole source of high-quality groundwater.
The Planning Commission will hear on February 4, 2000 the project applicantís appeal of a Planning & Environmental Review Board decision to require an Environmental Impact Report for the project. The hearing was rescheduled from January 21, 2000. This proposed project would subdivide 215 acres of Agricultural Preserve grazing land into 18 housing lots with 8-acre minimums. Half of Whale Mountain, a nesting site for a Golden Eagle pair, occupies the eastern portion of the project site.
The Planning Commission will hold a hearing on GPA 96-03 on March 3, 2000. This General Plan Amendment results from a successful lawsuit by SOFAR against the County for not properly administered our Agricultural Preserve (Ag 20) farmlands and open space. The Countyís preferred alternative would put 10-acre lot size minimums for subdivisions taking place within the County Water Authority, and 40-acre lot size minimums outside the CWA. SOFAR proposes 40-acre lots within the CWA, 80-acre lots outside the CWA, and 10-acre lots where it can be proven that the soil is prime. SOFARís proposal would meet the Williamson Act requirements for lot-size minimums for agricultural preserve contracts. >This state act offers property tax benefits for ranchers and farmers who agree not to subdivide their land for at least 10 years. Our Agricultural Preserve (Ag 20) lands were set up to more easily enter into Williamson Act contracts.
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