The Watchdog Newsletter
26 January 2001

General Plan 2020 Update

The Board of Supervisors, bowing to special interests who cried foul over the draft GP 2020 plan, voted to scrap the draft General Plan revision that represents 2 years of work, the input of the twenty-six affected communities, and over one million dollars.The Board directed DPLU to draft a new revision that will be guided by the input of a committee heavily stacked with development and special interests including the Farm Bureau.
Draft Grading Ordinance Removes Agricultural Exemptio
The County of San Diego is in the process of adopting a new grading ordinance that will remove the agricultural exemption that currently exists regarding grading permits for agricultural land.This agricultural exemption has been used by numerous developers as a thinly veiled excuse to destroy precious backcountry sensitive habitats as a prelude to later filing a map for subdivision of agricultural land.The new grading ordinance will go before the Board of Supervisors on 7 February 2001.The County argued in Superior Court during the hearing regarding GPA 96-03 that requiring these agricultural lands to be subject to a grading ordinance would be onerous and too costly to farmers. The court found the County’s excuses inadequate. Now, in a scant few weeks time, the County has drafted just such an ordinance. This grading ordinance revision coincidentally precedes the County’s approaching appeal of GPA 96-03. Interesting to note that the Farm Bureau is not fighting this new grading ordinance that would apply to agricultural lands. At the same time, interesting that they have been allotted a slot on the new steering committee for GP 2020. Yet another example of the special relationship the Farm Bureau has with the County.
435 acres of prime citrus grove and native habitat in Valley Center are proposed for subdividing into 169 lots. No mitigation is offered for the loss of this productive agricultural operation since the developer argues that the two-acre house sites will retain many of the citrus trees.
Last But Not Least…
Happy Chinese New Year! We begin the Year of the Snake; snakes are revered by the Chinese as symbols of wisdom. May the next year be one of wise action!
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