The Watchdog Newsletter
29 November 2000


The County is holding a series of public hearings regarding GP 2020. Two previous Planning Commission hearings were held the 13 and 27 November 2000. The next Planning Commission hearing is scheduled for Friday, 1 December 2000. The hearing will be held at the Scottish Rite Center (1815 Camino del Rio South, Mission Valley) at 9 am. It is expected that the Planning Commission will make its formal recommendations at this hearing. The Board of Supervisors has scheduled its hearing for 10 January 2001.
The private property forces have joined in the fray. They have teamed up with development, building industry, and real estate interests and formed a group called Save Our Land Values. The Farm Bureau is recommending its members call them and get involved.
SOFAR has taken the position that the County’s plan is upside down. First, we should plan for our county’s precious natural resources. Then, we should plan how to best place the people according to Smart Growth principles. SOFAR’ s position is supported by the San Diego and Palomar Audubon Societies, the Mountain Defense League, and Back Country Coalition.


The Ramona Community Planning Group (RCPG) has twice been successful in fighting the clustered golf course project planned for Cumming Ranch in west-end Ramona. This 685-acre rolling ranchland is part of the Highland Valley area of grasslands that a local Ramona group is actively trying to protect and acquire as a wildlife preserve.


latest win was at the Planning Commission. They argued that the project does not meet the minimum number of Board of Supervisors’ Policy I-63 criteria for a General Plan Amendment (GPA). A GPA would be required for clustering the houses on less than the minimum lot size required by Ramona’s Community Plan.


The tentative map for this project involving 9 dwelling units on 43 acres expired last July. The property is native landscape with steep slopes and riparian area. It is located between the San Pasqual Reservation and the Live Oak Ranch Specific Planning Area (SPA) in Valley Center.
The tentative map should never have been approved in the first place. Under proper planning and conservation biology tenets, this property should be used as a compatible-use area to buffer the natural wildlife areas of the Reservation from the enormous impacts of the neighboring SPA.
The proponent, the owner of the Live Oak Ranch SPA, has applied for renewal of the map. The County plans to process the application at an administrative rather than public hearing. Public comments are due by 4 December 2000. This appears to be an attempt by the County to remove public participation from the decision-making process in order to placate development interests.
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