Posts Tagged ‘Clustering’
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors took a major step forward toward the final passage of its general plan update. Land owners, the business community and property rights advocates have been dueling with County staff for 13 years over the plan that would direct future growth closer to existing towns and infrastructure and leave vast portions of the back country downzoned.
The day-long hearing had the Supervisors reviewing zoning on a parcel by parcel basis as well as a laundry list of policies that will guide the implementation of the new general plan. The BIA successfully pursued significant policy changes needed to prevent regulatory conflicts throughout to plan, however, backcounty property owners berated the Supervisors for agreeing to downzones as low as one unit on 80 acres. The Farm Bureau challenged the county’s financial plan to provide compensation for farmers who say they will lose property value as a consequence of the downzoning.
At the end of the day, the Supervisors directed staff to continue to speak with landowners who dispute the zoning designations being placed on their land and to return on August 3rd with the necessary documents for final consideration of the general plan update.
After two day-long hearings on the proposed update of the County’s General Plan, the Board of Supervisors announced that a final decision will not come before late January or early February. The General Plan update, now into it’s 13th year, is designed to focus future development closer to existing towns and infrastructure but the concept has brought the wrath of backcounty property owners who object to the downzoning of over 400,000 acres as a means to push future growth inward.
Opposition to the plan swelled as nearly 200 people testified against the plan for a host of reasons with many saying the county government was going to far and others saying they weren’t going far enough. The parade of opponents left many Supervisors concerned with the plan and they want county staff to explain many of the issues that were brought up during the testimony before they make a final decision.
The BIA continued its opposition because of multiple conflicts within the plan that would impede the vision the county wants from actually being built. Foremost is the ability of community plans to impose restrictions or ban clustered projects despite the fact that clustering is a main objective of the new general plan.
The BIA is also opposed to the tight restrictions placed on future amendments to the General Plan after it is adopted. The industry considers the restrictions punitive with the intent of making GPAs financially infeasible resulting in a de facto moratorium.
The requirement that property owners set aside nearly 90% of their land as open space as mandatory condition of project approval also met with stiff opposition. Property owners would also be required to pay for the maintenance of the dedicated open space in perpetuity. Such requirements would make most projects financially infeasible.
The BIA continues to work with a broad coalition of property owners and business groups to seeks changes to the General Plan update before it is adopted.
Testimony continues on December 8th.