Posts Tagged ‘resources’
After 3 contentious days of public testimony on the County General Plan update, the controversial land use plan is now squarely in the lap of the Board of Supervisors. Hundreds of people – mostly in opposition – spoke during the public hearing on issues ranging from the down zoning of 400,000 acres of private property to the lack of clarity on whether clustering will be permitted by community groups. Clustering is an essential component to the plan’s vision to direct future growth in the unincorporated area closer to existing towns and infrastructure. Following public testimony, the Supervisors raised numerous questions and concerns to staff involving ground water availability, fire safety and spot zoning. Staff was directed to post responses to each concern raised during the testimony on the county’s website no later than January 4, 2011. The next official hearing on the General Plan update is scheduled for February 9, 2011.
The Solana Beach City Council voted to continue its hearing on whether to increase Inclusionary Zoning fees and requirements on new home construction. Responding to concerns raised by the BIA, the council voted unanimously to push the hearing to January 12, 2011 rather than adopt an ordinance that would result in a regulatory ‘double dip.’ The proposed ordinance would have required homebuilders to still pay the city’s in-lieu fee of up to $35,000 per unit even if the project is building low income units on site as part of the state’s affordable housing density bonus program. The state Department on Housing and Community Development requires local cities to provide density bonuses for projects that build low income housing but Solana Beach maintains that still does not satisfy their local ordinance
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.