Posts Tagged ‘San Diego County General Plan’
After nearly 14 years, the County Board of Supervisors finally adopted the County General Plan Update on a 4-1 vote (with Supervisor Horn dissenting). Supervisor Pam Slater promised the industry that the GPU will save applicants time and money. As this was the industry’s major complaint as to the previous development application process and its notorious lack of any process certainty, we will be monitoring this critical aspect. Major kudos go to Matt Adams, BIA Staff Vice President, and his team of volunteers who serve on our Public Policy Committee for bringing this to a productive close. More information to follow.
After 13 years of meetings, hearings and general aggravation the County Board of Supervisors is poised to give the final approval to its General Plan update. The new county plan is the first in nearly 30 years and would direct future growth in the unincorporated area closer to existing towns and infrastructure. The BIA has been engaged in the massive revision process since its inception to ensure that it provides the necessary planning tools and zoning needed for the plan to be fully implemented.
Several key issues remain heading into next week’s hearing as back county property owners continue their strong objection to the downzoning of areas as restrictive as one home on 80 acres of land. They argue that the drastic land use change will severely impact the value of their land causing significant financial hardship. The BIA continues its drive to ensure that property owners will have access to a fair and reasonable general plan amendment process that will give property owners the right to seek a rezone of their property.
The Board of Supervisors will consider the General Plan update at its August 3rd hearing.
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.
Declaring there is no way to make everyone happy, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to push on with the update of its General Plan. The board directed county staff to meet with the nearly 200 property owners who have opposed zoning changes to their land in an effort to reach a compromise – but only if it will not result in the recirculation of the Environmental Impact Report. Most of the disputed lands are broken down into Minor, Moderate and Major categories and the board wants staff to do what it can to move Moderate and Major lands into the Minor category. If necessary the board will take up each property at a future hearing to bring the update to conclusion. The vote was a blow to back country landowners and businesses who have strongly opposed the severe downzoning of property to as little as one home on 80 acres. They say it will destroy land values and negatively impact economic growth of back county towns.
The board will next review a list of 27 policy issues that staff says could be adopted with little impact to the overall General Plan. The BIA has testified at numerous hearings that the policy changes are essential to the successful implementation of the General Plan update. That hearing is scheduled for April 13th.
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.