Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Borrego Springs - 'Rudyville' Over the Years, III

 

Last updated 4/3/2016 at 9:37am



Third part of our four part look at the hystory of 'Rudyville'.

Vol. 57, No. 18 Borrego Springs, California September 4, 2008

County issues first review of ‘Rudyville’

By Maris Brancheau

The county of San Diego’s Department of Planning and Land Use has completed its first review of initial studies for the proposed Borrego Springs Country Club Estates project known informally as Rudyville.

According to a letter dated July 16, the county has identified major project issues to be resolved and has asked the developer for additional information in seven areas, including fire protection, biological resources, archaeological reports and groundwater studies.

Developer Rudy Monica, who is working with several partners on the project, including David Davis of Carlsbad, is expected to respond to the county as part of the regular process of information requests and study updates that occur when development rights are being secured.

The county’s letter to the developer came about a week prior to a letter from the law firm Lounsbery Ferguson Altona & Peak. The law firm has been retained by neighbors of the Borrego Springs Road and Country Club Drive development. The neighbors claim the proposed project threatens the integrity of a large stand of ocotillo. (See article in Aug. 21 Borrego Sun for details on the law firm’s involvement.)

The 17-page letter written by project manager Mark Slovick of the county’s Regulatory Planning Division brings forth critical points that the developers must address in order to proceed.

“These issues may require substantial redesign of the proposed project, or, if not resolved, would result in a recommendation for project denial by DPLU,” the letter states, in part.

One particularly irksome detail to neighbors of the proposed 150-lot subdivision has been discussion of the formation of an assessment district in order to build flood control facilities that would channel storm water from Tub Canyon to the Borrego Sink while avoiding the development.

The county’s letter specifically addresses that point: “If Borrego Country Club Estates proposes the formation of a ‘Geological Hazard Abatement District’ in order to construct regional flood control facilities such as dikes, channels and debris basins, the district must be formed prior to approval of the Tentative Map.”

If the developer does not select a flood-control option that would include building new structures outside of the subdivision to divert water, the homes must be built on piers so that floods would not cause major damage, the letter states. The county wants the developer to select a single flood alternative it will propose because a list of potential alternatives is not sufficient.

The county is also calling for focused surveys of burrowing owl and flat-tailed horned lizards on the 172 acres.

Regarding the fire protection plan, the county wants the developer to widen the proposed roads in the subdivision from 24-feet wide to 32-feet wide, per public road standards.

The letter states that the project has a water-use demand of 141.6 acre-feet per year and that an equivalent amount of water must be offset in the valley so that “no net gain” in the overall extraction from the aquifer takes place.

While the developer had hoped to deviate from county road standards in order to avoid curbs, street lights and asphalt in some areas, the county’s response points out that no such exceptions exist currently for the desert region.

The county provided an updated schedule which shows that if a negative declaration is prepared, final documents could be approved as soon as next April. A negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration are options under the California Environmental Quality Act. Such declarations attempt to show that all environmental impacts are either negligible or have been reduced.

In the absence of a mitigated declaration, the county would require a full Environmental Impact Report.

Three recent subdivision proposals in the Borrego Springs area are in the process of moving forward with mitigated negative declarations from the county.

These include the Mesquite Trails RV park on Borrego Valley Road that is set to go before the Board of Supervisors for final approval on Sept. 17; an 18-unit residential development and commercial property located on Hoberg Road at Palm Canyon Drive; and the Desert Diamond subdivision located on 169.84 acres on the east side of Borrego Springs Road south of Big Horn Road that is now open for public comments.

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