"Hope to Heed the Recommendation"
Last updated 7/16/2018 at 7:25pm
Going into the June 22 Planning Commission meeting to discuss the proposed development known as Rudyville, I felt there would be no reason to grant an exception to the density limits called for by the County General Plan.
The Planning Commission’s staff had done comprehensive research on the property. Without exception, their recommendation to the Commissioners was to reject the Property Specific Request asking for greater density.
When the Commissioners turn came, I was looking forward to their expertise and wisdom on this issue. However, it was clear that some of them may not have misconceptions about the property. One commission stated that there was no Ocotillo forest. He later stated that water doesn’t flow through this property.
Well, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. If you drive south on Borrego Springs Road in the springtime, you are dazzled by the display of red from the vast stand of blooming Ocotillo. Also, water races through this property so fiercely in a thunderstorm, it wipes out downstream neighbors’ service roads and fences.
Astonishingly, this commission- er implied that the request for an exception should be granted because the developer had put over $400,000 into this project. That’s nonsense. It isn’t the government’s role to indemnify developer’s investments.
A developer’s representative put a map on the screen, showing the surrounding area, which are mostly one-acre lots. He asked why Rudyville should be developed to a lesser density than the neighboring area. What the map didn’t show was that in 60 years or so since it was drawn, the surrounding area is still sparsely developed, never approaching a one-acre density. An aerial map will make this apparent. To conform to the surrounding neighborhood, you must take this into account.
The San Diego County Plan is a serious and important document. It was developed over a 20-plus year period per the wishes of the citizens of the county, providing a rational growth plan for our growing population. The natural stewards of this plan are the Commissioners. This comprehensive plan works best when maintained as a whole. If certain developments are allowed greater density in contradiction of the plan, the plan begins to lose cohesion. Any exceptions should be stringently vetted and only rarely granted. A PSR shouldn’t be an opening bargaining chip, in which compromise is expected, resulting in the plan being overruled.
My hope is that the supervisors will heed the recommendations of the Planning Commission’s own staff, and the opposition of the residents of Borrego Springs, when they review this request for an exception to the density requirements of the General Plan.
– Borrego Springs, CA