"What is the Stench at the Chamber?"


Last updated 7/16/2018 at 7:30pm

In a recent editorial (Borrego Sun, 6/14/18), Linda Haddock, the Executive Director of the Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce, noted she had never heard one per- son publicly support Rudyville in the 12 years the Borrego Springs community has been discussing it.

This notable absence of public support for Rudyville (Property Specific Request DS-24) changed with an eleventh hour meeting of the Chamber Board (June 21, 2018) at which a “super majority” voted to rescind the Chamber’s April 7, 2016 letter of opposition to Rudyville and replace it with a letter stating the Chamber supports Rudyville’s request for increased zoning den- sity.

With this step, the Chamber provided the County Planning Commission with a “fig leaf” that allowed it to select the Alternative Plan at its June 22, 2018 meeting that will allow increased density on approximately 20 of Rudyville’s 170 acres.

With this step, the Chamber contravened the recommendation of the County Department of Planning and Development Services, which, after 6 years of detailed and pains- taking study, concluded Rudyville’s request for increased density should be denied in its entirety because of our water crisis, its nonconformity with our Community Land Use Plan, and a myriad of other problems.

With this step, the Chamber contravened the Borrego Water District, which in its most recent letter of June 19, 2018 again opposed the increased zoning density request of Rudyville because of our water crisis.

With this step, the Chamber contravened the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which has voiced its staunch opposition to Rudyville since 2015.

With this step, the Chamber contravened the Community Sponsor Group, which has publicly and emphatically opposed the Rudyville development since 2007 when it wrote its first letter of opposition. The Sponsor Group wrote subse- quent letters of opposition in 2012 and 2018.

With this step, the Chamber contravened the sentiment of 160 citizens of Borrego Springs who turned out for the 2016 hearing before the Sponsor Group and the 60 citizens who participated in the 2018 Sponsor Group hearing. Despite the fact these were the largest crowds ever to attend a meeting of the Sponsor Group, these citizens and their concerns were derisively dis- missed as NIMBY’s (Not in My Back Yard).

With this step, the Chamber sup- ported special privileges for one landowner while disregarding the many other Tubb Canyon Bajada landowners who, to the detriment of their own rights to develop their parcels, accepted the new General Plan zoning in order to support conservation, preserve an economically important viewshed, maintain air quality, and reduce the drain on our aquifer.

Because of its decision to turn its back on the citizens and institutions of Borrego Springs, one has to wonder what is going on at the Chamber of Commerce?

We strongly believe that all evidence, including public input and good science, should be fairly considered in this matter. If that were done, the San Diego Board of Supervisors would surprise Supervisor Horn by voting to deny the DS-24 (Rudyville) request granting special privileges over other landowners (increased zoning density) under the current General Plan. That would restore the fresh, clean smell of fairness to “public process.”

Lori Paul and Robert Staehle

– Landowners, Tubb Canyon Bajada

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