Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Sponsor Group: Updated Zoning Changes in the Works


Last updated 2/25/2020 at 11:32am

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Borrego Water District Board President Kathy Dice began the Sponsor Group meeting on Feb. 6 by reading a letter to the SG members, with a copy to the County Planning Services Division (PDS).

The letter is ultimately intended for the eyes and ears of San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond, on subjects including 1) establishing permitting standards for new wells; 2) enforcement of standards and procedures for abandoned wells not properly capped, both a health risk and a liability risk for the County and BWD. If a single municipal well is contaminated, it would cost $1.5 million to replace; and 3) Include our groundwater supply situation when it comes to zoning and land use approvals.

Then there were two items on the Sponsor Group agenda that brought welcome news to residents and business owners alike in Borrego who are concerned about our community's input into zoning matters. The first agenda item was a presentation on the work done by County planners and consultants to develop a necessary and timely Land Development Code (LDC) Ordinance Update to be included in the upcoming General Plan, scheduled for completion by mid-Fiscal Year in Jan. 2023.

Borrego's Ordinance Update is next in line for County LDC work, and, Nicholle Wright, a Planner/Contractor with the engineering firm AECOM, gave an informative presentation; she handles planning and public outreach for San Diego County on the Update.

The goal of the LCD Update is to address new challenges faced by the County by making improvements in existing procedures and protocols:

• Simplify home remodel and small business expansion projects;

• Make the Code easier to use, understand, and administer – with graphics, tables, and web-links;

• Use consistent definitions, calculations, and measurements;

• Consolidate similar types of procedures and permit types;

• Translate subjective guidelines to measurable standards where pos-sible; and

• Reduce duplicative Animal Designator, building height, and setback regulations.

Graphic-1 shows the four elements of concern by the County regarding updating LDC's and the General Plan. The overall timeline for proposed actions/code changes is shown in Graphic-2, and it includes public workshops and hearings plus Environmental Reviews.

SG Members and the public in attendance were encouraged to prepare a list of suggested action items to be submitted for review and approval as part of the LDC Update process. Now is the time to Graphic 1

do that for all organizations, public and private, that are interested in revamping codes and ordinances.

The matter of health and water quality-related issues causing financial risk to Borregans, arising from abandoned well contamina-tion, would be but one example as expressed in the aforementioned BWD letter.

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