Supervisors authorize grant application for Bonsall right-of-way development standards

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 March 20 to authorize the submittal of a Community-Based Transportation Planning Grant Program application to the California Department of Transportation for Community Right-of-Way Development Standards programs in Bonsall, Alpine, Bonita, and Ramona.

The grant applications seek $150,000 for each community. The standards will address all items within county right-of-way of each community’s roads other than the travel lanes themselves.

The Community Right-of-Way Development Standards program intends to develop standards which encourage preservation of the community’s character through the provision of cohesive community-based streetscapes. The Community-Based Transportation Planning Grant Program provides funds for coordinated transportation and land use planning projects which encourage community involvement and partnerships. The projects must support the concepts of livable and sustainable communities and have a transportation and mobility objective, and the requirements also include promoting community identity and quality of life.

The standards are also intended to help implement rural “smart growth” objectives for the proposed village area and to enhance pedestrian and other non-automotive travel within the community. The new standards would augment or replace existing ones for items such as curbs, lighting, landscaping, and other design elements with features tailored to individual communities.

County staff worked with the Bonsall Sponsor Group and the Alpine, Ramona, and Sweetwater community planning groups to prepare grant application packages for each community’s right-of-way standards. The standards, if adopted, would ensure that future roadway development is compatible with the visions of each community as identified in the county’s general plan and the individual community plans.

The competitive grant requires a 10 percent local match; three-quarters of that match must be in cash while up to one-quarter can be provided through in-kind labor costs. The county intends to utilize Highway User Tax Act funding, which is derived from sales tax on gasoline, for its local match.

If the grant is awarded the county will likely receive the money in September 2013, the Board of Supervisors would appropriate funds during Fiscal Year 2013-14, and work on the standards would likely begin in March 2014. After the plan is developed, county staff will prepare a recommended funding plan which would cover installation and ongoing maintenance costs. The county’s Department of Public Works would take the lead responsibility to develop the plan.

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