Board of Supervisors approve general plan cleanup

The 2011 update to the county’s general plan included direction from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors for periodic updates to reflect corrections, changes of ownership, and new circumstances. On June 18, 2014, the county supervisors voted 4-0, with Ron Roberts absent, to approve the first series of updates.

“It’s definitely a cleanup,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

The Board of Supervisors directed county staff to develop a “clean-up” in the form of a general plan amendment every two years. Because the initial general plan update was a multi-year process with much of the analysis occurring on a macro scale, it was expected that oversights requiring correction would be found. The update direction also anticipated the need to clarify or revise policies or definitions in the general plan or community plans and to provide a process to handle changes in circumstances including changes in state law or ownership changes from private to public. The updates also accommodate minor community planning group or community sponsor group requests.

“I do appreciate the staff going through these one by one,” said Supervisor Bill Horn.

The modifications include three land use map changes in the Rainbow community planning area. Approximately six acres of a 33.36-acre parcel were changed from Rural Lands 20 (one dwelling unit per 20 acres) to Freeway Commercial, an 86-acre parcel was changed from Public Agency Lands to Tribal Lands, and a 93-acre parcel which is now part of the Mount Olympus Preserve was changed from Rural Lands 40 to Open Space Conservation.

The changes to the mobility element included correcting typographical errors for Olive Hill Road and Mission Road, changing the Osborne Street classification, revising a segment classification boundary for Old Highway 395, and correcting a segment boundary for DeLuz Road.

Changes to the Rainbow Community Plan include new and revised policies related to biological mitigation and protection of agricultural operations. The changes to the general plan’s conservation and open space element included making the general plan consistent with the scenic highways identified in the Bonsall Community Plan.

The 33.36-acre parcel west of Interstate 15 at Rainbow Valley Boulevard is owned by Gordon Stubblefield. It has A70 Limited Agriculture zoning with a minimum lot size of four acres. The Rural Lands 20 designation allowed only one dwelling unit, and the conversion of the six acres to C44 Freeway Commercial zoning will allow for a service station behind an existing truck weigh station which could include services for semi-trucks on the west side of the freeway and thus reduce semi-truck volume on the east side of I-15. Although the conversion of the six acres was the intent of the Board of Supervisors, it was not included on the August 2011 map.

The 86-acre parcel east of I-15 and accessed by Rainbow Heights Road has been transferred into trust status to become part of the Pechanga Indian Reservation. All lands within reservations are given the Tribal Lands designation.

The most recent acquisition to the Mount Olympus Preserve was approved by the Board of Supervisors in November 2011. The property is now maintained by the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation and can be accessed from Mount Olympus Valley Road.

Olive Hill Road from the Fallbrook community planning area boundary to State Route 76 has been classified as a light collector with intermittent turn lanes; the designation did not change although a typographical error in the classification category was corrected. The segment of West Mission Road and East Mission Road from North Mission Road to Interstate 15 remains a light collector with continuous turn lanes from Mission Road to Brandon Road; the documentation correction replaced the cited South Mission Road with North Mission Road. East Mission Road is classified as a boulevard with continuous turn lanes from Brandon Road to I-15; no changes were required for that segment.

Osborne Street from the Vista city limit to East Vista Way is a light collector. The update changed plans for the road from a raised median to intermittent turn lanes.

The inclusion of Old Highway 395 in the mobility element in the Fallbrook planning area had covered that road from the Rainbow planning boundary to the Bonsall planning boundary; the changes now cover the road from the Rainbow boundary to the I-15 interchange and from East Mission Road to the Bonsall boundary. The planned raised median segment was changed from between I-15 and Pala Mesa Drive to between East Mission Road and Pala Mesa Drive. Old Highway 395 is a community collector from I-15 to the Rainbow boundary, between Pala Mesa Drive and East Mission Road, and from Highway 76 to the Bonsall boundary. The road is a boulevard with intermittent turn lanes from Pala Mesa Drive to Highway 76.

DeLuz Road had been classified as a light collector from the Fallbrook planning boundary to Cristianitos Road; the change now covers the road between the Fallbrook boundary and DeLuz-Murrieta Road.

The Rainbow Community Plan had required new development to preserve and maintain the existing agricultural use. Property owners cannot be required to maintain agricultural operations, so the change from a requirement to encouragement makes that policy consistent with the general plan policy which calls for minimizing impacts to agriculture and consolidating development to support continued agricultural operations but does not require the preservation and maintenance of all agricultural uses.

The Rainbow Community Plan had also required development projects to locate mitigation within the community planning area. That requirement was changed to a preference for mitigation within the planning area to create open space and trails along with consideration of local options first. Appropriate mitigation must be based on biological considerations, so a policy based on community planning boundaries is likely not legally defensible.

The modifications added a new Rainbow Community Plan policy which requires development to be sited in the least biologically sensitive area and to minimize the loss of natural habitat through site design.

Another new Rainbow Community Plan policy protects existing agricultural operations from the encroachment of incompatible land uses by restricting the ability of new development to limit existing agricultural land uses, encouraging new or expanded agricultural uses to provide a buffer of non-intensive agriculture or other uses, allowing for agricultural uses and lots in a manner which facilitates continued agriculture within a development, requiring development to minimize potential conflicts through adequate buffers and setbacks or other design measures, supporting local and state right-to-farm regulations, and retaining or facilitating large and contiguous agricultural operations by consolidating development during the subdivision process.

Initially the general plan’s scenic highway designations included Camino Del Rey from the Oceanside city limits east to Vista Way. The changes add scenic designation for Camino Del Rey from State Route 76 to Old Highway 395 and also designate Old River Road as a scenic highway from State Route 76 to Camino Del Rey.

On Jan. 24, the county’s planning commission voted 6-0, with John Riess absent, to recommended the general plan modifications.

“I just want to compliment the staff for trying to go through some very sticky items here,” said Supervisor Dave Roberts.

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