The widening of State Route 76 from two lanes to four between South Mission Road and Interstate 15 requires the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to acquire land from the County of San Diego, but the county was willing to sell land and grant easements to Caltrans in exchange for cash and Caltrans remnant parcels.
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 June 22, with Greg Cox in Sacramento, to approve the sale of 6.94 acres of county-owned land and the granting of 2.98 acres of easements in exchange for $143,599 in cash and three Caltrans remnant parcels valued at $155,800. The Caltrans remnant parcels total 112,415 square feet, or 2.58 acres.
“This board action puts Caltrans one step closer to completion of the crucial State Route 76 improvements,” said Supervisor Bill Horn.
Because the future San Luis Rey River Park will involve the acquisition of land only from willing sellers, the exact boundaries have not yet been determined. Caltrans will receive 6.09 acres of land which was acquired for potential river park use and is currently managed by the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation, but those portions are not necessary to the planned river park. The other 0.85 acres to be acquired by Caltrans is managed by the county’s Department of Public Works (DPW) but has no current or planned future use by the county because it is on the south side of State Route 76 and is separated from DPW’s road station by a road on the north side of the state highway.
Caltrans also required 0.81 acres of permanent easement consisting of 0.67 acres of access easement and 0.14 acres of drainage easement along with 2.17 acres of temporary construction easement.
In August 2013, the director of the county’s Department of General Services executed a five-year right of entry agreement which allows Caltrans to have access to county property while Caltrans and county staff members negotiated a final agreement and compensation for the Caltrans acquisition of the county land. The 9.92 county-owned acres were appraised at $299,399.
Two of the remnant parcels to be acquired by the county will be added to the planned San Luis Rey River Park. The 103,673 square foot parcel will allow for a trail link and the 1,917 square foot parcel will be part of the park’s open space. The 6,825 square foot parcel will be managed by DPW. The largest parcel has a 1944 utility easement to San Diego Gas & Electric and a 1973 flowage of waters easement, but the other two parcels are not impacted by easements.