Supes to review general plan modifications

When the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved an update to the county’s general plan in 2011, the action included support for periodic updates to reflect corrections, changes of ownership, and new circumstances. On Jan. 24 the county’s Planning Commission recommended an update on a 6-0 vote with John Riess absent.

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 the updates also 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.

Three of the land use map changes are in the Rainbow community planning area. Approximately six acres of a 33.36-acre parcel would be changed from Rural Lands 20 (one dwelling unit per 20 acres) to General Commercial, an 86-acre parcel would be changed from Public Agency Lands to Tribal Lands, and a 93-acre parcel which is now part of the Mt. Olympus Preserve would be changed from Rural Lands 40 to Open Space Conservation.

The mobility element changes include 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 general plan’s conservation and open space element changes include making the general plan consistent with the scenic highways identified in the Bonsall Community Plan.

Gordon Stubblefield owns the 33.36-acre parcel west of Interstate 15 at Rainbow Valley Boulevard. The property currently has A70 agricultural zoning with a minimum lot size of four acres but a general plan designation of Rural Lands 20, which would allow one dwelling unit. The conversion of six acres to General Commercial would still allow for one dwelling unit on the entire property, while the proposed change for those six acres to C44 Freeway Commercial zoning would 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 circulation of the semi-trucks on the east side of I-15. The conversion of the six acres was the intent of the Board of Supervisors, although it was not included on the August 2011 map.

The 86-acre parcel east of I-15 and accessed by Rainbow Heights Road was recently 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 purchase for an addition to the Mt. Olympus Preserve was approved by the Board of Supervisors in November 2011. The property which is now maintained by the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation can be accessed from Mount Olympus Valley Road.

Olive Hill Road from the Fallbrook community planning area boundary to State Route 76 had previously been classified as a light collector with intermittent turn lanes, 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 Interchange 15 had been a light collector with continuous turn lanes from North Mission Road to Brandon Road, but the documentation had cited South Mission Road rather than North Mission Road. East Mission Road is a boulevard with continuous turn lanes from Brandon Road to I-15.

Osborne Street from the Vista city limit to East Vista Way is a light collector. The general plan had called for a raised median while the update would change the median to intermittent turn lanes.

The mobility element for the Fallbrook planning area currently includes Old Highway 395 from the Rainbow planning boundary to the Bonsall planning boundary. The revision would change that from the Rainbow boundary to the I-15 interchange and from East Mission Road to the Bonsall boundary. The raised median would be changed from between I-15 and Pala Mesa Drive to between East Mission Road and Pala Mesa Drive; the road is a community collector for that segment as well as from I-15 to the Rainbow boundary and from Highway 76 to the Bonsall boundary while Old Highway 395 is a boulevard with intermittent turn lanes from Pala Mesa Drive to Highway 76.

DeLuz Road is currently classified as a light collector from the Fallbrook planning boundary to Cristianitos Road. The change would cover the road segment between the Fallbrook boundary and DeLuz-Murrieta Road.

The Rainbow Community Plan currently requires new development to preserve and maintain the existing agricultural use. The change from requirement to encouragement would make 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 since property owners cannot be required to maintain agricultural operations.

The community plan clause that development projects must locate mitigation within the community planning area would be 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, and a policy based on community planning boundaries would not be legally defensible.

A proposed new Rainbow Community Plan policy would require development to be sited in the least biologically sensitive area and minimize the loss of natural habitat through site design. The other proposed new policy would protect existing agricultural operations from the encroachment of incompatible land uses by restricting the ability of new development to limit existing agricultural 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.

The proposed scenic highway changes include adding Camino Del Rey from State Route 76 to Old Highway 395 and Old River Road from State Route 76 to Camino Del Rey. The current general plan only covers Camino Del Rey from the Oceanside city limits east to Vista Way.

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