Supervisors grant time extension for Morro/Elder subdivision

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 December 5 to extend the performance completion date for the infrastructure of a subdivision on the northeast corner of Morro Road and East Elder Street

The extension now allows requires the completion of road, water, sewer, and other infrastructure improvements by December 21, 2014. The homes and other lot improvements themselves do not need to be completed by that date.

In January 2003 the county’s Planning and Environmental Review Board approved a tentative map for seven single-family residential lots on the 1.64-acre property. In March 2005 the county supervisors approved the final map along with a secured agreement which ensured completion of the infrastructure and payment for labor and materials through security bonds.

The property had been owned by Steven and Dawn Vande Vegte through the Vande Vegte Family Trust, and after the land was sold to Laurie Howard through the Gregory Howard Trust the Board of Supervisors approved a substitution of parties in December 2010 to reflect the change of ownership. That approval also replaced the security bonds with a lien contract and holding agreement. If a property is under a lien contract, the owner may not sell individual lots and may not obtain any development permits. A bond or other security to ensure completion of the infrastructure and payment for the work must be substituted for the lien contract before any development occurs. The current ownership still does not wish to proceed with development, in which case a lien contract is often preferable to bonds which require continuous payment of bond premiums.

The lien contract amount for the Gregory Howard Trust property is $502,290. A $15,000 deposit with the Department of Public Works guarantees processing fees for a reversion to acreage, which would eliminate all plans for that land, in the event of a default on the lien contract.

A final map only creates legal lots and does not ensure grading and building permits. Changes to local stormwater and drainage requirements may need to be addressed before grading and building permits are issued, and an update to the environmental Negative Declaration approved in 2002 may also be required.

Improvements identified in a secured agreement are required to be completed within two years of the approval of the final map, although if circumstances prevent the improvements from being completed by the agreement’s expiration additional time may be requested to complete the infrastructure. The county’s Department of Public Works reviews existing agreements and their bonding requirements to determine if time extensions are warranted, and an extension may be granted if certain conditions are met and it is not in the public interest to require construction of the improvements.

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