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Deadline for  written comments is Dec. 9; oral comments will be heard Dec. 11 at County Planning Commission

By Kiki Skagen Munshi

December 8, 2015 (Julian)--The County Planning Board is meeting on December 11, this Friday, to approve an amendment to the Williamson Agricultural Act that would allow 24 homes be built on the Hoskings Ranch Property in Julian.  The property is located at the intersection of Pine Hills Road and Highway 78 and stretches west and southwest.  It currently is over 1,000 acres of undeveloped land.

Local reaction has been swift and generally negative; over 250 persons signed up for the Hoskings Ranch Subdivision Action and Resource group on Facebook within two hours of its being formed.  Residents are planning to meet on Tuesday, December 8, at the Town Hall at 6 p.m. and are organizing transportation to the Hearings at the County Planning Commission for Friday, December 11

These and other Julian residents are concerned that the development would have a negative impact on the quality of life in the area.  It is likely that the homes will be large, similar to the multi-million dollar houses and developments on the Hoskings Ranch Property west of Wynola, and that the development will not reflect the small-town rural character of the area.

Residents are also concerned about traffic, proposed changes in Highway 78/79 and Pine Hills Road, and the impact on natural resources.  The project water report, for instance, was prepared in 2011, before four years of drought—and projected continuation of drought after this unusual El Nino year, and before the golden oak borer began to decimate local forests.

.Although the notice of the hearing was sent only to 30 neighboring property owners—immediately before Thanksgiving and only ten days before the County Planning Commission will meet—there is a chance for local voices and concerns to be heard.

 Comments may be sent by mail or e-mail to Dennis Campbell at the county Planning Commission (Dennis.Campbell@sdcounty.ca.gov.  They must arrive before 4 p.m. on December 9.  Persons wishing to make comments in person or simply to register their concerns through their presence may attend the Hearing at the County Planning Commission on Friday, December 11, at 9 a.m.

For more information and the latest developments, you can view te County report  at http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/pds/PC/151211-Supporting-Documents.html    and visit the “Hoskings Ranch Subdivision Action and Resource group on Facebook.



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An Amendment

is just another way to circumvent the desires of backcountry residents to keep their areas rural, in this case, Julian. It is difficult to know which rural areas in our County will actually stay rural anymore because of this kind of "allowance".