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“This plan to subordinate Community Plans would eventually harm every unincorporated community in this County.”


By Jack Phillips, Chair
Valle de Oro Planning Group



March 14, 2011 (San Diego's East County)--On Wednesday at 9 a.m., County Supervisors will be hearing a controversial developer-backed proposal that would take away the rights of local communities to have their own community plans.


The community plans are the largest part of the general plan. There are 26 community plans right now that are an integral part of the general plan. To say we can have a general plan but we’re not going to allow these 26 communities to have their plan as part of it is ridiculous.


For more than 30 years, Community Plans have been an integral part of the County’s General Plan –not subordinate to it. During the 12+ years of developing the General Plan Update, this historic “integral part” status of Community Plans guided development of the General Plan’s language (goals, policies).


The understanding was that community specific goals and policies would also be required in order to sustain the unique cultural landscape of each of the county’s 26 unincorporated communities. The existing Community Plan/General Plan structure was in place which allowed an all-encompassing General Plan Update to be completed through an extensive program of updating and verifying consistency of each community plan.


As has been the case for more than 30 years, any change to these interrelated documents would ultimately require approval of a General Plan Amendment by the County Board of Supervisors – not local planning groups (regarding a concern voiced by Supervisor Cox on 2-9-11). On February 9th, Supervisor Roberts commanded staff to insert an overriding statement into the General Plan that would subordinate Community Plans. This would overshadow all other policy changes in the General Plan Update because, in one step, it will dismiss 30+ years of County Government’s formal recognition of the uniqueness of our unincorporated communities and it will invalidate a basic planning premise on which the General Plan Update is based.


Twelve-plus years of work updating Community Plans and the General Plan will have been wasted because, historically and in this update program, these documents are designed in a manner that requires both to define the County’s General Plan for a given property or area. Since Roberts has no constituency in the unincorporated county, he can bring forward this subordination plan for its Real Estate/Development sponsors with impunity. This plan to subordinate Community Plans would eventually harm every unincorporated community in this County.


This subordination concept signals a return to the days when unincorporated communities like Poway, Encinitas, Lemon Grove, and Santee found it necessary to escape from county governance and incorporate in order to retain their unique cultural landscapes.


Finally, this paper is a call to action. Backers are trying to pull this off at the last minute without public testimony on the issue. We need to make our objections known to the supervisors and anyone else who can help (bloggers, etc.).


Here is contact information for the Supervisors:



Not sure who your Supervisor is? Check this map:


1st District: Greg Cox
Phone: (619)531-5511; Fax: (619) 235-0644

2nd District: Dianne Jacob
Phone: (619) 531-5522; Fax: (619) 696-7253 fax

3rd District: Pam Slater-Price
Phone:: 619-531-5533; Fax: 619-234-1559

4th District: Ron Roberts
Phone: Phone: 619-531-5544; Fax: 619-531-6262

5th District: Bill Horn
Phone: Phone: 619-531-5555; Fax: 619-685-2662

The opinions expressed in this editorial reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, contact

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