By Steve Green
“…professed “FCI supporters” are not disclosing their current goals - regulations even more restrictive than the 1993 FCI, taking even more of our property rights.”—Steve Green
July 6, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--I am a property owner surrounded by the Cleveland National Forest on Boulder Creek Road. My land represents the majority portion of my personal financial holdings. Up until 1993, county regulations allowed property owners in my area to divide their lands into 20 acre parcels. We lost this ability in 1993 when voters approved the Forest Conservation Initiative (FCI).
The FCI down zoned us to only allow a 40 acre minimum parcel size (RL-40). The FCI remained in effect until 2010 when the sunset clause took effect. None of the land owners thought much about the expiration of the FCI. As good stewards of the land we were fine with the larger 40 acre minimum parcel size. It was a balanced compromise allowing us some ability to subdivide while at the same time preserving the undeveloped nature of the forest. It also allows our private lands to continue as a refuge for wildlife from the heavily impacted USFS lands surrounding us. This becomes most obvious during hunting season.
With the sunset of the Forest Conservation Initiative many environmentally responsible folks have been working hard to reinstate the Initiative. Speaking for myself and 2 adjacent property owners we applaud this effort. We fully support the FCI together with its larger 40 acre parcel size. However the USFS, the Cleveland National Forest Foundation, and the Environmental Defense League, all professed “FCI supporters” are not disclosing their current goals - regulations even more restrictive than the 1993 FCI, taking even more of our property rights.
Up front they are lobbying for the continuation of the voter approved FCI but behind the scenes they quietly push for regulations making 80 acres (RL-80) the minimum parcel size for our lands. This lack of transparency is deceptive and not what the voters approved in the FCI. What this amounts to is a Regulatory Taking of our lands little by little, piece by piece. The most vocal proponents are members of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation and the USFS.
The property owners along Boulder Creek Road respect and want to protect the Cleveland National Forest more than anyone. In the case of my neighbors and I, we fully support the FCI & the larger 40 acre parcel size. However, we do not support this new attempt by some to take even more of our property rights. In 1993 we made substantial sacrifices to our land use ability for the public good. We feel it is time to draw the line. It is not reasonable to once again take more property rights from us on the lands we homesteaded or bought with our hard earned money.
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