By Miriam Raftery
Photo, left: Site of proposed master-planned deveopment that has sparked a firestorm of controversy
June 18, 2020 (Valley Center) -- The San Diego County Fire Authority and County staff have recommended that Supervisors deny the controversial Lilac Hills Ranch mixed-use development project in Valley Center due to concerns over fire safety and evacuation routes. County Supervisors will consider the recommended denial on Wednesday, June 24. Theh project has also drawn strong opposition over the years from community members.
Despite objections from fire authorities, however, the County Planning Commission voted 5-2 to overrule staff and ignore concerns over lack of safe evacuation routes. Intead, the majority of commissioners recommended that Superivsors allow the developer to pay a $2 million fire protection fee with various escape clauses in order to proceed, with building the project with the homeowners' associatoin paying for annual brush clearing, as the developer has sought.
The meeting begins at 9 a.m. and will be virtual due to COVID-19.
The Project is a planned community on a 608-acre site within the Bonsall and Valley Center Community Plan areas of unincorporated San Diego county. The Project proposes 1,746 residential units, a town center with a 50-room country inn and 90,000 square feet of office and retail uses, a 9.7-acre school site, a 200-bed group care facility, a senior community center, a community purposes facility (private recreational facility and area for potential fire station), 25.6 gross acres of public and private parks, 16 miles of multi-use community trails and pathways, waste and water recycling facilities, and 104.1 acres of biological open space.
The Board can deny the Project, or if it does not support the staff recommendation, either refer the Project back to staff for further analysis and allow the applicant additional time to try and resolve the fire safety concerns, including making changes to the Project, or direct staff to prepare the necessary documents to approve the Project and bring it back to the Board for consideration.
View the June 12 Planning Commission hearing on this project: https://sdcounty.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=12&clip_id=2778
See below for how to participate in the June 24 Supervisors hearing.
In Person Participation Prohibited - Due to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) public health emergency, including the order by the State of California public health officials for anyone living in the state to stay home, in person participation at Board of Supervisors meetings will not be allowed.
Public Testimony via Teleconference - Members of the public may participate in the meeting via a teleconference. If you wish to participate through teleconference, please visit the Board of Supervisors website at: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/cob/bosa.html and complete a request to speak and select your position on the item’s recommendation. Selecting “In Favor” from the select your position menu means you support the staff recommendation and want the Board to deny the project. Selecting “In Opposition” from the select your position menu means you do not want the Board to deny the project.
Instructions on how to view and participate in the meeting via teleconference are available at the link above, at the bottom of the page under the header “COVID-19 Public Service Announcement”.
Large groups wishing to comment on a common item are encouraged to submit comments in writing or to identify one spokesperson to join the teleconference on behalf of the group. If you have any questions, please contact the Board Operations Unit at (619) 531-5434.
The Board of Supervisors agenda for June 24, 2020 is located at: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/cob/bosa/bos-calendar-meetings.html?date=06/24/2020&meetingtype=BOARD OF SUPERVISORS - Wed
eComments - If you would like to send comments to the Board of Supervisors, please see the instructions provided in the “Submit an eComment” link here. eComments can be submitted in advance, or during the meeting before the end of the hearing. Important: Selecting “Support” from the Select a Position menu means you support the staff recommendation and want the Board to deny the project. Selecting “Oppose” from the Select a Position menu means you do not want the Board to deny the project.