San Diego Supervisors

SUPERVISOR REDISTRICTING HEARINGS ANNOUNCED: AUG. 26 IN EL CAJON AND MORE

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2021 (San Diego) – How should redistricting lines be drawn for San Diego County’s supervisorial district?  The County of San Diego Independent Redistricting Commission is hosting pre-mapping public hearings to hear from residents.  The hearings will be held both in-personal and virtually online. 

For East County residents in District 2, currently represented by Joel Anderson, a hearing is set for Thursday, Aug. 26 at 5:30 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, 195 E. Douglas Ave. in El Cajon. Meeting link for Aug. 26 El Cajon hearing.

Other hearings are slated for other districts, as well as a general hearing on Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. in Spring Valley

Below is the full schedule of upcoming events and locations:

SUPERVISORS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVE BUDGET WITH PRIORITIES ON EQUITY AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL

East County News Service

Photo: County Administration Building, courtesy of San Diego County News Service

June 29, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to adopt a $7.23 billion revised budget for fiscal year 2021-22. The adopted budget responds to voices in the community and follows a Framework for the Future that will fundamentally change County operations, with significant funding to address justice system reform, racial justice, health and environmental equity, homelessness, and economic opportunity.

“This is a budget that meets the needs of all our residents,” County Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer said,  adding that the budget is “stretching, but maintaining a prudent and responsible fiscal position.” 

The budget reflects new priorities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that caused hardships for many San Diegans and also reflects the board’s shift to a 3-2 Democratic majority after decades of Republican control, though all five Supervisors backed the revised budget.

SUPERVISORS TO VOTE MARCH 17 ON AMAZON DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN EL CAJON

Update: This was unanimously approved by Supervisors.

By Miriam Raftery

March 4, 2021 (El Cajon) – San Diego County Supervisors will hold a hearing March 17 on construction of a proposed distribution warehouse that the developer plans to lease to Amazon.com.

The site, which is zoned industrial, is located at the northwest corner of Cuyamaca Street and Weld Blvd. near Gillespie Field. Although the County owns the land, the city of El Cajon has land use authority, but has not yet approved the project.

At a Supervisors’ meeting this week, the county delayed action until environmental studies can be reviewed. The County is relying on an environmental review done by the city of El Cajon in 2009 for a separate project, but public speakers contended that an updated environmental impact study is needed along with review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION: SUPERVISORS VOTE TO HONOR COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY BY PURCHASING 98 ACRES IN EL MONTE VALLEY, LAKESIDE

By Henri Migala

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report.

Photo, left: Billy Ortiz and Bobby Wallace, co-organizers of efforts to preserve El Monte Valley

February 11, 2021 (Lakeside) – Thanks to widespread community engagement, San Diego County Supervisors yesterday voted unanimously to purchase 98 acres in El Monte Valley from Helix Water District for $2.92 million, preserving the land for public use.

The action came after the board received a petition with over 2,000 signatures and heard unanimous public testimony in support of the purchase. In addition, some 200 residents and tribal members held a march through the valley calling for the land to be protected.

Supervisor Joel Anderson, East County’s newly elected representative whose district includes Lakeside, initially voiced concerns over the cost and disrepair of facilities on the site. But after the majority of the board voiced support for the acquisition initiated by former Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Anderson ultimately not only voted for the land purchase, but also pushed his colleagues to support additional funds to restore dilapidated ball fields and other facilities on the site.

JOEL ANDERSON DECLARES VICTORY IN TIGHT SUPERVISOR RACE AFTER TALLY IS CERTIFIED

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo by Chris Stone: Republican Joel Anderson returns to office after stints in the state Legislature.

December 7, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Joel Anderson declared victory over fellow Republican Steve Vaus on Thursday as the San Diego County Registrar of Voters certified results of their close county Board of Supervisors race.

“I am grateful to have earned the trust and support of the residents of East County to represent them on the county Board of Supervisors,” said District 2 winner Anderson. “I also want to recognize Supervisor Dianne Jacob, the longest-serving county supervisor, for 28 years of dedicated service to East County.”

Results stayed the same as recent days — with Anderson edging Poway Mayor Vaus by 282 votes of nearly 290,000 cast.

SUPERVISORS TO VOTE ON ACCELERATED REOPENING PLAN AFTER GOV. NEWSOM ANNOUNCES NEW GUIDELINES

By Miriam Raftery

May 19, 2020 (San Diego) – Today, San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors will vote on a plan to allow reopening of the local economy at an accelerated pace in conformance with new state rules, the county has announced. The action follows Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement yesterday of new state guidelines that will allow the vast majority of California counties to move quickly through phase two.

You can watch the meeting online or join via phone to view the discussion on reopening, which is item 5 on the agenda.

If the state approves San Diego’s plans, among the first businesses to benefit could be retailers allowed to have customers inside stores. Dining in at restaurants could also resume in the near future. Both would require social distancing, masks, health and sanitation plans submitted by each business. In addition, Governor Newsom has indicated that hair salons, church gatherings and professional sports without spectators could start up again as early as June.

The Governor estimates that 53 of 58 counties could meet the new criteria, aimed at allowing those areas with lower levels of COVID-19 and that meet certain requirements to reopen sooner than those with high levels.  Requirements include:

SUPERVISORS TO CONSIDER AMENDMENT WEDNESDAY TO ALLOW TEMPORARY AGRITOURISM EVENTS

 

Update January 30: Supervisors voted to approve the agritourism items 5-0  as recommended by staff, with no amendments.

By Miriam Raftery

January 27, 2020 (San Diego) – To promote farming and agritourism, San Diego County Supervisors on Wednesday will consider zoning ordinance amendments to define new agricultural uses including agritourism.  The agritourism activities provide educational opportunities for the community including U-pick operations, tours, lectures, classes, and participation in agricultural operations on-site.

SUPERVISORS CHANGE LANGUAGE ON BALLOT MEASURE SUBMITTED BY OPPONENTS OF NEWLAND SIERRA, ADOPT DEVELOPER’S DESCRIPTION

Project would include 2,135 homes to help meet housing demand plus retail and commercial development; opponents cite concerns over traffic, evacuation during wildfires, and loss of wildlife habitat

By Miriam Raftery

December 7, 2019 (San Diego) – Over 100,000 residents signed a petition opposing the controversial Newland Sierra housing development approved by Supervisors, qualifying an initiative to appear on the March 2020 ballot after to let voters decide whether or not to allow the massive project.  But after the developer, Newland Communities, threatened legal action if neutral wording wasn’t changed, Supervisors voted 3-2 to adopt ballot language changes nearly identical to changes demanded by the developer.

The action angered environmentalists and planning groups opposed to the project, who only learned of the proposed changes when the matter showed up on an agenda days before the Nov. 19 vote.   Supervisors met twice in secret closed-door meetings, first voting down the changes 3-2. But then Supervisor Greg Cox changed his mind, joining with Kristin Gaspar and Jim Desmond to approve the developer-backed wording. Both Gaspar and Desmond have taken campaign contributions from Newland.

SUPERVISORS WEIGH BAN ON VAPING PRODUCTS; MAYO CLINIC FINDS CHEMICAL BURNS IN LUNGS OF PATIENTS HOSPITALIZED OR DEAD AFTER VAPING

By Miriam Raftery

East County News Service

October 4, 2019 (San Diego) -- County Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Nathan Fletcher are proposing a ban on the sale and distribution of flavored tobacco made for electronic cigarettes, along with a moratorium on the sale and distribution of the e-devices in the county’s unincorporated area. They are encouraging cities in San Diego County to do the same. According to a new report by the Mayo Clinic, lung biopsies reveal damage consistent with chemical burns, leading researchers to suspect chemical additives may be to blame for over 1,000 serious lung injury cases and 18 deaths, all associated with vaping or e-cigarette use.

County public health officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are also advising people to stop vaping, as investigators continue looking into what’s causing a nationwide epidemic of respiratory illnesses among those that use the e-cigarettes or vaping products.

RACE TO FILL DIANNE JACOB’S SUPERVISORIAL SEAT TAKES SHAPE

By Miriam Raftery

Photos (top left to bottom right):  Steve Vaus, Joel Anderson, Tom Lemmon, and Kenya Taylor

Update:  Lemmon has opted not to run.

May 30, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Stepping down due to term limits in 2020 after 28 years, San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob leaves some big shoes to fill.  Four candidates, two Republicans and two Democrats, have thus far announced plans to run for the 2nd Supervisorial district, which covers 2,000 square miles encompassing the eastern two-thirds of the county.

The contenders for the ostensibly nonpartisan race are Poway Mayor Steve Vaus and former State Senator Joel Anderson, both Republicans. Democrats Tom Lemmon, a labor leader who heads up the San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council, and Kenya Taylor, a mental health counselor and NAACP board member, are also in the running.

Below are highlights of their backgrounds and goals if elected, as well as analysis of the challenges each may need to overcome to win the race.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SAN DIEGO SUPERVISORS SHOULD JUST SAY NO TO FIRE-TRAP DEVELOPMENTS



By Peter A. Andersen, PhD, and Daniel H. Silver, MD

Photos by Miriam Raftery:  State Route 94, the primary evacuation route for Proctor Valley and communities from Jamul south to Barrett Junction, has been previously shut down for hours or even days by the Harris Wildfire, flooding, and serious accidents.  A Border Patrol station, casino and high school along the highway (not shown) all add to traffic back-ups and congestion at peak times, drawing frequent complaints from residents in recent years.

May 23, 2019 (Jamul/Proctor Valley) -- Deadly fires scorched California in 2017 and 2018, destroying thousands of homes and killing 44 people in wine country and 86 in Paradise. Emergency warning and evacuation systems failed. People burned in their cars trying to escape the flames. Homes built to new fire-safe building codes burned anyway in the intense heat. Rapidly moving fires overwhelmed safety systems and careful planning.

The County Board of Supervisors will vote in June whether to approve a major housing development in Jamul, a community already ranked in the bottom 1% of hard-to-evacuate locations in the state. What will convince the Board to apply the lessons of the massive northern California fires to local land-use decisions? At what point does willful ignorance of the risks become negligence?

SAN DIEGO SUPERVISORS, CITY COUNCIL SPLIT ON POLICE USE OF FORCE BILL

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 15, 2019 (San Diego) – San Diego County Supervisors and the San Diego City Council have taken polar opposition positions on Assembly Bill 392, authored by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), which would limit police officers’ use of force. 

SUPERVISORS REJECT RENEWABLE ENERGY OVERLAY ZONE

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 18, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Supervisors have rejected plans for a renewable energy overlay zone feasibility study, which would have cost an estimated half million dollars. The action came during a hearing on a Comprehensive Renewable Energy Plan.

Donna Tisdale, Chair of the Boulevard Planning Group and founder of Backcountry Against Dumps (BAD), voiced relief at the Supervisors’ rejection of the overlay zone.  “A renewable energy overlay zone would fast track any projects located within the designated boundaries. Based on some previous information, we had concerns that a renewable energy overlay zone would be placed over the Boulevard Planning Area and/or the Jacumba Planning Area,” she told ECM.

COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MOVE TOWARD BANNING ALL MARIJUANA SALES AND GROWING, INCLUDING CLOSING EXISTING MEDICAL MJ DISPENSARIES

Planning Commission meeting Feb. 10  to draft changes to zoning ordinance; next Supervisor hearing is Feb. 14 with final vote March 15

By Thea Skinner

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors moved on  Jan. 25th to have staff draft a ban prohibiting medical and non-medical marijuana facilities in unincorporated areas by April 15.  Existing and previously approved medical marijuana dispensaries would be phased out and shut down after five years.

A draft to repeal and replace the zoning ordinance regulating marijuana facilities will be on the Planning Commission agenda Feb. 10 at 9 a.m. in the County Operations Center Campus Chamber (5520 Overland Ave, San Diego. See map).  View the Planning Commission report.

The packed room gathered 31 individuals wishing to speak, 12 in favor and 19 in opposition, with two requests for group presentations. Eleven individuals registered their opinion with two in favor and nine in opposition.

SUPERVISORS BOOST SALARIES DESPITE PUBLIC OPPOSITION

 

East County News Service

January 11, 2017 (San Diego) - At Tuesday’s meeting, San Diego Supervisors voted 4 to1 to raise their own pay by 12.5 percent, an increase of over $19,000 a year. Supervisors will now be making $172,450 annually, after they approved a final reading of the ordinance. The pay hike also means an increase in pensions for Supervisors, four of whom will leave office due to term limits when their current terms end.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE CHANGES TO ALLOW DEVELOPMENT OF LANDS FORMERLY PROTECTED BY FOREST CONSERVATION INITIATIVE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Next up: Alpine General Plan amendments to be considered in 2017

December 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County)—By a  4 to 1 vote with Supervisor Dave Roberts opposed,  San Diego Supervisors on Wednesday voted to approve a Forest Conservation Initiative Lands General Plan Amendment, along with community plan amendments, rezoning and  certification of a supplemental environmental review. The action paves the way for development of parcels  in the Alpine and Descanso areas that were formerly protected under the Forest Conservation Initiative passed by voters, but that has since expired due to a sunset provision in 2010.

Travis Lyon, chair of the Alpine Community Planning Group, reports that the Supervisors “took all the recommendations ACPG made at the last meeting.” 

Jack Shu, president of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation,  said after the hearing, “The bottom line is that the County has moved to do away with what the voters – two thirds of them—wanted in 1993 to protect our local Forest."

MEDICAL MARIJUANA MORATORIUM ON SUPERVISORS’ AGENDA WEDNESDAY

 

East County News Service

March 13, 2016 (San Diego) – Supervisors will hear a report with options for enacting a moratorium banning future medical marijuana collective facilities on Wednesday, March 16th.

In February, nine speakers addressed Supervisors during public comment with concerns over marijuana dispensaries.  The Supervisors asked the Chief Administration Officer to craft options now available for regulating medical marijuana collectives in light of “a recent California Supreme Court decision that allows local municipalities to ban marijuana facilities, newly adopted State laws pertaining to medical marijuana, and ballot initiatives slated for the November ballot,” according to the agenda.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY TO ENLIST INMATES IN EL NIÑO RESPONSE

 

 

Source: County News Service

December 15, 2015 (San Diego)--County Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to seek rapid deployment of state inmate work crews if El Niño packs a punch in the coming months.

The board voted to approve Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s proposal to team up with Cal Fire and ensure that the region’s nearly 500 work crew inmates are quickly available to assist with flood prevention and cleanup.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE SOITEC’S RUGGED SOLAR PROJECT IN BOULEVARD

 

Photo: SOITEC panel at Newberry Springs, similar to panels approved for Boulevard.

By Miriam Raftery

October 16, 2015 (Boulevard) – By a 4 to 1 vote with only Supervisor Dianne Jacob opposed, the Board of Supervisors this week approved a revised version of the controversial Rugged Acres industrial solar facility and rescinded approval of an earlier plan.

A judge had tossed out the original environmental impact review because massive battery storage facilities were added after public comment was closed.  Supervisors approved a revamped plan with the energy storage facility removed.

Supervisor Jacob stated, “I strongly support solar but I believe it belongs on rooftops of both single family homes and businesses and a solar farm in the right location,” Jacob said. “This project would potentially industrialize our back country which was never meant to be. The project can no longer live up to the promises and major use findings that are needed for approval.”

SOITEC SOLAR HEARING OCT. 14

 

Update: The County site now says this item will not be on the agenday Oct. 14.  Check the County Supervisors' agenda for updates.

October 1, 2015 (San Diego)—San Diego Supervisors will hold a hearing on Soitec Solar’s final remaining project in Boulevard on October 14th.  Supervisors will consider a Revised Final Program Environmental Impact Report for the project that can be viewed here: http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/pds/ceqa/Soitec-Solar-RFPEIR.html.   The hearing documents will be posted at http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/cob/bosa.html in advance of the hearing.

COUNTY TO HOLD MEETING SEPT. 24 IN ALPINE ON PROPOSAL TO ALLOW THOUSANDS OF NEW HOMES ON LANDS ADJACENT TO CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 21, 2015 (Alpine)—A proposed Forest Conservation Initiative Lands General Plan Amendment was heard by Supervisors last year, when Supervisors directed staff to work with the Alpine Community Planning Group, U.S. Forest Service and property owners to develop boundaries and scope of work for a special study area. That information will be used to determine land use densities for thousands of acres of private property near or within Cleveland National Forest in the Alpine area, opening the door for major development of lands east and south of Alpine.

On Thursday, September 24, County staff will provide an overview of the draft scope of work for the Special Study at the Alpine Community Planning Group meeting in the Community Center at 1830 Alpine Boulevard.  An agenda will be posted prior to the meeting at: http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/pds/gpupdate/comm/alpine.html

MAJORITY OF SUPERVISORS VOTE TO SETTLE CLAIMS FILED BY DAVE ROBERTS’ STAFFERS

 

 

Roberts issues response to settlement decision

East County News Service

File photo by Nadin Abbott

September 15, 2015 (San Diego) – Today, the majority of County Supervisors voted to pay $310,000 to settle claims filed by three ex-staff members against Supervisor Dave Roberts. 

In a prepared statement, Supervisors indicated they determined the settlement to be “in the best interest of taxpayers” and said Roberts “at a minimum, showed poor judgment.” The statement added that “although not conclusive, the investigative material surrounding the inappropriate use of County funds, promoting a hostile work environment, an alleged bribe, campaigning on County time, improper use of a County vehicle and retaliation against District 3 staff members is significant and a matter of concern for the Board of Supervisors.”

Asked his response, Roberts, who has consistently denied the staffers' allegations, provided East County Magazine with the following statement:

SUPERVISORS POSTPONE ACTION ON WATERFRONT PARK FREE SPEECH RULES UNTIL JULY

 

By Miriam Raftery and Janis Russell

“It is the basic tenet of all Americans to speak truth to power without restriction or regulation.” – David Patterson, U.S. veteran and Ramona resident (photo, left, by Janis Russell)

View video of complete hearing (item 7): http://sdcounty.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=9&clip_id=1682

 

June 10, 2015 (San Diego)- San Diego’s Board of Supervisors yesterday postponed action until July 21st on a controversial proposal to restrict protesters in the Waterfront Park outside the County Administration Building. The  County claims its goal is to protect free speech rights while also protecting rights of the growing number of others using the new waterfront park for activities such as weddings, picnics, concerts, yoga and children’s play.

Supervisors voted to delay action and ask staff to re-examine the proposal after the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter calling the action “probably unconstitutional” as written, also noting that the City of San Diego has no permit requirements for free speech activities. Members of the public and Supervisor Dianne Jacob also voiced concerns about the proposed ordinance.

A DARK DAY FOR DEMOCRACY: SUPERVISORS OVERRIDE BOULEVARD'S ELECTED PLANNING OFFICIALS, FORCE INDUSTRIAL-SCALE SOLAR ON RURAL TOWN

 

By Miriam Raftery

View video of full hearing: http://sdcounty.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=9&clip_id=1660

Note: Tune in Friday to our radio show on 89.1 FM from 5 to 6 p.m. to hear interviews with Boulevard residents and a hydrologist sharing their views on this outcome.  Jim Whelan, a representative of Soitec project property owners Hamann and Gibson was invited and refused to participate.

 

February 4, 2015 (San Diego) – Boulevard residents fought down tears in stunned disbelief today (photo, left) as San Diego Supervisors voted 4 to 1 to approve Soitec’s Tierra Del Sol and Rugged Solar projects, overriding a unanimous vote by Boulevard’s elected planning group that opposed the projects. Collectively the two massive projects will cover 1,185 acres (the equivalent of 185 city blocks) of rural terrain with thousands of concentrated solar tracking panels, each 48 feet wide by 30 feet tall.

Only Supervisor Dianne Jacob voted against the project, following an extensive speech in opposition. She called county staff’s finding that the project was compatible with rural community character “absolutely incomprehensible to me.”  Jacob pointed out that the General Plan is supposed to assure environmental stewardship, preservation of agricultural lands, open space and community character, among other qualities – all of which will be destroyed if the Soitec projects are built.

SUPERVISORS TO HEAR SOITEC SOLAR'S CONTROVERSIAL BOULEVARD PROJECTS IN FEB. 4 HEARING

County planners approved despite serious environmental and financial issues; rural group vows to sue if approved

By Miriam Raftery

January 19, 2015 (Boulevard) – Rural  planning group chairs and environmentalists are blasting county planners for approving Soitec Solar’s controversial industrial scale solar projects.  Planners largely ignored evidence that the projects could deplete groundwater supplies, threaten wildlife and create fire hazards—as well as Soitec’s precarious financial position.

Next up, San Diego Supervisors will hold a hearing on the project February 4th.  At least one citizens’ group, Backcountry Against Dumps (BAD) has promised to file a lawsuit against the County if Supervisors approve the projects, which would cover 1500 acres with approximately 8,000 massive solar trackers, each 30 feet high.

SUPERVISORS HAVE BUSY AGENDA WITH MANY EAST COUNTY ITEMS

 

September 1, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—San Diego Supervisors meet Tuesday and Wednesday this week, with many important items on the agendas impacting East County and our region overall.

SUPERVISORS VOTE TO CREATE MAJOR AGRICULTURAL PROMOTION PROGRAM

 

County News Service

August 7, 2014 (San Diego) -- San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously directed County staff Wednesday to start working on a program to promote agriculture. Ultimately, the program could open up nearly one-third of the unincorporated county to wineries.

The proposed Agriculture Promotion Program would also streamline County planning and land use regulations to expand and promote other agricultural pursuits. Those include microbreweries, “agritourism,” cheese-making, beekeeping and onsite retail horticultural sales.

FUTURE OF FOREST LANDS , ALPINE GROWTH AT STAKE

 

By Nadin Abbott and Miriam Raftery

June 27, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Supervisors heard heated testimony on Wednesday regarding plans to change densities for lands on private property within the Cleveland National Forest boundaries. The Forest Conservation Initiative (FCI) passed by voters in 1993, which limited development on these lands to one home for each 40 acres, expired in 2010.  The County has rejected calls to enact the FCI protections into law. Instead, Supervisors directed staff to create an Environmental Impact Report based on staff recommendations that would increase densities in some areas and reduce them in others.

The hot potato is Alpine, where the Alpine Planning Group’s majority called on Supervisors to allow increased densities and development that could double the size of their rural town.  That has drawn opposition from environmentalists, board member Lou Russo, the Cleveland National Forest Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service itself, which raised concerns over fire dangers and preservation of federally protected wild lands adjacent to proposed development.

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