The County of San Diego has released a draft plan that could transform land use in the unincorporated area. EHL is working to overcome obstacles to the plan’s success.

For decades, the San Diego countryside has suffered a “death-by-a-thousand-cuts” from estate lot subdivisions that have filled rural roads with long-distance commuters. Most of the alternatives in the new plan markedly reduce densities in rural locations and shift growth to towns closer to infrastructure.

However, the DEIR’s “preferred project” is a map that does not meet these objectives in the large North County region. Furthermore, a vital land use tool for consolidating development and saving habitat and farm land – the Conservation Subdivision – is opposed by some community groups that favor land-consumptive, large lots. Rather, EHL believes that proper design standards can address community character concerns.

For many years, EHL participated in a key stakeholder committee that provided a new vision for a county with rich but dwindling biological resources and a still-viable working landscape of farms and ranches. Now, EHL is intensively reviewing the draft General Plan and its draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), and will take all actions necessary to ensure the adoption of a truly sustainable land use plan that sets an example for the rest of California.