Jacob returns Ramona Street extension to drawing board

County Supervisor Dianne Jacob speaks to subcommittee chairs, law enforcement officials, and residents at her biannual Ramona Revitalization Steering Committee meeting. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

By Karen Brainard

San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said she has sent the plans for the Ramona Street extension “back to the drawing board” after visiting the site of the controversial road project.

“The trip out there opened my eyes,” she told the Sentinel after her Ramona Revitalization Steering Committee meeting on April 27.

About 15 residents attended the meeting — more than usual — along with county staff and law enforcement officials.

Resident Jim Cooper, who would not be impacted by the road project but has taken a stand against it, read from prepared material about the history of design changes for the extension, the problems it could cause, and the amount of money spent and projected to complete it.

“What problem does this extension solve?” Cooper asked.

The Ramona Street Extension or “completion” as some refer to it, would construct about one-third of a mile of new road to extend Ramona Street from Boundary Avenue to Warnock Drive. The design is in its fourth iteration and was scheduled by the Department of Public Works (DPW) to be completed this spring.

“This is a difficult road to build,” said Jacob.

The topography in that area and an aqueduct along the site contribute to construction challenges, she said.

Ken Brennecke, a Boundary Avenue resident who would be impacted by the project, had invited Jacob to walk the site. She joined him for the tour on March 3 and noted that it was a lot different to physically see the topography than looking at a piece of paper showing connecting roads.

Jacob said she put the project back into the hands of DPW and told staff to talk to the neighbors, work with them, and resolve all the issues.

“This is an extremely difficult extension,” she said, posing the questions: “Is it worth it? Is it that important to

Resident Jim Cooper, second from left, reads about the many design changes and projected costs for the proposed Ramona Street Extension at the revitalization meeting. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

the community?”

Proponents for the road project say the extension is needed to improve traffic circulation, especially with four schools in that area.

Opponents say it will negatively impact the property owners and traffic patterns in that area and could create a safety hazard for children heading to and from school.

Those opposing the project include the affected property owners and members of Committee for a Rural Ramona (CFARR).

Other items discussed at the meeting included:

•Nancy Roy, health and human services subcommittee co-chair, said the Arriba Teen Center will most likely close June 1 due to lack of volunteers and funding sources. Palomar YMCA has expressed a possible interest in starting a program in Ramona, she said.

•Roy said Palomar Health is planning to break ground around June 20 on its Ramona satellite clinic at Main and 13th streets.

•Jacob reported that San Diego Gas & Electric said no to a request to underground its lines along the proposed emergency evacuation route for Ramona. The dirt route goes through the Ramona Grasslands and on Ramona Municipal Water District property where SDG&E has utility poles. Lt. Julie Sutton of the Sheriff’s Ramona substation said that, even with the poles, there should be enough room for vehicles to pass through in an emergency, adding that it may be tight for horsetrailers.

along the site contribute to construction challenges, she said.

Ken Brennecke, a Boundary Avenue resident who would be impacted by the project, had invited Jacob to walk the site. She joined him for the tour on March 3 and noted that it was a lot different to physically see the topography than looking at a piece of paper showing connecting roads.

Jacob said she put the project back into the hands of DPW and told staff to talk to the neighbors, work with them, and resolve all the issues.

“This is an extremely difficult extension,” she said, posing the questions: “Is it worth it? Is it that important to the community?”

Proponents for the road project say the extension is needed to improve traffic circulation, especially with four schools in that area.

Opponents say it will negatively impact the property owners and traffic patterns in that area and could create a safety hazard for children heading to and from school.

Those opposing the project include the affected property owners and members of Committee for a Rural Ramona (CFARR).

Other items discussed at the meeting included:

•Nancy Roy, health and human services subcommittee co-chair, said the Arriba Teen Center will most likely close June 1 due to lack of volunteers and funding sources. Palomar YMCA has expressed a possible interest in starting a program in Ramona, she said.

•Roy said Palomar Health is planning to break ground around June 20 on its Ramona satellite clinic at Main and 13th streets.

•Jacob reported that San Diego Gas & Electric said no to a request to underground its lines along the proposed emergency evacuation route for Ramona. The dirt route goes through the Ramona Grasslands and on Ramona Municipal Water District property where SDG&E has utility poles. Lt. Julie Sutton of the Sheriff’s Ramona substation said that, even with the poles, there should be enough room for vehicles to pass through in an emergency, adding that it may be tight for horsetrailers.

Related posts:

  1. Planners OK Ramona Street extension
  2. Ramona Street extension draws protest
  3. The true cost of the proposed Ramona Street extension
  4. Botannical garden better than road extension
  5. Please, no Ramona Street extension

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on May 2 2012. Filed under Featured Story. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

3 Comments for “Jacob returns Ramona Street extension to drawing board”

  1. Ramona Parent

    Very very disappointed in Diane Jacobs on this one. She is listening only to the horribly out-of-touch people who don't care about the safety of hundreds of students in the immediate area. They're more worried that their property line will finally be set to what it is on the county map.

  2. Mark Felt

    Is this the second or third time this project has been sent back to the drawing board? How much has each redesign cost County tax payers? Ramona complains about inadequate roads and traffic, but then complains when they try to build them. Ramona Street is a no brainer and needs to be built so that residents in the San Diego Country Estates have easier access to the west side of town.

  3. Andrew

    It’s an election year for Dianne, she needs the votes. After she’s re-elected, we can get back to business. The residents on this street knew the road would be built someday, it was a part of their original deed dating back decades. Brennecke doesn’t want it built because he wants to build a botanical garden there and the road would intersect it. However, he has no major use permit in the works and doesn’t acknowledge the traffic it would also generate. Quail Botanical Gardens generates something like 200,000 visits a year. So, in his vision, no road impacts him but it impacts all those residents leading up to his project.

    The residents on Ramona Street are the selfish citizens who have cost the taxpayers – and our community – this important link in our circulation element. Shame on you, Donna, and all the rest of you.

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