Cumming Ranch receives commission’s endorsement

Next step for
125-lot plan
is supervisors

By Joe Naiman

Despite opposition from some residents, San Diego County Planning Commission recommended approval of the rezone and specific plan for Cumming Ranch on Aug. 17.

Because San Diego County Board of Supervisors’ approval is needed for a rezone, specific plan, or specific plan amendment, the project will go before the board at a date to be determined.

The subdivision would create 125 residential lots, along with 457 acres of biological open space, on 683 acres approximately one-quarter of a mile northwest of the intersection of Route 67 and Highland Valley Road. The lots would range from one acre to 3.1 acres.

The commission’s 5-1 vote, with Michael Beck opposed and Leon Brooks absent, also recommended approval of the environmental findings and the site plan. The project conditions include a Local Agency Formation Commission annexation that would provide Ramona Municipal Water District latent sewer powers to the area.

In addition, the commission’s action includes a statement of overriding considerations regarding cumulative impacts to state Route 67 which cannot be mitigated solely by the project. The unmitigable impacts to Route 67 are between Scripps Poway Parkway and Archie Moore Road.

“They’ve more than compensated for their impacts,” said Commissioner Adam Day.

When the county’s general plan was updated in 2011, the new general plan allowed for 126 dwelling units. The previous general plan allowed for 166 dwelling units, although that plan also required industrial uses on the site.

“The project before you today is a product of negotiations and revisions,” said county Department of Planning and Land Use (DPLU) project manager Larry Hofreiter. “The project issues have been addressed.”

The Ramona Community Planning Group supported most of the project, voting 8-3 in December 2010 to recommend approval but also voting 12-0 to have the county work with the community and California Department of Transportation on issues involving Route 67.

The entity known as 805 Properties is expected to pay a transportation impact fee of approximately $1.3 million, although a revision of the TIF program is slated to be heard by the county supervisors in October and the amount may be revised. Intersection improvements to Route 67 and Highland Valley Road/Dye Road would be funded by 805 Properties, as would a traffic signal at Highway 67 and Archie Moore Road when warrant are met.

Approximately 78 percent of the lots within a quarter-mile of the site are three acres or less.

“Not only does the open space fit into the area, but so do the residential lots,” Hofreiter said. “If you remove the project boundary, it’s difficult to determine where project edges are located.”

The lots were individually designed to minimize grading.

“We were able to reduce our grading by 65 percent,” said Gene Driscoll of 805 Properties. “It not only cuts down on the grading but it also cuts down on erosion.

Vivian Osborn of Voorhes Lane challenged the claim that the project will fit into community character.

“My neighbors are on large lots,” she said. “It violates our right of enjoyment of our rural neighborhood.”

Osborn noted that the surrounding one-acre lots are on septic systems. “Cumming Ranch is a product of 1987 planning design,” she said.

“Ramona is lacking good, safe roads,” said Bristlewood Drive resident Sharon Lynch. “DPLU will be playing Russian Roulette with people’s lives in case of disaster. There seems to be no end to the misery and damage yet to come.”

“The infrastructure is not yet in place for this project,” said Darren Kirkpatrick, who lives in the 17800 block of Highway 67.

“We are adding more traffic to an already dangerous road,” Sky Valley Drive resident Regina Wilson said.

Joe Minervini of Cecelia Jo Road noted that 125 homes built on 682 acres would equate to five-acre parcels and that his opposition wasn’t to the building but to the clustering.

“We have enough open space,” he said. “We don’t want hundreds of homes in clusters on small lots.”

Two former Ramona Community Planning Group chairs, Chris Anderson and Patrick Uriell, spoke as individuals in favor of the project.

“The project has worked with the community for the past decade,” said Anderson, who is currently the planning group’s vice-chair.

“Mr. Driscoll has shown due diligence far beyond that of any project that I’ve witnessed,” Uriell said. “Mr. Driscoll was not only paying attention to community character but including its input into this project.”

Uriell added that the project was compliant with the Ramona community plan, which is part of the county’s general plan.

“If it’s a flaw it’s called the general plan,” he said.

The open space includes land that would be donated to the county while other land would be available for purchase.

Beck’s opposition was based on the lack of a permanent open space easement. He did not oppose the design.

“I think the project design is well-done,” he said.

Related posts:

  1. Cumming Ranch slated for Planning Commission Aug. 17
  2. Planning group supports Cumming Ranch trails
  3. Planning Commission approves tentative map for Keyes Road five-lot subdivision
  4. Planning group blasts county commission, appeals Hidden Valley Ranch expansion
  5. County postpones Highland Valley Ranch appeals until January

Short URL: http://www.ramonasentinel.com/?p=16644

Posted by Maureen Robertson on Aug 20 2012. Filed under Government, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

5 Comments for “Cumming Ranch receives commission’s endorsement”

  1. Les

    Well, well, of coarse Ms. Anderson likes it….She's in the real estate clique here in Ramona. Duh!! Hope everyone likes more traffic and traffic lights.

  2. guest

    Let me see, in a disaster, we have a traffic bottle neck which lasts for hours, so bad so that people run out of gas trying to evacuate town. We also run out of potable water. We don't have sewer capacity to take care of many more hookups, and the day to day commute traffic is a nightmare- and, somebody wants to add 125 additional homes??? Gee, what's wrong with this picture?

  3. Maria Stanley

    And what is going to be done about the additional traffic? Build a freeway through Ramona? We don't need any more houses or people. The town is already going to the crapper.

    • Local

      What is wrong with you People?? LET RAMONA GROW. You Horse people, who don't want the growth. Move to the sticks and leave the rest of us alone.

      • Also a local

        Ramona is the sticks. We all are here to get away from the city and to have room for horses and land. The people with horses were here long before you, so why should they have to leave? Traffic is bad enough without adding more. Maybe you didn't notice the mountains as you came up the hill, but the road is as wide as it can get.

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