Commission modifies Montecito Ranch road requirements

By Joe Naiman

San Diego County Planning Commission modified the off-site road improvement requirements of the Montecito Ranch development, but a pathway on Montecito Way will remain 8 feet wide as originally proposed.

Commissioners approved the modifications Aug. 16 by a 5-1 vote with Michael Beck opposed and John Riess abstaining.

The Montecito Ranch developer had sought to reduce the pathway width to 5 feet on Montecito Way, as well as on other roads, and to reduce the required width of other off-site road improvements.

“We’re lessening the impacts to the neighbors,” said county Department of Planning and Development Services (PDS) Assistant Director Darren Gretler.

“It would avoid impacts to existing off-site properties and still handle predicted traffic volumes,” said PDS Project Manager Larry Hofreiter.

County supervisors approved the 935.2-acre Montecito Ranch project in August 2010. The project includes 417 single-family homes, an 8.3-acre public park, an 11.9-acre historic park, approximately seven miles of trails and 571.2 acres of biological open space. The project will construct Montecito Ranch Road to connect Ash Street with Montecito Way and will construct several neighborhood streets.

Ramona Community Planning Group supported most of the proposed changes but wanted an 8-foot pathway on the west side of Montecito Way in addition to the 28 feet of paved width and the 40 feet of right-of-way. The original conditions included 40 feet of paved width, 60 feet of right-of-way, and an 8-foot pathway.  Montecito Ranch agreed to the 8-foot pathway. A pathway is a trail adjacent to a road.

“We’ve worked out this compromise with the developer and the community,” said Jim Piva, Ramona planning group chair.

Any trail in the trails master plan must be widened to at least 8 feet with 10 feet preferred. The minimum width for a pathway not on the master plan is 5 feet.

“The ideal would be 8-foot pathways all around,” Piva said.

The reduction of other pathways to 5 feet drew some community opposition at the commission hearing.

“There’s a lot of traffic on those non-motorized pathways,” said Shady Oaks Drive resident Maria Longton.

“I’m somewhat concerned about the remaining 5-foot pathway width,” said Via Cuesta resident Alison Farrin.  “Five feet’s getting awful narrow.”

All on-site pathways will be widened to 8 feet. The reduction of the off-site pathways to 5 feet will avoid eminent domain issues that would remove driveway entrances, mail boxes, and noise-shielding vegetation from private property.

“We realized the impact an 8-foot pathway would have,” said developer Bruce Tabb, adding, “It’s really not a financial issue.At 8 feet it presents serious impacts.”

The condemnation of 3 feet of driveway would force steeper driveways, some of which might not be in compliance with fire code standards.

Other off-site road modifications include reducing the right-of-way for Montecito Ranch Road from 80 feet and 118 feet to 68 feet, which would narrow the road and eliminate the landscaped medium. The graded width on Ash Street would be reduced from 60 feet to 52 feet and the paved width of Montecito Road and Montecito Way would be reduced from 40 feet to 32 or 28 feet.

Traffic signals and intersection improvements would replace dedicated left turn lanes and striping at Ash Street and State Route 78.

A southbound through/left turn lane from Montecito Road onto State Route 67 would replace a dedicated right turn lane.

Related posts:

  1. County commission to review Montecito Ranch revised map
  2. Planners give nod to Montecito Ranch road changes
  3. Planning Commission approves tentative map for Keyes Road five-lot subdivision
  4. Commission approves map for project near Black Canyon Road
  5. Cumming Ranch receives commission’s endorsement

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Posted by Staff on Aug 23 2013. Filed under Featured Story, Government, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Comments for “Commission modifies Montecito Ranch road requirements”

  1. Karen

    This project is awful (in my opinion) and the pathway width had better be 8 feet as agreed upon over and over and over and over. All of the reductions in offsite improvements will affect Ramona forever. Not against growth, against poorly planned and poorly managed GIANT developments that will adversely affect our community. Ugh….. County planners pay attention to this one, please?!! It's horrible!

  2. Honest Resident

    If the pathways are reduced in width it will have a very negative impact on the community. Do not allow them to reduce the widths of these roads and/or pathways. Why would they allow the removal of a landscaped medium and reducing the right-of-way by 60 feet. They will make this so crowded and unsafe that it will be a constant source of accidents and traffic jams as people squeeze around the reduced widths. Don't let the huge builders run roughshod over our town.

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