County of San Diego’s trails program involves voluntary easement acquisition from landowners, but some discretionary permits have required that the developer dedicate trails easements on the property.
That requirement will be reviewed by county staff and brought before the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in the near future.
The supervisors recently voted 5-0 to have the policy reviewed.
“I think we need to have staff bring that back to us,” said board Chair and District 2 Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “We don’t want to impose any undue burden on a property owner.”
The approved motion was added after debate on the initial docketed item to update the Spring Valley and Twin Oaks Valley trails plans. The Spring Valley update drew no opposition, but the Twin Oaks Valley update drew opposition from the Twin Oaks Sponsor Group and from property owners whose land would have been impacted by one of the proposed trails.
An amendment to drop that particular trail allowed a 5-0 vote in favor of the updates, and mention that discretionary permit applications required landowners to dedicate trails led to the related motion to review the policy.
“I just don’t want to hold up projects,” said Supervisor Bill Horn.
The county’s Department of Planning and Land Use has been requiring the dedication and construction of trails as a condition of approval for subdivision maps that include trail linkage areas. While trails advocates note that trails can be an amenity to homebuyers, agricultural interests note that trail access may pose a hazard to agriculture.
In March 2006, the county’s Planning Commission voted to include a trail as part of a subdivision map for a 289-acre Ramona parcel where active agriculture existed and was planned to continue. The subdivision was intended to provide homes for family members of the property owner.