Supervisors OK grant application for right-of-way development standards

By Joe Naiman

San Diego County Board of Supervisors are asking California Department of Transportation for grants to develop Community Right-of-Way Development Standards programs in Ramona, Alpine, Bonita, and Bonsall.

The grant applications seek $150,000 for each community. The standards will address all items within county right-of-way of each community’s roads other than the travel lanes themselves.

The Community Right-of-Way Development Standards program intends to develop standards that encourage preservation of the community’s character through the provision of cohesive community-based streetscapes, according to a staff report to the supervisors.

Caltrans’ Community-Based Transportation Planning Grant Program provides funds for coordinated transportation and land use planning projects that encourage community involvement and partnerships. The projects must support the concepts of livable and sustainable communities and have a transportation and mobility objective. Requirements also include promoting community identity and quality of life.

The standards are also intended to help implement rural “smart growth” objectives for the proposed village area and to enhance pedestrian and other non-automotive travel within the community. The new standards would augment or replace existing ones for items such as curbs, lighting, landscaping, and other design elements with features tailored to individual communities.

County staff worked with the Alpine, Ramona, and Sweetwater community planning groups and the Bonsall Sponsor Group to prepare grant application packages for each community’s right-of-way standards.

The competitive grant requires a 10 percent local match. Three-quarters of that match must be in cash while up to one-quarter can be provided through in-kind labor costs. The county intends to utilize Highway User Tax Act funding for its local match.

If the grant is awarded, the county will likely receive the money in October 2012 and the supervisors would appropriate funds during Fiscal Year 2012-13. After the plan is developed, county staff will prepare a recommended funding plan to cover installation and ongoing maintenance costs. The county’s Department of Public Works would take the lead responsibility to develop the plan.

   
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