Busy intersection remains priority for planners

By Karen Brainard

Ramona Community Planning Group (RCPG) has not given up on trying to find a solution to the rush-hour traffic back-ups at the state Route 67 and Highland Valley/Dye Road intersection.

“That is the bottleneck for the community of Ramona,” said RCPG Chair Jim Piva at the group’s Feb 2 meeting.

Piva reported that the group’s subcommittee working on a resolution will pursue funding with the regional San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to do a project report on the intersection.

A project report, explained RCPG member Carl Hickman, is a document that an agency puts together displaying all options or alternatives to ease or solve problems.

The county and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) do not have the money to fund the project report, said Piva, so they are turning to SANDAG. Piva and Hickman are scheduled to give a presentation on the intersection in a meeting with District 2 County Supervisor Dianne Jacob and SANDAG Executive Director Gary Gallegos on Wednesday, Feb. 8. Funding for a project report would have to be approved by the SANDAG board of directors.

An engineering plan to improve the intersection did not garner enough planning group votes in May 2011, mainly due to the inclusion of a traffic light at Mussey Grade Road and Route 67.

In another matter, Piva said that he and RCPG Secretary Kristi Mansolf had attended a meeting on Jan. 31 with members of Committee for a Rural Ramona (CFARR) and Terry Rayback with the County Department of Public Works on the proposed Ramona Street Extension. They learned that the design, in its fourth iteration, is only 70 percent complete and is projected to be finished in the fall.

The road project would extend .33 miles of Ramona Street between Boundary Avenue and Warnock Drive. Members of CFARR who live along that stretch oppose the project and have voiced recent concerns about the possibility of rock blasting during construction.

A geotechnical report, completed in November 2011, indicated the project area may rock that might need to be blasted, according to Rayback. He said that is quite common in San Diego County and was not unexpected.

When the design is complete, Piva said, Rayback will present the entire design at an RCPG meeting and will distribute copies to planning group and CFARR members to review for 30 days.

“We will all have a chance to critique it and come back with our concerns,” said Piva.

In other issues, the planning group unanimously approved an Alcoholic Beverage Control license for Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market planned in Sun Valley shopping center in the 1300 block of Main Street.

Jeff Herbst with K.L. Charles Architects of Santa Fe Springs said alcohol would amount to about 5 percent of the business. The focus is on fresh, wholesome foods with no additives and the market will carry ready-made meals, he said. The market may open in October, said Herbst.

Mansolf announced that the public comment period for the Notice of Preparation of the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the county’s Tiered Equine Ordinance ends on Feb. 17. The document is available at www.sdcounty.ca.gov/dplu/regulatory/doc/POD11-011_CEQA_REVIEW_120119/POD11-01-NOPD.pdf. The project proposes amendments to the County of San Diego Zoning Ordinance for equine uses.

   
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