By Karen Brainard
Chair Jim Piva called it a “sign of the times” as he ran through the lean Ramona Community Planning Group agenda, noting there was no business to report from any of the subcommittees.
The Sept. 6 meeting lasted barely an hour. In the past, meetings have lasted two hours or longer, depending on the amount and magnitude of projects presented.
“We are, I think, a telling sign there’s not a lot going on here,” Piva said.
The only construction projects on the agenda were for residential properties. The board approved a waiver for a second dwelling unit proposed for property in the scenic corridor of Old Julian Highway after determining it would be obstructed from the road.
The board also recommended an administrative permit be renewed for owners of a residence on Highland Mesa Drive who are planning to add a third story, not to exceed 35 feet. The owner said they had put their project on hold when the economy turned and the administrative permit expired last year.
In other business:
•Planning group members approved a letter requesting grant funding through the Highway Safety Improvement Program for a traffic signal at 10th and H streets.
When resident Jim Cooper asked about statistics for that intersection, RCPG member Carl Hickman, a licensed traffic engineer with the county, said the intersection ranks very high on the county’s traffic signal priority list.
“There have been 33 collisions in the past five years at that location—33—and that is a very large amount,” Hickman said.
According to Piva, the Ramona Fire Department also requested a signal at that intersection because of its proximity to Fire Station 80.
The board approved the letter by a vote of 8-1-1. Member Kevin Wallace opposed and Hickman abstained. Absent were members Chris Anderson, Matt Deskovick, Angus Tobiason, Bob Hailey, and Paul Stykel.
•Because of the Nov. 6 election, planners postponed consideration of a Highway 67 traffic safety ad hoc subcommittee until February 2013, after the installation of new members.
•Piva recognized those in the audience who are running for planning group seats in the November election: Robin Maxson, Kathy DaSilva, and Jim Cooper. Ten people are competing for eight seats, he noted. Of the eight RCPG members whose terms are ending, five are seeking re-election: Piva, Torry Brean, Eb Hogervorst, Paul Stykel, and Richard Tomlinson. Chris Anderson, Angus Tobiason, and Bob Hailey are not seeking another term. The other candidates are Barbara Jensen and Donna Myers.
•Piva announced that County Supervisor Dianne Jacob has scheduled a meeting on Sept. 27 to finalize the emergency evacuation route for Ramona.
•The RCPG approved a letter commending Lt. Julie Sutton’s service to Ramona. Sutton, who headed the sheriff’s Ramona substation, retired Aug. 30.