By Karen Brainard
Solar installations and land use were predominant topics at County Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s Coffee with the Constituents in Ramona Town Hall.
Jacob spoke to about 45 attendees and answered questions on Feb. 22, standing in front of a display of turkey feather garments that were donated to town hall by the family of the late Mary Kay Pinkard. Pinkard’s husband, Lee, and daughter, Lancey Wilson, attended the coffee.
Jacob was asked about her recent rooftop solar project for her home.
“It was a great experience. My goal was to have 100 percent offset,” she said.
When someone mentioned the Board of Supervisors’ Feb. 6 vote to approve the proposed Sol Orchard solar installation on nearly 43 acres at Warnock Drive and Ramona Street, Jacob said she was frustrated and disappointed over her colleagues’ votes. Jacob was the only supervisor to vote against it.
“We don’t have an energy policy for San Diego. And no one seems to be looking at it from a consumer’s standpoint,” she said.
Resident Sandee Salvatore said several projects have been approved by the county Planning Commission that were opposed by the Ramona Community Planning Group. She said the commissioner who represents the Ramona area, Bryan Woods, now lives on the coast and doesn’t ask residents for their opinions.
Jacob said it does not necessarily matter where commissioners live but that they are familiar with the areas they oversee.
Resident Paul Tarr of Ramona Real Estate Brokerage addressed lot splits, where property owners seek to split their property into more than one parcel.
Noting that many agencies can be involved in a lot split, and costs can continue to rise through the process, Tarr questioned whether applicants are warned up front by county staff of possible conflicts or costly consequences.
“I know five or six families that have been ruined,” he said.
Jacob said constituents should contact her if they have a problem with the county Department of Planning and Development Services, and she will set up a meeting.
Jacob cautioned against hiring the wrong consultants and advised applicants to ask the following questions:
- Is is feasible to do what I want to do? Are there any roadblocks?
- How much is it going to cost me?
- How long is it going to take?
She also said the applicant should get the answers from county staff in writing and suggested meeting with the Ramona planning group to see if there is any community opposition to the proposed project.