By Karen Brainard
A resident's request to ask Caltrans to extend the state Route 67 right turn lane onto Dye Road by beginning it at Mussey Grade Road did not receive enough support from the Ramona Community Planning Group.
Joe Minervini told planners this month that he was suggesting it "because I guess if you live in the Estates, or where I do on the south side of town off of Dye Road, and you're coming up the hill at 5 in the evening, you want to get home as quickly as possible."
Minervini presented planners with his drawing of SR-67's intersections with Mussey Grade and Dye roads, noting that the existing right turn lane is 560 feet and Caltrans' planned improvements will extend the turn lane an additional 800 feet. Minervini's proposal would add another 1,050 feet, making it a nearly half-mile right turn lane.
Mussey Grade Road resident Rick Morgal and some of the planners voiced concerns that such a change could make it difficult to turn on Mussey Grade, and could create a weaving lane where drivers would use it to weave in and out to pass cars.
Chair Jim Piva noted that Caltrans is nearly done with its design for improvements at that intersection, expected to start in 2015, and that a Caltrans employee unofficially told him a right turn lane from Mussey Grade to Dye Road would not happen.
Planner Jim Cooper, however, said the topic just keeps "bubbling."
"Solve it, put it to bed, get it off of the docket," Cooper said, suggesting the planning group send a request letter and Caltrans can always say no.
Planner Richard Tomlinson made a motion to send a letter to Caltrans for an official answer, but his colleague Dennis Sprong said, "My concern is even further requests of a project that is at this stage will send some kind of wave to slow the project down."
Tomlinson's motion failed 4-6 with Torry Brean, Piva, Sprong, Kristi Mansolf, Scotty Ensign and Matt Deskovick opposing.
In other action at the meeting:
•Planners agreed to draft a letter to the county to explore options for an oak tree that is leaning into the Mussey Grade Road travel lane. The tree is in the public right of way, 1,000 feet south of Dos Picos Park Road. Options suggested were road improvements or realignment, and cautionary signage.
Ensign, planning group vice chair, said trash trucks are clipping the side of the tree. Reluctance to remove the tree and destroy the canopy of branches over Mussey Grade Road, and consideration that the road has historic designation, led planners to seek options other than removal.
•Planners agreed to recommend removal of a 25- to 30-year-old eucalyptus tree with a three-inch diameter in the public right of way on Arena Drive. The tree's roots are damaging the curb and gutter.
•Planners approved a Verizon 35-foot cell tower that may look like a water tank at 15980 Snuz Mountain Road off Dos Picos Park Road.