Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

New ordinance + PRD roads = disaster


Last updated 7/26/2007 at Noon

Our county supervisors are currently striving to enact an ordinance that would allow special treatment to Boutique Wineries by allowing their formation on A70 and A72 agriculture parcels “by right,” meaning that no discretionary permit, studies, neighbor notification or fees would be required.

Folks residing on private roads in these areas expressed concerns with the liability that this would place on them as private land owners of the road. In response, the county’s proposed solution is one that would allow brute force to be applied to up to 39.9 percent of the neighborhood with the use of a tool called a Permanent Road Division (PRD) Zone. This tool has the potential to force an out-voted income-challenged landowner out of house and home, should he have an inability to pay the assessment fee that would be placed on the property.

The downfall to a PRD is that it allows for the more prominent land owners to vote in an enormous financial burden onto those of lesser financial means, such as some disabled individuals, the unemployed, retirees or widowers struggling to survive on fixed income/benefits. Property owners must pay all cost, not only initially but in the future as well. The “bill” for this effort is then placed on the parcel’s annual property tax bill as a non-tax-deductible “assessment fee.”

Similar to a homeowner’s insurance company, county lawyers would also fight a lawsuit resulting from an accident on the PRD road but will not offer to pay the court-ordered awards. A PRD would provide an improved road, enabling faster speeds, for a winery to provide drunk drivers on. Law enforcement agencies will not enforce traffic violations on PRD roads. Even with the formation of a PRD, a lawsuit liability to the private land owner remains.

Carolyn Dorroh


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