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Planning Commission adds hazard mitigation plan to General Plan


Last updated 3/20/2008 at Noon

A hazard mitigation plan will likely be added to the Public Safety Element of the county’s General Plan.

The county’s Planning Commission approved an amendment to the Public Safety Element by a 6-0 vote March 7 with Commission Bryan Woods absent.

A General Plan Amendment is heard by the Planning Commission but must be approved by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

The General Plan Amendment would be incorporated into the existing General Plan, although it would likely also be part of General Plan 2020 if that update is approved.

Although the County of San Diego approved a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, which is a multi-jurisdictional plan covering the county’s 18 incorporated cities as well as the unincorporated area, in October 2004, the state legislature subsequently passed an Assembly bill which authorizes a city or county to adopt a local hazard mitigation plan within the Safety Element of its general plan.

The state legislation also proposed penalties on local jurisdictions which have not adopted a local hazard mitigation plan, limiting local jurisdictions to no more than 75 percent of eligible California Disaster Assurance Act state payments.

The hazard mitigation plan includes a summary of potential hazard-related exposure in the county including the population, number of residential and commercial buildings, and number of critical facilities vulnerable to costal storms and erosion, dam failures, earthquakes, floods, rain-induced landslides, tsunamis, and wildfires.

The summary also includes the value of the vulnerable buildings and facilities.

The plan identifies fire, hazardous materials release, flooding, earthquakes, and man-made hazards as the five most likely scenarios.

The goals of the plan include promoting disaster-resistant future development, increasing public understanding and support for effective hazard mitigation, building and supporting local capacity and commitment to reducing vulnerability, and enhancing hazard mitigation coordination and communication with Federal, state, local, and tribal governments.

Codes are slated to be reviewed every three years and the general plan is targeted for an update every ten years.

The top ten prioritized actions are coordinating the development of a multi-jurisdictional plan, developing two multi-hazard assessment teams, updating the county’s Consolidated Fire Code every three years, promoting cooperative vegetation management programs which incorporate hazard mitigation, publicizing and encouraging adoption of appropriate hazard mitigation actions, updating building codes to reflect current earthquake standards, reviewing and comparing existing flood control standards with regard to zoning and building requirements, developing a business continuity plan for each county department, developing partnerships for a countywide vegetation management program, and encouraging the public to prepare and to maintain a three-day preparedness kit for home and work.


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