The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 September 24, with Supervisor Pam Slater-Price in Washington, to approve a Specific Plan Amendment to the Lake Rancho Viejo Specific Plan, along with a modification of the Major Use Permit for the area and the vacation of a road easement dedication.
The amendment to the Specific Plan and the modification of the Major Use Permit remove the designation for recreational vehicle parking on approximately 3.5 acres of land and designate that area as an open space easement with protection for biological resources.
The 3.5-acre area at the southern end of Lake Circle Street is located east of Interstate 15 and is immediately adjacent to Keys Creek and a 78-acre open space preserve.
It is south of a residential area within the Lake Rancho Viejo Specific Plan.
The initial plan called for an unconstructed portion of Lake Circle Street to provide access to parcels which were intended for development as a recreational vehicle storage area.
The easement dedication had allowed for the construction of that road extension.
In 1996 the Lake Rancho Viejo Specific Plan was amended, along with an associated Major Use Permit modification, to allow the construction of conventional single-family homes rather than manufactured housing.
Flood control improvements to Keys Creek had also been made, and developer K. Hovnanian Lake Rancho Viejo LLC determined that the designation for recreational vehicle storage was no longer desirable.
The road segment vacated was not included in the county’s bicycle network plan and was not part of the county’s circulation element.
The Fallbrook Community Planning Group and the Fallbrook Design Review Committee however, recommended denial of the plan amendment on the grounds that the open space would present a significant fire threat to the nearby homes.
When the Fallbrook Design Review Committee unanimously recommended denial on March 12, the committee noted that the recent Rice Fire was fueled in part by uncleared open space and recommended that the developer and homeowners work out a solution which would be mutually beneficial to both parties.
The Fallbrook Community Planning Group unanimously recommended denial on March 17.
The North County Fire Protection District and the Fire Services Division of the county’s Department of Planning and Land Use indicated support for the open space designation and road vacation on the condition that the open space is maintained to the standards noted in the Lake Rancho Viejo Fire Protection Plan and the habitat management plan.
The Major Use Permit allows for selective clearing in the biological protection area for fire-related purposes.
A review of a previous grading plan indicated that certain other lots within the project were required to be placed into open space easements, and the Major Use Permit modification also designates the change to open space for those lots.
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