A change to the County’s Biological Mitigation Ordinance not only gives road and structure builders more flexibility on where to mitigate biological impacts for their projects but also is expected to enhance the county’s Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP).
The Biological Mitigation Ordinance had stated that mitigation was to occur in vegetation communities within the county subarea of the discretionary project, but the amendment allows for mitigation in another approved subarea within the MSCP plan area. Two 5-0 votes of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a first reading and introduction Feb. 24 and the amendment’s second reading and adoption March 3.
The MSCP subarea plan was adopted in October 1997, as was the Biological Mitigation Ordinance that implements that subarea plan. Since then available mitigation land for specific species or habitat has become more difficult to find in specific subareas. Under the amendment, mitigation outside the subarea would only be allowed if the applicant has shown a good faith effort to mitigate within the subarea and has shown that mitigation within the subarea is not feasible.
The local jurisdictions worked with state and Federal agencies to develop MSCP plans, and if a project complies with MSCP guidelines incidental take permits can be obtained through the county rather than through the state and Federal agencies.
The county worked with various incorporated cities on the MSCP plan. In addition to the County of San Diego, approved subareas also exist in the cities of Chula Vista, La Mesa, Poway, and San Diego.
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