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Planning Commission supports rezone and General Plan Amendment for Grand Tradition Estate and Gardens

The county's Planning Commission provided its support for a rezone and General Plan Amendment for the Grand Tradition Estate and Gardens.

The Planning Commission's 7-0 vote March 11 recommends changing the zoning to C42 (Visitor Serving Commercial) for all eight parcels which comprise the Grand Tradition property and a General Plan Amendment for two of those parcels from Village Residential 2 (which includes a density of two dwelling units per acre) to General Commercial.

Approval from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, which will hear the rezone and General Plan Amendment proposal on a date to be determined, is necessary for a rezone or a General Plan Amendment. The unanimous support of the Planning Commission makes the change likely.

The zoning to C42 for the entire 30.6 acres would replace C40 (Rural Commercial) zoning for 22.2 acres, RR (Rural Residential) zoning for 8.3 acres, C36 (General Commercial) zoning for 0.05 acres, and RS (Residential single-family) zoning for 0.06 acres. The amendments would also update the Fallbrook Community Plan to incorporate the changes.

"We're very pleased with the result," said Grand Tradition president and chief executive officer Don McDougal. "We're just very, very pleased that the county recognized that they had made a mistake and were willing to correct the mistake."

Rural Commercial zoning is intended for commercial centers which serve predominantly rural or semi-rural areas with a broad range of goods and services. Visitor Serving Commercial zoning is intended for areas which are devoted to the provision of a broad range of recreational and tourist services with limited allowance for other uses. General Commercial zoning allows retail sales and services conducted within buildings with outdoor uses allowed by a use permit and residences permitted as secondary uses.

"It allows us to continue to be zoned to be doing what we've been doing for 32 years," McDougal said.

The C40 and C42 zoning classifications both allow convenience sales and personal services, eating and drinking establishments, indoor participant sport and recreation activities including weddings, specialty retail sales, visitor lodging, horticulture, tree crops, and row and field crops. Outdoor participant sport and recreation activities are allowed on properties with C42 zoning but not on C40 land, so the changes of the county's General Plan update in 2011 took away the Grand Tradition's legal ability to hold outdoor weddings or other activities such as the Fourth of July celebration.

"It prevented us from doing outdoor events," McDougal said.

C42 zoning also allows for a campground or resort which is not a permitted C40 use.

The General Plan limits the entire eight-parcel area to 80,000 square feet of commercial building space, so the change of the two parcels from Village Residential 2 to General Commercial would not change that limit, although the 14 allowed residential units would have been in addition to the 80,000 square feet allowed for commercial buildings. Any residential units can be accessory to a commercial use but would be included within the 80,000 square feet limit. If the facility ceases use as a special events venue, the property automatically reverts back to a residential use.

The Grand Tradition currently includes the 15,000-square foot Beverly Mansion and the 5,000-square foot Arbor Terrace. Plans for the venue's future include a 5,000-square foot Tuscany/Vineyard structure, and the 80,000-square foot limitation also allows for a possible future hotel.

The zoning amendments would also change the rear setback designator for five of the parcels from 40 feet to 25 feet to match the other parcels, change the building type designator for four of the parcels which would make that designator consistent for all eight parcels but would not affect the non-residential permitted building types, and place the two current Rural Residential parcels under the Community Design Review Area designation which already applies to the other six parcels. All eight parcels are currently within the Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan Area.

On Feb. 21, the Fallbrook Community Planning Group voted 15-0 to endorse the recommended changes.


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