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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

County plans to streamline final map process


Last updated 12/24/2017 at 7:08pm

A proposed subdivision under the jurisdiction of San Diego County has at least one public hearing before a tentative map is approved. A tentative map becomes a final map when all conditions of the tentative map, other than those for which a final map is required, are fulfilled.

Currently the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approves final maps along with secured agreements to guarantee completion of the infrastructure. The county supervisors are willing to let that final map approval be handled administratively.

A 4-0 board of supervisors’ vote Dec. 6, with Kristin Gaspar absent, directed the county’s chief administrative officer to investigate the feasibility of delegating the approval of final maps to the county’s Department of Planning and Development Services or the appropriate departmental authority and to return to the county supervisors with changes in the county code to enable such streamlining within 120 days if such delegation is feasible and in accordance with state law.

“Shifting the authority to final maps will save months of processing,” Supervisor Bill Horn said.

The county’s planning commission has the authority to approve a tentative map in the absence of a rezone, general plan amendment or specific plan amendment. Any tentative map which includes a rezone or plan amendment must be approved by the board of supervisors, and a planning commission decision may be appealed to the county supervisors, although the decision becomes final if there is no appeal and no conditions requiring the supervisors’ approval.

The conditions of a final map include secured agreements to ensure that the infrastructure will be built and that payment for labor and materials used to build the infrastructure will be made. Currently, the request for supervisors’ approval for a final map along with the secured agreements is docketed after county staff determines that the map meets all applicable codes and ordinances and that all conditions have been fulfilled.

State law does not require the supervisors’ approval for a final map, and since the tentative map has already been approved, the discretion is with the security agreements rather than with the subdivision map. The delegation of authority for a final map will reduce the processing time and also the processing costs.

“The savings can be passed on to future homeowners,” Horn said.

If changes which were not included at a public hearing, such as conversion of a public road to a private road, exist the project may return to the county supervisors for approval of the modified map, although that is one of the situations being explored by the chief administrative officer. Supervisor Dianne Jacob expressed concerns about the possible changes but was not opposed to the streamlining.

“I wholeheartedly support that,” she said.


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