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By Joe Naiman
Village News Reporter 

Planning Commission approves Dougherty Grove reversion to acreage


Last updated 4/28/2021 at 11:37am

The county’s Planning Commission approved a reversion to acreage for the Dougherty Grove property.

The Planning Commission voted 5-1, April 16, with Ronald Ashman opposed and Doug Barnhart absent, to approve the reversion to acreage. The action cancels the map which would have subdivided 22.02 acres on the south side of Dougherty Street at Shady Lane into 28 single-family residential lots with ancillary recreation facilities and returns the parcel to one legal lot. The land is owned by Dougherty Citrus Inc. In December 2005, the Planning Commission approved the tentative map for the project and also approved a major use permit for a planned development with variable setback regulations. The 34 total lots approved included three open space lots and three private street lots along with the 28 residential lots.

A tentative parcel map becomes a final map after all conditions of the tentative map, other than those for which permits cannot be issued until a final map is recorded, are fulfilled. A final map is required for grading and building permits.

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.

In January 2016, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to approve the final map and security agreements for the Dougherty Grove subdivision and also to accept open space easements on portions of 14 of the lots and accepted as public a portion of Dougherty Street along with the right to extend and maintain drainage facilities, excavation and embankment slopes beyond the limit of the dedicated street right of way.

The reversion to acreage eliminates those easements, and the reversion to acreage also eliminates the requirement to renew the security bonds.

Improvements identified in a secured agreement are required to be completed within two years of the approval of the final map, although if circumstances prevent the improvements from being completed by the agreement's expiration additional time may be requested to complete the infrastructure.

The improvement agreements cover completion of road, water, sewer and other infrastructure improvements but do not require completion of the homes or other lot improvements themselves. The requirement for that infrastructure was also eliminated with the reversion to acreage.

The property currently has a single-family residence along with lemon trees. The reversion to acreage will likely lower the property tax assessment, and the land could obtain non-potable water.

On July 20, 2020, the Fallbrook Community Planning Group voted 11-0, with Bill O’Connor abstaining, two members absent and one vacant seat, to recommend the reversion to acreage.

Reversion to acreage may occur if the property owner considers the entire original parcel to be more valuable than the separate lots and requests the lots to be remerged with the reversion to acreage.

Reversion to acreage may occur when a subdivision is in default of its deadlines or other conditions. A separate 5-1 Planning Commission vote, April 16, with Ashman opposed, denied eight projects which had been inactive for at least two years, including a lot split of a 19.08-acre Red Mountain property and thus eliminated the maps for those.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected]


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