Village News Reporter
The May 16 meeting of the Fallbrook Community Planning Group included a presentation with updated information about a potential pathway or trail along Stage Coach Lane and a planning group vote restating the community priority for such a pathway or trail.
An 11-0 vote with four members absent approved a motion requesting that the county’s Department of Public Works continue to work on the preliminary engineering report, continue to identify potential funding including Park Land Dedication Ordinance revenue, continue to provide updates to the planning group, continue to work with stakeholders on width and safety issues, make the portion between Reche Road and Brooke Road the first phase of the project which is expected to be constructed in phases, and avoid a pathway or trail alignment which requires crossing the street.
“It’s a very important project to the community,” said Stephani Baxter, who chairs the planning group's Parks and Recreation Public Facilities Committee.
In November 2020, the Fallbrook Revitalization Committee hosted a virtual meeting on the desire for a pathway or trail. During that meeting, DPW Director Jeff Moneda noted that official support from the planning group would ensure that the project is a priority of the entire community rather than only a few individuals.
Planning group member Kim Murphy, who chairs the housing subcommittee of the Fallbrook Revitalization Committee, composed the letter the planning group adopted. The planning group voted 14-0 in January 2021 to approve sending a letter in support of the pathway or trail to the County of San Diego; planning group member Eileen Delaney also chairs the Fallbrook Revitalization Committee's infrastructure subcommittee, so she abstained due to a potential conflict of interest.
Park Land Development Ordinance fees are collected from developers to fund park improvements in the area of the development. Last year the county's Department of Parks and Recreation asked the Fallbrook Community Planning Group for input on priorities for PLDO funding, and a 13-0 planning group vote July 19 with Tom Harrington and Murphy absent approved a list of projects. A trail or pathway along Stage Coach Lane was the top priority.
“So far there has been no public opposition to this project,” Baxter said. “There’s been so much support.”
Pathways are within the right-of-way of a road. Trails are outside of the right-of-way. PLDO funding cannot be used for pathways, and up to 25% of a community's PLDO revenue for the year may be used to develop new trails or acquire land for trails.
“We’re looking into a multi-use pathway,” said DPW group program manager and lead project manager Chris Hanger.
“We have not identified full funding,” Hanger said. “What we intend to do is break it up into smaller segments.”
Construction is expected to occur in three phases. The first phase would be from Reche Road to Brooke Road; the second phase would cover Brooke Road to the Fallbrook Union High School District administrative offices, and the final phase would provide the pathway or trail between the district offices and South Mission Road.
Fallbrook High School is off of Stage Coach Lane. Potter Junior High School is on Reche Road just east of Stage Coach Lane. Fallbrook High School's cross country team uses Stage Coach Lane for practice runs.
The preliminary engineering report will include cost, environmental impacts, and easement and right-of-way issues and will determine design, California Environmental Quality Act review, right-of-way acquisition if necessary, and construction needs. The report is expected to be complete at the end of calendar year 2022 or the beginning of calendar year 2023.