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Planning Commission recommends BUSD property acquisition

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The Bonsall Unified School District is in the process of purchasing an 11.2-acre site for a new elementary school, and the county’s Planning Commission provided a positive recommendation on the land use element of the acquisition.

A 6-0 Planning Commission vote Aug. 25, with one vacancy, approved a motion to direct county Department of Planning and Development Services (PDS) staff to submit the Planning Commission’s recommendation letter to the BUSD. The letter notes that county staff members from PDS and other departments have reviewed the proposed acquisition and found it consistent with the county’s general plan and Zoning Ordinance. The recommendation of consistency does not carry a recommendation for or against the actual acquisition of the property.

The Citro development, which was called Meadowood in January 2012 when the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved the development and certified the project’s Environmental Impact Report, is expected to include 473 single-family and 352 multi-family homes.

The map also includes land for an elementary school which will be built by BUSD; the school district and Tri Pointe Homes are in negotiations for the acquisition of that land. The current plan is for the school district to acquire approximately 11.2 acres southeast of the intersection of Horse Ranch Creek Road at Shire Court. Citro has a Specific Plan Area land use designation, and the school site is on land with Variable Family Residential (RV10) zoning.

The initial Environmental Impact Report evaluated impacts for a school site, and once a specific location was determined, BUSD developed an addendum for the EIR and approved that on May 17. The addendum refined characteristics of the school including the size of the school site, the school attendance boundaries, grade levels, enrollment capacity, the site layout, and access points. Up to 650 students residing east of Interstate 15 and north of West Lilac Road would attend the new school.

In addition to PDS, the proposed acquisition was reviewed by the county’s Department of General Services, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Public Works (DPW), the Department of Environmental Health and Quality, and the San Diego County Fire Protection District. DPW noted the existence of a county storm drain system just downstream of the site in Horse Creek Ranch Road and potentially significant public safety impacts if the proposed development causes any flow increase or diversions.

DPW’s Field Engineering division has requested an opportunity to review and comment on the plans and analyses for the proposed development prior to construction. If the development would modify or connect to any part of the county storm drain system, or if any work is proposed within county right-of-way, a permit will be required.

School districts are exempt from county land use policy for instructional purposes only. Any other use on a school property, for example a wireless communication facility, would be subject to county land use regulations.

The RV10 zone is intended to create and enhance areas where family residential uses are the principal and dominant use and where certain civic uses are conditionally permitted when they serve the needs of residents; a private school greater than 50 students would require a Major Use Permit in the RV10 zone and a private school of seven to 50 students would require a Minor Use Permit.


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