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Zoning Administrator authorizes Linda Vista Drive parcel split

San Diego County’s zoning administrator made findings which will allow for a 10.28‑acre parcel in the 3600 block of Linda Vista Drive to be subdivided into four lots.

Dahvia Lynch, who is the director of the county’s Department of Planning and Development Services, has the actual authority to approve the parcel split along with a site plan, but the Thursday, Feb. 22, decision of Zoning Administrator Conor McGee found the project to be exempt from further environmental review.

The California Environmental Quality Act requires that a finding be made at a public hearing if impacts are identified which could be mitigated by undertaking previously-identified mitigation measures. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved the county’s updated general plan, along with its environmental impact report, Aug. 3, 2011. CEQA allows for an exemption from additional environmental review for projects consistent with density established by an existing plan for which an EIR was certified except if project-specific significant effects are peculiar to the project or site.

Under that CEQA section the examination of environmental effects is limited to impacts which are peculiar to the project or parcel and not analyzed as significant effects in a previous EIR, potential off-site impacts not addressed in the previous EIR, or previously identified impacts which due to information not known when the EIR was certified would be more severe than cited in the EIR. If none of those three conditions apply, a project-specific EIR is not required solely on the basis of that impact.

Lynch’s approval would not change the project's SR-2 (Semi-Rural, one dwelling unit per two acres) general plan land use designation or the A70 (Limited Agriculture) zoning. The land is already developed, and an existing single-family dwelling unit with an attached garage will be retained. The four lots will range in size from 2.0 to 3.16 acres.

Access to three of the lots will be provided by individual private driveways connected to Linda Vista Drive and access for the other parcel will be from a private easement connected to Linda Vista Drive. Each property will have an on-site septic system. The project will also include widening of the existing private road, installing street lights and improving the pavement taper along the frontage of Linda Vista Drive.

The earthwork will consist of 8,000 cubic yards of cut and 8,000 cubic yards of fill. The site includes extensive agriculture, coast live oak woodland, Diegan coastal sage scrub and developed habitats. Special status wildlife species observed on the site include the western bluebird and the red-shouldered hawk. No special status plant species were observed on the site.

The development will impact 6.7 acres of extensive agriculture and 1.2 acres of developed habitat but will completely avoid the coast live oak woodland, Diegan coastal sage scrub, Resource Protection Ordinance wetland and identified jurisdictional drainage. Impacts to sensitive habitats and species will be mitigated through ordinance compliance and through dedication of an open space easement and limited building zone easement, installation of open space fencing and signage and breeding season avoidance.

In April 2021, the Fallbrook Community Planning Group voted 12-0 to recommend approval of the lot split and site plan. The county provided a 30-day public comment period beginning in November 2023 and received three comments. One requested clarification on drainage and stormwater best management practices and also sought clarification that the open space and limited building zone easements would not conflict with the existing private road easement.

The second comment expressed concerns with the drainage and potential flooding from the project; the project meets County Grading Ordinance and Watershed Protection Ordinance requirements and the Stormwater Quality Management Plan and Preliminary Drainage Study completed for the project have been accepted by PDS staff.

During the construction phase, a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan will be implemented. That plan will implement typical erosion control best management practices which will reduce the amount of silt and pollutants able to exit the site. The best management practices will include measures such as silt fences to capture eroded dirt, street sweeping to capture any dust or particulates, and measures to manage on-site waste and materials.

The project also includes site design measures to minimize stormwater runoff after construction including the use of pervious pavement and landscaped areas which will capture stormwater before it drains from the site.

The second commenter also had concerns with the street lighting requirement and noted that the area does not have other street lighting nearby so street lighting would be out of character for the area. The county’s Subdivision Ordinance requires a project to install street lights if the Department of Public Works determines it is necessary for traffic safety.

The project will be required to provide a street light based on traffic safety issues, specifically the horizontal curve and the conflict point of Linda Vista Drive and the private roadway. It was also noted that Linda Vista Drive has a street light less than a mile away near the turn into Knottwood Way.

It is standard county policy that any property receiving a discretionary permit be brought into Zone A of the San Diego County Street Lighting District. Zone A covers parcels which benefit from street lights in the district while Zone B consists of the remainder of the district. If properties are added to Zone A by property owner petition all properties are subject to an annual assessment which is currently $2 per equivalent dwelling unit.

Zone A properties are not associated with any particular street light, and if nearby properties are brought into Zone A due to a discretionary permit existing parcels will not be added to Zone A regardless of whether they benefit from new street lights.

The third comment was from the San Diego County Archaeological Society, which indicated agreement with the proposed monitoring for the project.

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

Author Bio

Joe Naiman, Writer

Joe Naiman has been writing for the Village News since 2001


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