Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Supervisors set hearing for Mount Olympus Preserve land acquisition

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will hold a Wednesday, May 22, hearing on the potential acquisition of approximately 222 acres which would be added to the Mount Olympus Preserve.

A 4-0 county board of supervisors vote Wednesday, April 10, with Terra Lawson-Remer absent, set the May 22 hearing date. The land on the southwest side of the open space preserve would be purchased from the Moritzky Trust for $1,200,000.

Mount Olympus separates Pala from Rainbow, and the draft North County Multiple Species Program includes the land as a preserve both for its sensitive species such as the Rainbow manzanita and the Englemann oak and for its value as a linkage and corridor for animals including large animals such as deer, mountain lion, coyote and bobcat. The preserve currently totals 1,261 acres.

The 222-acre property is currently open space, and open space easements limit the value of the land. The appraised value of $1,200,000 equates to approximately $5,400 per acre. The total one-time cost of $1,640,500, which would utilize some of the county’s general fund revenue, also includes $62,500 for staff time and appraisal reports to complete the transaction, $8,000 for closing and title costs, $348,000 for the preparation of a preserve-specific Resource Management Plan and initial species monitoring and $22,000 to conduct initial stewardship, which will include signage, access control, vegetation management, land surveying and other supplies and services.

The $67,740 estimated annual operating and management costs consist of $47,000 for operating costs to manage the site, $12,800 for adaptive management and biological monitoring and $7,940 of fixed charged assessments for vector control, road maintenance and water availability.

The acquisition itself would be categorically exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review, although any new uses would require environmental review as well as a funding source.

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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