Lilac Hills Ranch is Wrong for Rural San Diego County
Top 10 Reasons San Diego County Should Say NO to Lilac Hills Ranch
1. Housing needs are already met & exceeded by County General Plan
- The GP locates growth where existing road, water and sewer infrastructure can deliver housing most affordably, and already accommodates 72,683 new dwellings in unincorporated communities.
- In North County alone, the GP accommodates 29,533 new dwellings.
- If approved, General Plan Amendments being processed now for North County would add 6225 units to this available capacity.
- Demand is far behind capacity. Fewer than 3000 permits have been issued since 2010.
2. Drops an urban island into a sensitive, fire-prone, rural area
- Defies County General Plan’s Smart Growth Principles, Goals and Policies and requires amendments to the General Plan and the Community Plans of Valley Center and Bonsall.
- Requires expensive ground-up creation of roads, water and sewer systems and other infrastructure.
- Sprawls across 3000 acres of hilly and remote topography. Much of this land is in active agriculture. The project threatens dozens of rural agricultural, horticultural and animal husbandry enterprises and homes.
- Project will build 1746 units on land zoned for 110 dwellings.
- Project site is remote from SANDAG’s Smart Growth area and at least ten miles from schools and employment centers.
- Creates a dense commuter-island without transit, jobs, schools, shopping, civic activities and venues, shopping and restaurants or nearby emergency services.
- Bulldozes 4 Million cubic yards of rolling hills and valleys to create a flat cityscape of cul-de-sacs and dead end roads that destroy the rural character of the surrounding area.
3. Takes land from more than 39 private property owners.
- Road and Sewer pipeline routes require eminent domain taking by the County that destroys 3 residences for developer benefit.
- Driveway access for dozens of residents changed without providing safe alternate solutions.
4. Dangerous and overcrowded substandard roads.
- Adds 7 Million annual auto trips to single lane roads without shoulders, 15 times the volume of the General Plan road design.
- Developer proposes no new travel lanes to accommodate excessive traffic generated by the size, density and remote location of the project.
- More than 200 driveways with limited sight lines uncorrected.
5. Local fire authority cannot meet 5 minute fire and emergency response times
- The Deer Springs Fire Department says it cannot meet the 5 minute response time for emergency fire and medical that the County General Plan requires.
- The Deer Springs Fire Department says that project tax revenue is inadequate to fund facilities and equipment necessary to meet legal response time.
6. 5200 added residents can’t evacuate from “high” wildfire zone.
- CALFIRE Wildland Fire Zone ranking is “Very High” and “High.”
- The developer has legal access only to 2 ways out, to the Northwest and to the East.
- To the NW 5200 project residents share West Lilac Road with thousands of Valley Center residents. This two-lane country road with no shoulders twists around rugged terrain and is as narrow as 24-feet in some spots.
- To the East project residents share a private roller-coaster road, Covey Lane.
- Developer has inadequate legal rights to the only other means of evacuation: a private easement built to 5 mph speed, Mountain Ridge Road.
7. Requires 2½ times more WATER than current rural uses while Valley Center faces mandatory cuts.
- Standard industry methods predict that the project will increase water use on this land, 513 to 1290 acre-feet per year; the developer claims no net gain.
- Center for Biological Diversity negates the developer’s claim that the project does not increase water use because the claim relies on unavailable recycled water and an arbitrary “conservation reduction” of 25%.
8. Adversely impacts wildlife and wetlands, streams and waters of the U.S.
- Roads cross federally protected streams in at least 6 places.
- Adversely impacts 13 state and federally listed animal species and three listed plant species.
- Ground water pumping will reduce water availability to the biological wetland open spaces the project purports to be saving.
- Project will destroy 608-acres of raptor foraging area and wetland nesting sites.
9. Imposes health hazards from years of unrestricted open-air blasting, crushing and transporting of 4 million cubic yards of dirt and granite.
- Blasting produces knife-edge silica shards which lodge in the lungs of humans and wildlife and the gills of invertabrates in the protected wetlands.
- Silaca plumes remain airborne for considerable distances, and can be stirred by any errant breeze.
- 4 Million cubic yards is the amount of concrete in Hoover Dam. This much concrete would build a monument 100 feet square and 2-1/2 miles high; would rise higher than the 1,250-foot-tall Empire State Building if placed on an ordinary city block; or would pave a standard highway 16 feet wide, from San Francisco to New York City.
10. Far from the vibrant “walkable” charming traditional village it claims to be.
- The project is a dense commuter suburb built to urban densities without urban public services or amenities to support its residents.
- Project is not a “traditional town” with businesses, services, amenities and conveniences that have grown up over time to support surrounding farm operations and farm families. Nor will it ever be.
- Project stretches 2-miles N-S, and 2-miles E-W. The standard for “walkability” is ¼ mile.