Saturday, November 28, 2015 • 10:33

Planning Group approves draft letters, continues discussion of VC projects

Steve Hutchison, secretary of theVC Planning Group addresses the status of the Wilkes Road solar project. photo by Photo by: Susan Mish / Valley Roadrunner.
July 23, 2014
The VC Community Planning Group approved draft letters and continued its discussion on several Valley Center projects during the July 14 meeting.

To kick off the discussion, Vice Chair Ann Quinley requested the status of the Wilkes Road Solar Project. Secretary Steve Hutchison stated that at last month's meeting the decision on the Solar Project installation was postponed because the scoping letter had not been received.

Since that time, the Subcommittee met and reviewed the 48-page scoping letter prepared by the county. The extensive letter included land use and safety policy in the General Plan as being potential issues such as 60,000 cubic yards of dirt graded without a permit, occupied trailers that were unpermitted as well as trash and hazardous materials concerns.

"Until all those issues are resolved, the project isn't going anywhere," said Hutchison.

Additional issues include the project not conforming with community character and the glare concern in relation to nearby Blackington Airfield for which a study is being conducted to evaluate the glare as a problem.

Proponent for the project, Arlen Barksdale proposes 6,500 solar panels on 650 arrays to be constructed on 10 acres of a 16.97 acre lot. Hutchison reported that certified civil engineers were being considered to determine that the amount of land being used for the Wilkes Solar Project was correct. Furthermore, Hutchison stated the findings were the arrays are considered commercial, thus requiring a permit.

The Planning Group made a unanimous motion to continue discussion of the project pending resolution of code violations after which the matter would be returned to the Planning Group for review.

Also on the agenda was an update on the DEIR resubmittal for the Lilac Hills Ranch Project. Hutchison recommended that a letter be sent to the county covering all comments made back in August of last year. The Planning Group made a motion to authorize resubmitting comments to the county under the cover of a letter because the 2013 comments were not addressed and the county's responses were never received. Hutchison advised that submitted new responses to the revised Draft EIR are due July 28.

The Lilac Hills Ranch Project is located east of I-15 and south of West Lilac Road one-half mile north of Circle R Drive. The LHR Project is a 608-acre master-planned community of 1,746 residences, 90,000 square feet of commercial office and retail space including a 50-room Country Inn, and a 200-bed assisted care living facility. Civic facilities include a public and private parks and a private recreational facility. The developer proposes public facilities of a school and fire station.

The Planning Group agreed to approve the McGuire Game/Hobby Room Project based on conditions met in the scoping letter from the county conveyed to The Group by Jeana Boulos. The applicant for the project proposes the construction of a 24 x 48- foot, two-story game/hobby structure not attached to the main house.

Mark Jackson led the discussion on the county's draft proposal to improve State Route 76 and the Valley Center Road intersection resulting in the agreement that this was not a Mitigated Negative Declaration unless Cal Trans addressed two additional issues. Larry Glavinic advised that Cal Trans should consider recognizing this as a scenic highway and suggested incorporating a ramp for runaway trucks with failed brakes be included in the reply to the county before the Planning Group agreed approval of the letter responding to the county's proposal.

The project involves performing safety improvements to the State Route 76 – Valley Road intersection and realigning curves adjacent to the juncture. Sidewalks and two bus pullouts would be installed as well as either a roundabout or standard traffic signals at the intersection.

In accordance with Policy A-74, each year the Board of Supervisors requires that one fourth of all advisory committees conduct a review known as a Sunset Review. After reviewing its establishing ordinance, policy, or resolution, the VCCPG develops recommendations for continuance, deletion, or revision and provides a report to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors by November 18, 2014. It was agreed that a subcommittee would not be created to review and make recommendations on a Sunset Review. Instead, Rich Rudolf would present his findings to another committee member to read and review for consideration and agreement.

The final action item on the agenda involved discussion on whether to send the Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District Sport Field Project updated, recirculated Draft EIR to the county.

The project proposes a multi-use turf sports field in the southeastern quadrant of Cole Grade Road and Valley Center School Road on a 1.9-acre site owned by the school district. Portable benches or bleachers would be used for spectators and participants on the vacant, flat, previously developed land. The sports field would be fenced and used during daylight hours and not lighted.

Rudolf reported there were repeated discussions on the history of the buildings and whether the buildings are considered part of the project. He stressed the importance of discussing what the impact would be in the destruction of the buildings.

At one point in the presentation, Lavonne Norwood asked, "What is our goal with this?"

Rudolf responded, "Just to make them submit a correct document that accurately informs the decision-makers."

The Planning Group agreed by a 9-2 vote to send the recirculated Draft EIR to the county.

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