For almost 60 years, Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C-3) has served as a steward of the vision in Temporary Paradise? and has endorsed Measure A, which San Diegans will be asked to vote on this March 3.
Temporary Paradise? (1974) sets forth a vision for the future of San Diego to protect the region’s defining feature – its natural environment. This vision directs San Diegans to invest in their existing communities in a number of ways, such as improving the housing stock in existing neighborhoods and upgrading current schools and public facilities. By improving the urban areas, San Diego can strengthen existing communities and grow responsibly.
“The city’s magnificent site, for which its residents have such strong affection, is still intact but may be losing its best qualities. […] We recommend slowing down and changing the form of suburban development while redirecting growth to present urban areas…,” wrote Donald Appleyard and Kevin Lynch in Temporary Paradise?
Measure A, also known as the “Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside Initiative,” requires a county-wide public vote to approve large-scale residential development projects proposed in the rural and semi-rural areas of the unincorporated area. The initiative’s main purpose is to honor the intent of the County of San Diego General Plan by concentrating growth in existing towns and villages and thereby protecting rural, low density areas.
Current policies in the County General Plan (adopted in 2011) provide the capacity to build 60,000 units focused in and around existing communities. Large suburban development projects, such as Lilac Hills Ranch and Newland Sierra, however, have attempted to circumvent what’s called for in adopted plans by rezoning rural land for thousands of residential units at much higher densities than currently allowed. If these projects were to move forward, their impacts would be felt regionwide.
C-3 made its decision to endorse Measure A to prevent projects that don’t comply with the general and would contribute to traffic congestion, reduce the availability of farmland, allow more housing in high-risk fire areas, and place a burden on public services and infrastructure beyond what the County has planned for. Also, taxpayers throughout the region will end up subsidizing these sprawl developments to pay for new roads, sewers, schools, fire and police protection causing either an increase in taxes or a drain of funding and resources from the older, established urban and suburban areas where most of the region’s residents live now.
The goal of Measure A is to support the policies in the County’s currently adopted General Plan and add transparency when those policies change and higher density developments are proposed and approved than the plan allows in rural and semi-rural areas. Measure A is complementary to C-3’s long standing values of supporting sound planning practices, protecting environmentally sensitive lands, and preventing further sprawl.
The Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside website provides more information about the initiative and ways to get involved or to provide financial support to the campaign.
Since 1961, Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C-3) has sought and successfully advocated for the highest standards in urban design, community planning and access to public open space. As a member-supported, nonprofit organization, we bring together residents and professionals to jointly craft solutions to the challenges we face in our city and region. http://c3sandiego.org.