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San Diego Supervisors Spend Public Money On Private Property Rights

Aired 6/26/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUEST:

Michael Beck, founder of the Endangered Habitats League, member of the San Diego County Planning Commission.

Aired 6/26/12 on KPBS News.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors are poised to approve $1.5 million to help private property owners appeal the county’s new General Plan.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors are poised to approve $1.5 million to help private property owners appeal the county’s new General Plan.

The revision of San Diego County's general land-use would put greater development limits on 20 percent of county properties, causing some landowners to lose land value.
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Above: The revision of San Diego County's general land-use would put greater development limits on 20 percent of county properties, causing some landowners to lose land value.

The county’s new General Plan took 12 years to complete.

This week the supervisors will vote on whether to use public money to prepare amendments to that plan, to satisfy private property owners unhappy with the new zoning.

Dan Silver of the Endangered Habitat’s League said it’s a misuse of public money for private gain.

“If there were some errors that had been made, that would be a good reason to go back at taxpayer expense,“ he said. “But staff has said there were no errors. The plan was passed in 2011. From that point on, it’s up to private property owners, if they want to have financial gain, to increase their development potential, to process their own general plan amendments.”

The proposal to spend $1.5 million to prepare the amendments needed four votes to pass, but last Wednesday the board split 3-to-2.

Chairman Ron Roberts then wrote a change letter, requesting the money be added to the budget. The final vote on the budget will be Tuesday afternoon. It only needs three votes to pass.

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