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Supervisors Consider Long-Term Plan For Development In San Diego’s Forests

For the past 20 years, the Cleveland National Forest has been protected by a San Diego citizens initiative that set a 40-acre minimum lot size.

CREDIT: Duncan McFetridge

Map of Cleveland National Forest, with privately held land in brown.

Duncan McFetridge, director of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation, said the initiative restricted development on more than 50,000 acres of private land within the national forest.

“An overwhelming majority voted to protect this forest, and it’s the only plan in the history of San Diego County that has ever been successful in planning for contained urbanization and permanent protection of ecological resources," McFetridge said. "There have been no developments outside the country towns.”

He said many of the private ranches within the boundaries of the national forest are open meadow.

The supervisors will consider Wednesday various options and direct staff to develop a new zoning map that could allow minimum lot sizes up to 80 acres in some areas, and as small as 4 acres in others.

The map would guide future development in rural areas east of Alpine, Ramona and around Mount Palomar. It is intended to bring the land into line with San Diego County's overall general plan for growth.

The Board of Supervisors meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the County Administration Building, 1600 Pacific Highway, downtown San Diego.

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