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Quality of Life

County supervisors OK Campo Road project in East County

casa de oro.PNG
Courtesy of Michael Baker International, Safdie Rabines Architect, KTUA
An undated rendering of the Campo Road corridor under a revitalization plan.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 Wednesday to revitalize a main commercial street and adjacent residential area in Casa de Oro, an unincorporated East County community.

Supervisors approved the Campo Road Corridor Revitalization Specific Plan, which according to the county "outlines a new vision" for a 60-acre area, with the focal point being Campo Road between Rogers Road and Granada Avenue.

The plan calls for wider sidewalks, on-street parking, roundabouts and protected bicycle lanes, and zoning changes to allow for more mixed-use housing projects. According to a county Planning & Development Services department report, a park and library are also planned.

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In 2015, the nonprofit civic group Casa de Oro Alliance conceived a plan to revitalize the area and presented it to the county two years later. Because of large parking lots and very little shade, the road is not considered pedestrian-friendly.

Residents in the Valle de Oro Community Planning Area, which includes Casa de Oro, also made suggestions on the revitalization project.

To win more public support, the county held outreach events, including virtual workshops.

PDS officials said the project aligns with the San Diego County Association of Government's regional plan and county's decarbonization framework.

While no firm cost was made available, the county has applied for over $3 million in grant money to pay for preliminary engineering studies and specifications for Campo Road improvements. PDS staff members are also looking for other funding sources.

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Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, in whose district the project is located, said it may take a while for the project to become a reality, but "there's gonna come a day where this area on Campo Road is really (going to) be a destination ... and a tremendous testament to a group of citizens who cared a lot about their community."

Lisa Stewart, president of Casa de Oro Alliance, said the group's vision "is to create and maintain a historically rich, culturally diverse thriving community that is attractive, safe, pedestrian friendly, and a popular destination for dining, entertainment and shopping."

Supervisor Joel Anderson -- whose district previously included Casa de Oro -- praised the project, and said he grew up in the area and got his first job on Campo Road.

"This project, probably next to Third Street in Chula Vista, will be the best project in San Diego County," Anderson added.

Board Chair Nora Vargas said the Campo Road project can be used as a model in other regions.

In a statement after the board's vote, Fletcher said the Casa de Oro community "ultimately chose to reduce the number of lanes of traffic and to take things in a new direction to make their community more walkable and inviting.

"This is an example of democracy working, and I am excited to be a part of it," Fletcher added.

Board Vice Chair Terra Lawson-Remer was absent from Wednesday's meeting.