The Otay Ranch Preserve (Preserve) is a hard-line preserve and includes over 11,000 acres to be set-aside as mitigation for impacts to sensitive resources resulting from Otay Ranch development that will occur both within the County of San Diego (County) and the City of Chula Vista (City). The Preserve has been designed and will be managed specifically for protection and enhancement of multiple species present on Otay Ranch. These dedicated conservation lands will also serve to connect large areas of open space through a series of wildlife corridors, including connections between regional open spaces such as Otay Reservoir and San Miguel Mountain. The 11,000+ acre Otay Ranch Preserve will be included in the MSCP Subregional Preserve.
A feature linking the three Otay Ranch parcels is the Otay River system, which includes a tributary system of canyons and drainage courses and the Otay Lakes. The combination of coastal sage scrub and other habitats and the varying geography and the presence of several plant communities found on Otay Ranch make it a unique biological resource. Large undisturbed blocks of coastal sage scrub, maritime succulent scrub, chaparral and other habitats will be preserved throughout Otay Ranch. Major populations of MSCP covered species that will be conserved include coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica), coastal cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus sandiegensis), San Diego thorn-mint (Acanthomintha ilicifolia), and willowy monardella (Monardella linoides ssp. viminea).
On March 6, 1996 (6), the San Diego County Board of Supervisors authorized the formation of a Preserve Owner/Manager (POM) (made up of the District 1 Supervisor and the Mayor of Chula Vista) through the execution of a Joint Powers Agreement between the City of Chula Vista and the County. The POM is responsible for management of resources, restoration of habitat and enforcement of open space restrictions for the Otay Ranch Preserve once the Preserve is formally established and title to the land conveyed to the POM.