Resource Protection Ordinance Amendment Options

Project Contact: Kristal Feilen |   (858) 505-6677   

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The County of San Diego Planning & Development Services staff requests public input to finalize the Conceptual Amendment Options for the Resource Protection Ordinance (RPO). The finalized options are to be presented to the Board of Supervisors for direction in winter 2020. 


As part of the ‘County’s commitment to addressing the affordable housing crisis in the unincorporated area, the Board accepted the Options to Improve Housing Affordability in the Unincorporated Area (Report) on October 10, 2018. The Report includes a total of 19 actions, one of which identified amendment opportunities specifically for the Resource Protection Ordinance (RPO):

Regulatory Reform (RR) – 2
Resource Protection Ordinance (RPO) and Biological Mitigation Ordinance (BMO): Revise RPO and BMO to remove potential redundancies with existing local, state, and federal law and create a more efficient process. Ensuring the RPO and BMO are consistent will provide flexibility to projects to avoid duplicated work efforts and make the ordinances easier to implement and interpret.

The County selected RECON Environmental, Inc. to review the RPO in relation to current practices and other County, State, and/or federal regulatory requirements. Based on this initial analysis and preliminary stakeholder input, the County began conceptualizing options to address the identified redundancies and consistency issues in order to create a more efficient permitting process.

Conceptual Amendment Options were presented to stakeholders for input in October 2020. This feedback will be used to finalize ordinance amendment options for ‘Board’ direction. Also, to provide additional time to continue to talk to stakeholders, as well as to incorporate that feedback into what is presented to the Board of Supervisors (Board), the amendment options Board hearing date has been extended from December 9, 2020 to early 2021. Once staff receive the ‘Board’s direction on which Conceptual Amendment Options to pursue, staff will prepare the draft ordinance amendments, initiate the CEQA and public review processes, and return to the Board for adoption of the revised RPO.

The County’s current Resource Protection Ordinance can be found at the following website:

The public informational flyer can be viewed here: FLYER

 Public Webinars Held

  • Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 11am – 12:30pm
  • Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 6pm – 7:30pm
  • Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 6pm – 7:30pm

Options & Staff Recommendations

Resource Protection Ordinance Language Changes

Click Here to View Webinar Video (October 8)

Click Here to View Webinar Video 2 (October 14)

Click Here to View Webinar Video 3 (October 20)

Webinar PowerPoint Presentation Slides

Conceptual Amendment Options to address redundancies or consistency issues between county, state, and/or federal regulations and identify opportunities to create a more efficient process specific to the Resource Protection Ordinance.

Ordinance Background

  • On May 31, 1989 (7),  the County Board of Supervisors adopted the Resource Protection Ordinance (RPO), to reduce impacts resulting from  land  development  activities  to  five  sensitive  resource types: wetlands;  floodways  &  floodplains;  steep  slopes; prehistoric & historic sites; and sensitive habitat lands.
  • Over the last 30 years additional County, state, and federal regulations have come into existence to achieve many of the same environmental benefits.
  • The most recent RPO update was adopted on March 21, 2007 (18). The intent of this minor update was to clarify the wetland, wetland buffer, and significant prehistoric sites definitions and the permitted uses within an RPO Wetland.