North County Plan

The North County Multiple Species Conservation Plan (North County Plan) would extend the County’s Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) into the northern portion of the unincorporated county. On October 28, 2020 (6), the Board of Supervisors directed staff to continue development of the North County Plan as a joint Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan (HCP/NCCP) to achieve many of the same environmental and economic benefits realized through the adopted County Subarea Plan (South County Plan).

A great deal of collaborative work has gone into development of the North County Plan. The input received from members of the Stakeholder Working Group, community groups, and other interested parties has been invaluable to the North County Plan. As additional information on the status of the North County Plan is available, interested parties will be notified.

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The County invites you to participate in our online North County Plan Stakeholder Working Group & Virtual Public Workshops. At these meetings, staff will present updates to the draft Covered Species list and the anticipated Covered Activities, as well as provide an opportunity for you to ask questions and provide your thoughts on these topics. The information will be the same for all workshops, we have provided two public workshop dates for multiple opportunities to engage with staff.

The virtual Stakeholder Working Group meeting will take place Friday, April 14 from 3:30pm – 5:00pm. The Stakeholder Working Group includes a diverse group of stakeholders that represent the environmental, agricultural, recreational, and development communities and meets to review and discuss components of the draft plan, serving as a sounding board for their respective interest groups.

  • For the April 14 meeting – Please use this Zoom link to access the meeting.
  • In alignment with the County’s goals to increase transparency in government, the County invites interested members of the community to attend and listen in at our Stakeholder Working Group meetings. If you would like to address County staff or the Stakeholder Working Group on aspects of the North County Plan, there will be an opportunity at the start of the meeting for members of the public to provide a 2-minute public comment. Though not required in order to attend, please RSVP if you would like to provide a public comment so we can accommodate you.

The virtual public workshops will take place Tuesday, April 18 and Wednesday, April 26 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm. The information will be the same for both workshops, we have provided two dates for multiple opportunities for the public to engage with staff.

  • For the April 18 meeting – Please use this Zoom link to register for the workshop and add the event to your calendar.
  • For the April 26 meeting – Please use this Zoom link to register for the workshop and add the event to your calendar.

You will receive a confirmation e-mail and a numeric passcode to participate in the meeting.

If you have any questions, want to request interpretation services, or want to provide written comments, please contact Stephanie Neal at Thank you for your time and we look forward to hearing from you.

To be notified of future opportunities to participate and other announcements on the North County Plan, please subscribe to our mailing list by clicking the banner below.


In 1992, the State of California enacted the Natural Communities Conservation Planning (NCCP) Act. This voluntary program allows the state government to enter into planning agreements with landowners, local governments, and other stakeholders to prepare plans that identify the most important areas for a threatened or endangered species. The federal government has a similar program under Section 10(a) of the federal Endangered Species Act providing for the preparation of habitat conservation plans (HCPs). In California, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Wildlife Agencies) have worked to combine the NCCP program with the federal HCP process to provide permits to take threatened and endangered species in exchange for conserving their habitat. Local governments, such as the County, can take the lead in developing these plans and become the recipient of state and federal permits.

The Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) is a long-term, regional HCP/NCCP focused on balancing two unique aspects of San Diego County: high biological diversity and rapid urban growth. Under this program, large blocks of interconnected habitat will be conserved through acquisition of land by private and public entities and mitigation from development.

The County’s MSCP is comprised of three separate planning areas covering unincorporated regions of San Diego. The MSCP Plans associated with each of the planning areas are the County Subarea Plan (South County Plan), North County Plan, and East County Plan, respectively. Each MSCP Plan Area’s unique geography requires that each MSCP Plan is tailored to meet the needs of the unique habitats and species in its respective area.

The North County Plan will extend the scope of the MSCP to contribute to the conservation of sensitive species and habitats while providing a streamlined permitting process for landowners, agricultural operators, businesses, and residents in the unincorporated regions of northwestern San Diego County. The North County Plan Area encompasses approximately 345,000 acres in and around the unincorporated communities of Bonsall, De Luz, Fallbrook, Harmony Grove, Rancho Santa Fe, Lilac, Pala, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, Ramona, Rincon Springs, Twin Oaks Valley, and Valley Center within the County's jurisdiction.

As a joint HCP/NCCP, the North County Plan will provide the basis for the County to receive a federal and state incidental take permit to “cover” specific animal and plant species. This allows the incidental take permit to be extended to future development projects that comply with the MSCP, so these projects do not have to secure their own separate incidental take permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Through this permitting mechanism, the North County Plan will help conserve endangered species, streamline permitting, and facilitate economic growth in San Diego County.