State Tightens Landscaping And Stormwater Requirements For Development And Construction Projects

grassMandates from the State of California addressing outdoor water use and storm water quality will mean additional scrutiny of projects submitted to Planning & Development Services (PDS) for review and approval.

Effective December 1, as part of California’s emergency response to the state’s prolonged drought, the threshold necessitating project landscaping approval dropped from 5,000 square feet of landscaped area to 500 square feet of landscaped area.  Projects proposing landscaped area between 500 square feet and 2,500 square feet may comply by following a series of prescriptive provisions and signed certifications, while landscape plan submittal is required for projects proposing more than 2,500 square feet of landscaped area.

On February 16, new stormwater management requirements mandated by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board will take effect.  Likely the most significant change for PDS customers:  New projects – residential, commercial, or industrial – proposing more than 10,000 square feet of cumulative impervious surface will require a Storm Water Quality Management Plan submittal including a hydromodification analysis and structural Best Management Practice (BMP) design.  Any ground area covered by an impervious surface, such as a building roof, driveway, or paved walkway, will count toward the site’s collective total.


Property Specific Requests, GPA & Rezone – Update

PDS will begin the Notice of Preparation (NOP) process for a Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) to analyze impacts associated with the Property Specific Requests (PSRs) General Plan Amendment and Rezone (GPA 12-005; REZ 14-006). This County-initiated project will analyze proposed changes to Land Use designations for 43 PSRs and associated study areas, as directed by the Board of Supervisors during public hearings in June 2012.

The project also includes proposed updates to the Land Use designations and zoning for the properties comprising the former Champagne Gardens Specific Plan which expired in 2007, and a proposed policy revision for the Valley Center Community Plan.

The NOP public review and comment period will run from December 3 through January 4, 2016with a public scoping meeting on December 17 at 6:00pm in the Conference Center Hearing Room at 5520 Overland Avenue in San Diego. Please refer to the project web page for maps of the PSRs, additional information, and the NOP document, which includes additional information on the NOP process and submitting comments.

For any questions, please call the project phone line at (858) 505-6677, or email.


Climate Action Plan – UPDATE

cApSan Diego County staff continues work on the County’s new Climate Action Plan (CAP). Currently, the Project Team is working on the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory for the County’s community and local government emissions. The GHG Emissions Inventory quantifies existing emissions and projects future GHG emissions for the unincorporated County over a specified time-period. The GHG Emissions Inventory is anticipated to be completed by early 2016.

In addition to the GHG Emissions Inventory, the County is developing a comprehensive Public Outreach and Engagement Plan that will provide a well-defined public outreach process for the CAP. The Outreach Plan is anticipated to be completed by February 2016. Public workshops and meetings with stakeholders will be held throughout the process. Future notifications, draft documents, and related studies will be posted on the County’s CAP website here.

For more information regarding the CAP or to be added to our stakeholder list to receive future notifications, please contact the CAP Project Manager, Bulmaro Canseco at Bulmaro.Canseco@sdcounty.ca.gov   or at (858) 694-2216.


Public Workshop To Highlight San Diego County Watershed Protection Ordinance And BMP Design Manual Updates

BMPThe workshop will outline the updates to the Watershed Protection Ordinance (WPO) and the County’s jurisdictional BMP Design Manual. These changes are in response to updates to the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Order R9-2013-0001 as amended by Order R9-2015-0100.

The discussion on the County’s Draft BMP Design Manual will highlight the differences from the Model BMP Design Manual, namely the County’s procedures, updates in response to the MS4 Order Amendment, and optional program elements. These changes in requirements will replace the current County Standard Urban Runoff Stormwater Mitigation Plan (SUSMP).

The BMP Design Manual and Appendices are currently posted for review here.

Comments on the Manual are due by Monday, December 14, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. Please submit comments via email to: Nancy Richardson at Nancy.Richardson@sdcounty.ca.gov  and Laura Henry at lhenry@rickengineering.com

Workshop details:

Date and Time: December 7, 2015 from 9:30 to 12:00pm.

Location: County Operations Center, Conference Center Hearing Room, 5520 Overland Avenue, San Diego, 92123


Neighborhood Nuisance Cleaned Up!

codesCode Compliance received a report from a neighbor about a vacant house in his Spring Valley neighborhood. The property was in default and for sale. The neighbor reported that several break-ins had occurred and there was a large amount of waste and personal property in the yard areas.


cleanCode Compliance staff made a site inspection and saw the waste as well as two windows in the rear that had been removed. Staff immediately contacted the listing agent regarding the property and the house was secured. Soon after, escrow closed and the new owner cleaned the property.


Welcome Aboard!

jennJennifer Callahan

Administrative Analyst II

Jennifer joins our Human Resources (HR) team as an Administrative Analyst II. She comes to PDS with a wealth of HR experience at the County. Jennifer started out in the County’s Department of Human Resources as a Student Worker in 2006. She was hired permanently as an HR Assistant in August 2007 and quickly promoted to HR Specialist, HR Analyst, and Sr. HR Analyst. Jennifer then moved to the District Attorney’s Office as a Departmental HR Officer. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from SDSU and a Master of Business Administration from National University. Jennifer’s extensive HR knowledge and experience will provide tremendous support to all divisions in PDS and we welcome her to our team.


TamTam Vo

Land Use Aide

Tam joins the Code Compliance Division as a Land Use Aide. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Earth & Environment Sciences from the University of California, Irvine, a Certification in Water Science from Santiago Canyon College, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Geographic Information Science & Technology from the University of Southern California. With her prior years of experience providing administrative support and customer service, Tam will be a valued asset to PDS and our County residents.


NKNicholas Koutoufidis

Land Use Aide

Nick joins the Building Division as a Land Use Aide. He has over six years of experience providing various types of administrative support. Nick earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree from Point Loma Nazarene University. We look forward to Nick’s contributions to PDS and serving our customers on the front line.


Did You Know?

harbeesonOn November 28, 1869 John Stewart Harbison arrived in San Diego and subsequently brought 110 bees to a valley in San Diego now known as Harbison Canyon.

His success in capitalizing on the vast honey potential of San Diego County, along with his extensive campaign of selling bees to the residents of the county was the major force in making San Diego County the greatest honey producing county in the State of California by 1874, which in turn made California the leading honey producing state of the Union.


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