Resolving the Ruckus

San Diego 2016

I live in North County San Diego, and here is what is on the ballot:

  • County Board of Education (5th District)
  • Tri-City Healthcare Board of Directors (vote for 4)
    • *won*Larry Schallock (incumbent), Clinic Pharmacist
    • *won*Rosemarie Reno (incumbent), Registered Nurse
    • Donna Rencsak, Marriage and Family Therapist
    • *won*Julie Nygaard (incumbent)
    • Dan Hughes, Business Owner
    • Marggie Castellano, Film/TV Producer
    • Frank Gould, retired Marine, Judicial Officer
    • *won* Leigh Anne Grass, Registered Nurse
    • Ramona Finnila (incumbent)
  • *passed*Measure A: San Diego County Road Repair, Transit, Traffic Relief, Safety and Water Quality Measure
  • Measure B: Ordinance Amending the County General Plan, County Zonig Map and County Code, and Adopting the Lilac Hills Ranch Specific Plan

Measure A


San Diego County Road Repair, Transit, Traffic Relief, Safety and Water Quality Measure


Official Summary

Shall an ordinance be adopted to: repair roads, deteriorating bridges; relieve congestion; provide every community funds for pothole/street repairs; expand public transit, including improved services for seniors, disabled, students, veterans; reduce polluted runoff; preserve open space to protect water quality/reduce wildfires by enacting, with independent oversight/audits, a 40-year, half-cent local sales tax ($308 million annually) that Sacramento cannot take away?


  • 2/3 approval needed to pass
  • placed on ballot by SANDAG
  • overseen by ITOC
    • 1% admin fee
    • increase sales tax by 0.5% for 40 years
      • statewide base sales tax rate is 7.5%
      • San Diego County is 8% (more in El Cajon, Vista, La Mesa, National City)
      • Exceptions to tax:
        • Sales of tangible personal property to operators of aircraft to be used or consumed principally outside the County
        • Sales of property to be used outside the County that is shipped to a point outside of the County
        • The sale of tangible personal property if the seller is obligated to furnish the property for a fixed price pursuant to a contract entered into prior to the operative date of this Ordinance.
        • A lease of tangible personal property that is a continuing sale of such property, for any period of time for which the lessor is obligated to lease the property for an amount fixed by the lease prior to the operative date of this Ordinance.
        • If the purchaser is obligated to purchase the property for a fixed price pursuant to a contract entered into prior to the operative date of this Ordinance.
        • bonds would be issued payable from the sales tax proceeds
        • requires local agencies to match funding
        • ask SANDAG to use "best efforts" to complete Priority Corridor programs within 15 years: SR78 (HOV), I-5 (HOV, COASTER double tracking, add Fairgrounds Station), SR52 (HOV), Sorrento Valley Station relocation, new Purple Trolley Line, more Orange and Green and Blue Trolleys, SR 67 (widening), I-8 ("improvements"), SR94/125 (missing connectors), express service San Ysidro-Downtown-Old Town-Kearny Mesa and Iris Station-Otay Mesa
        • "goal" of 80%-100% local workers on capital projects
        • monies used for (min % of net revenue listed):
          • Local Infrastructure Projects (24 %):transit operations/management, transit youth passes, transit incentives for developers, natural habitat development/maintenance, build/maintain local roads, traffic light synchronization, sidewalks, bike paths, beach sand replenishment, greenhouse gas reduction plans, and prepare/implement watershed management plans.
          • Regional Corridors Projects: Transit Services - Capital (26.8 %): new and expanded transit services
          • Regional Corridors Projects: HOV Lanes (1o.8 %)
          • Regional Corridors Projects: Highways and Connectors (3.4 %)
          • Active Transportation Projects (3 %): bikeway facilities and connectivity improvements, pedestrian and walkable community projects, bicycle and pedestrian safety projects and programs, pedestrian grade separation projects, and traffic calming projects
          • Open Space Funding (11.1 %): implementation of the regional share of habitat conservation plans, including acquiring, managing, and monitoring conservation lands
          • Transit Operator Funding: New Transit Services (4.92 %): funding for the region’s transit operators for operation of new, expanded, or enhanced services
          • Transit Operator Funding: Advanced Transit Services (2.53 %)
          • Transit Operator Funding: Enhanced Local Bus Services (1.95 %)
          • Transit Operator Funding: Enhanced Trolley Services (1.95 %)
          • Transit Operator Funding: Enhanced COASTER and SPRINTER Services (0.55 %) - 6 additional one-way weekday trips on COASTER, "increased frequency and longer hours"
          • Grants Program: Rail/Road Grade Separation (5 %)
          • Grants Program: Arterial Traffic Signal Synchronization (1 %)
          • Grants Program: Specialized Transportation Projects (3 %): for projects and programs specifically designed to address the needs of transportation disadvantaged populations (seniors, students, disabled, low-income, veterans)

Measure A Debate

Measure B


Ordinance Amending the County General Plan, County Zoning Map and County Code, and Adopting the Lilac Hills Ranch Specific Plan


Official Summary

Shall this Initiative be adopted for the purpose of amending the County General Plan, Zoning Ordinance and Code of Regulatory Ordinances and approving the Lilac Hills Ranch Specific Plan (“Plan”)? The Plan provides for the development of a 608-acre master-planned community including 1,746 dwelling units, three commercial centers, a public park, 10 private parks and 16 miles of trails. The project site is generally located north of Escondido and east of I-15 in the unincorporated area of North San Diego County.


  • located east of I-15, north of the Welk Resort (Valley Center/Bonsall), 608 acres
  • Lilac Hills Ranch website
  • Land Use:
    • Current: Much of the project site is currently used for agricultural operations, and the surrounding area has low-density residential uses. Under the current General Plan designation, up to 110 homes could be developed on the project site; no commercial uses are allowed.
    • Desired: a new community including 1,746 dwelling units (903 single family detached units, 164 single-family attached units, 211 mixed-use units, 468 single-family detached senior citizen units), 3.3 acre Senior Community Center, a 200-room group care living facility, a 10-acre site for institutional uses, such as a house of worship, and three commercial mixed-use centers totaling 90,000 square feet of space. Also 25.6 acres of parks, including a 13.5-acre public park, 10 private parks, and 16 miles of trails, approx 104.1 acres of biological open space, 20.3 acres of common area open space for community gardens, 23.8 acres active agriculture.
  • The measure requires recreational facilities, a potential school site, an internal private road system, storm drain system, underground utilities, water lines, a site for a water reclamation facility and related distribution system, detention basins and wet weather storage ponds.
    • sites for school and water treatment will be provided.
    • the school would not be built, the land is available for a school to be built
    • it is not clear whether the water treatment facility would be provided by Lilac Hills or fall to the local civic entities ($26-28 Million)
  • Lilac Hills Ranch was thoroughly reviewed for over three years by the County’s Planning Department, including two comprehensive Environmental Impact Reports.
  • self-labeled as "a sustainable, smart growth community"
    • dual water pipes ("purple"), drought tolerant plants, pervious surfaces, pre-wired for solar and electric car charging stations
    • lists NGSI (88k residential) as rating system and not the industry-standard USGBC's LEED (255k residential, 380k total projects) which is mentioned in the existing County of San Diego General Plan, does not mention what level of NGSI certification will be pursued (bronze, silver, gold, emerald)
  • The plan requires that the following improvements be provided: parks and recreational facilities, an opportunity for a school, an internal private road system, storm drain facilities, and underground utility lines. The LHR-SP also requires a looped portable water system, water lines, plus a site for a water reclamation facility and its related distribution system, detention basins and wet weather storage ponds as determined necessary by the Valley Center Municipal Water District.
    • not sure if this is being provided by developer, sounds like developer expects this all to be provided by public funds
  • creates exception to fire protection travel time policy, which was approved by Deer Springs Fire Protection District
  • The LHR-SP would implement one of the options for wastewater treatment as approved by the Valley Center Municipal Water District
  • Amendments to the County General Plan
    • changing the project site’s land use designation from semi-rural to village;
    • exempting the project from the leapfrog development restrictions;
    • exempting the project from policies to protect agriculture and to maintain the existing rural life style;
    • exempting the project from the usual methodology for determining the maximum amount of time allowed for the fire agency to get to the project site and applying a separate methodology for the project.