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Revelle's Valley Views

October 04, 1987

The recent letter from Alice Goodkind, president of Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley, contains several misstatements, the most egregious being that the "San Dieguito River Valley land has always been flood plain, and has always been zoned agricultural--it was when the landowners bought it."

The fact is that, within the 740 acres bounded by Interstate 5, Via de la Valle, the old El Camino Real and the North City West mesa, a good deal less than 200 acres is in the river flood plain. The area of the flood plain, the floodway, the adjacent 25-foot-wide buffer, the wetland and wetland buffer areas and steep hillsides all combined cover only about 310 acres out of a total area of 740 acres.

When the present landowners--some of whom are represented in the San Dieguito Trust--purchased the land before the late 1950s, it was part of the County of San Diego and not part of the city. As I remember, it was not zoned at all. Much later, the city placed this area in a limbo called "future urbanizing," subject to planning decisions after 1995, and in the meantime put it in the Al-10 so-called Agricultural Zone. All undeveloped land within the city was at one time in the Al-10 zone, including the areas now designated as Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa and Penasquitos. As far as I know, the San Diego City Council has never directed that the lower San Dieguito River Valley should be kept as open space.

Contrary to Ms. Goodkind's implication, this zoning does not mean open space. It can be and has been used for estate-type developments such as those now being created east of El Camino Real--Del Rayo Downs, Del Rayo Estates, and others mentioned by The Times in its article of Sept. 6 on the San Dieguito Valley.

Also, despite her statement to the contrary, the Planning Commission has made no recommendation--staff members of the Planning Department have presented four alternative plans (none of which was made in consultation with the property owners) "as a basis for discussion."

I believe Ms. Goodkind is in error in her discussion of proposed east-west Route 728. An east-west interchange on I-5 south of Via de la Valle and north of Del Mar Heights Road is essential to relieve traffic jams at the intersection of I-5 and Via de la Valle during the San Diego County fair and the Del Mar racing season. It will not "cause more gridlock on Via de la Valle and I-5."

Finally, I would like to correct an error in your Sept. 6 article on the valley ("Minding Their Manors"). Despite your statement to the contrary, I have never advocated creation of an industrial park in the San Dieguito River Valley.

I am thoroughly in favor of a San Dieguito River Park, extending along the flood plain and the floodway of the river for its entire length of more than 40 miles. But I do not believe that the River Park should be concentrated in the area west of El Camino Real, nor should it cover more than a portion of that area.

ROGER REVELLE

La Jolla

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