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.