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Preserve Our Natural Beauty In Alpine – By Mary Harris

I have read that Back Country Land Trust wants to contribute drought resistant plants to the center of Alpine towards a beautification project. I really appreciate their contribution, but I have a bone to pick. Drought resistant plants don’t replace beautiful and even historic trees.Trees can be considered historic and are preserved as such in some areas. In Alpine, we have lost a lot of trees but not enough efforts are being made to replace them. Recent examples are the loss of the great hundred some year old oak at the community center park and the towering eucalyptus at the Town Hall. But there are many others.

It’s so easy to destroy compared to build. Along with trees, our planning group has given approval to the destruction of historic buildings in Alpine, throughout the years. I put the blame on the county as well, that signs off on these plans of destruction.Right now, as I am writing this I hear the sounds of heavy equipment leveling the property that I view out my kitchen window. I woke up to these sounds at 8 am the other morning, As I looked out my window, I witnessed the demolishment of what could have been a historically preserved house. It was on 3/4 of an acre sharing a boundary with Alpine Terrace Apartments on Olivewood Lane, just west of our post office.

Then to add insult to injury, I witnessed  more devastation as the magnificent oak came down to meet its death. Following was the death of a grand old palm and fruit bearing trees. Where does it end, I ask myself? I was sad. I was angry, and then resigned to having to accept yet another foolish decision on the part of the owner of the property, the buyer of the property,our planning group, and our county.

Money should not be the sole motive in these kinds of decisions. Thirteen townhomes are planned to be built on the near acre sized lot where the grand old house stood. Could the builder have designed a plan that could incorporate at least some of the trees? Could the owner have insisted that he would not sell unless some of the trees were allowed to remain? Could our planning group delay approval of the project until more community input was sought?

Could the county realize that this is not a wise plan in general because of the overcrowding of this area, the increased burden of traffic and parking, and maybe even take into consideration what the majority of Alpine people want instead of what the developers want? Along with that could they realize the poor planning that is persisting when we destroy not only beauty but habitat to our many birds and animals? And we all know how important trees are to climate cooling by providing shade and how they help clean our polluted air. I used to look out my window from my apartment and view the moon at night, and by day the trees and other plants. Now, if I stay here, I will be looking out at someone looking back at me from their window.I will view the new buildings walls and that’s it.

This is what I want to emphasize: someday, if we keep allowing this kind of thoughtless planning, we will want to move to somewhere that is like Alpine used to be. But someday, if this destruction of habitat continues on its haphazard course, there will be no away to move to.

It sickens me. It saddens me.It angers me. I talk to my apartment neighbors and they feel the same. Couldn’t we just have one little grassy area where we could take our kids to play, they ask? There won’t be any land to plant grass on! If you are rich and can buy like many on our planning group have been able to do, then yes, you can have grass. But the rest of us, sorry, you can’t. Parks used to be reserved for the privileged few. Thank God some dedicated people worked to change that decades ago, so that parks could be for all and not just the privileged

My plea to my neighbors is to get out and do something. Instead of limiting your voices to be heard only amongst yourselves, do something. Take action.get involved and be a part of the solution, even if you have to start small.


Mary Harris –



Working with the US Forest Service, the Greater Alpine Fire Safe Council recently finished cutting the Viejas Creek Fuelbreak and now has 1100 piles of brush ready for burning. CALFIRE will start these prescribed burns on Monday, April 16 and is expecting to complete them in approximately two weeks time. Don’t be alarmed when you see smoke plumes in the air east of Alpine during this period!

Beautiful Buggy Seeks Experienced Driver and Well-Mannered Horse for Alpine Parade



March 2018 – This lovingly restored 1906 Doctor’s Buggy has come of age and is ready to make a big showing in our little town. But, she is lonely and definitely in need of some exercise. After a total make-over in 2015, in the loving hands of the Alpine Historical Society, she has been in search of a talented driver and a well-trained horse that are comfortable in a crowd and willing to be her escort in the Alpine 4th of July Parade. If you might be the right driver or know someone who could be, please contact the Alpine Historical Society by email at or call 619-885-8063.

Alpine Community Planning Group (ACPG) Meeting (Preliminary Agenda) – March 22, 2018


Notice of Regular Meeting | Preliminary Agenda

Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 6:00pm

Alpine Community Center | 1830 Alpine Boulevard, Alpine, CA 91901

*View Agenda and list of Planning Group Members HERE: ACPG – March 22nd 2018 Preliminary Meeting Agenda


  1. Call to Order
  2. Invocation / Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Roll Call of Members
  4. Approval of Minutes / Correspondence / Announcements
    1. Approval of Minutes
      1. February 22, 2018
    2. Announcement of Vacancy on the ACPG for Seat #3. This is an opportunity for those interested in serving on the Alpine Community Planning Group to make a statement to the group about their credentials and desire to serve.  No recommendations will be made at this meeting.  The Group will make a recommendation at the April 26, 2018 meeting.
    3. ACPG Statement: The Alpine Community Planning Group was formed for the purpose of advising and assisting the Director of Planning, the Zoning Administrator, the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors in the preparation, amendment and implementation of community and sub-regional plans.  The Alpine Community Planning Group is an advisory body only.
  5. Open Discussion: Opportunity for members of the public to speak to the ACPG on any subject matter within the ACPG’s jurisdiction that is not on the posted agenda.
  6. Prioritization of this Meeting’s Agenda Items
  7. Organized / Special Presentations
    1. The ACPG Parks and Recreation Subcommittee will provide an update regarding the proposal to renovate the sports/playing fields at Joan MacQueen Middle School. The group may make a recommendation to the County to allocate Park Land Development Ordinance funds towards the project.  Presentation, Discussion & Action.
    2. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently discussed the idea of charging higher utility rates for electric customers living in areas with higher risk of wild fires. The ACPG will discuss this proposal and draft a letter to the CPUC with the group’s recommendation.  Presentation, Discussion & Action.
    3. In January 2017, the ACPG provided written comments to the CPUC regarding a Draft Environmental Report for the Proposed Suncrest Dynamic Reactive Power Support Project. The proposed project is located approximately 3.75 miles southeast of the community of Alpine and approximately 1 mile east of the existing Suncrest substation. The Proposed Project includes a power facility and a 1-mile transmission line to the existing Suncrest substation.  Members of the community have requested the ACPG revisit this project and consider additional action.  Presentation, Discussion & Action.
    4. At the February 22, 2018 ACPG meeting the representatives from the County of San Diego reviewed with the group the concept of funding road improvements using Traffic Impact Fees (TIF). The group discussed a process for identifying potential projects that were eligible for TIF funding.  Group to review list of areas that are eligible for TIF funding.    Presentation, Discussion & Action.
    5. The ACPG will review a preliminary engineer report for potential improvements to the culvert crossing on Tavern Road at Alpine Creek Way. Presentation, Discussion & Action.
  8. Group Business:
    1. Subcommittee Chairs to submit list of subcommittee members for approval. Discussion & Action
  9. Consent Calendar
  10. Subcommittee Reports (including Alpine Design Review Board)
  11. Officer Reports
  12. Open Discussion 2 (if necessary)
  13. Request for Agenda Items for Upcoming Agendas
  14. Approval of Expenses / Expenditures
  15. Announcement of Meetings:
    1. Alpine Community Planning Group – April 26th, 2018
    2. ACPG Subcommittees – TBD
    3. Planning Commission – March 23rd & April 13th 2018
    4. Board of Supervisors – April 17th, 18th, 24th, & 25th 2018
  16. Adjournment of Meeting


Disclaimer Language


Public Disclosure

We strive to protect personally identifiable information by collecting only information necessary to deliver our services. All information that may be collected becomes public record that may be subject to inspection and copying by the public, unless an exemption in law exists. In the event of a conflict between this Privacy Notice and any County ordinance or other law governing the County’s disclosure of records, the County ordinance or other applicable law will control.


Access and Correction of Personal Information

You can review any personal information collected about you. You may recommend changes to your personal information you believe is in error by submitting a written request that credibly shows the error. If you believe that your personal information is being used for a purpose other than what was intended when submitted, you may contact us. In all cases, we will take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting access or making corrections.

Travis Lyon | Chairman
Alpine Community Planning Group
P.O. Box 1419, Alpine, CA 91903-1419




What Is Worth Fighting For in Alpines Future? By Mary Harris

February 23, 2018

What Is Worth Fighting For? – Submitted By Mary Harris

We are like a ripe fruit ready to be picked. Developers are eyeing us like hungry wolves. I hear people saying that their voice doesn’t matter, that the big guys always get what they want. I feel the increased anxiety as the rents climb steadily higher but the paycheck does not. It’s like the glass is full and one more drop will cause it to overflow.

Throughout history, people have found the courage to stand up for what they know is right. As we become involved in our community, we pay more attention to what’s going on around us. Plans are in process which will alter our town’s identity forever. The County of San Diego is holding a series of meetings called The Alpine Community Plan Update. The next meeting should be in March, at the Alpine community center. Look for it to be announced in The Alpine Sun and on Alpine Community Network.

We have a group called the Alpine Community Planning Group (ACPG), that meets monthly (with some exceptions), whose mission is to represent us in any matters concerning land use, and communicate what we want to our county supervisor, Dianne Jacob. The ACPG is an advisory body. As such, It has no decision making power, but it is able to influence our decision makers. But in order to represent us, they must hear us. They need to find ways to connect with us, an area in which they fall short. We need to go to them, as we can’t expect them to reach out to us.

Imagine how development will impact our quality of life in twenty years. We can have input in regards to how much, where, and what it will look like. We value open space. We wanted safer areas to raise our kids and a relaxing environment in which to spend our retirement years. We wanted the beauty of nature and wildlife. Is it worth fighting for? Can we preserve open space, historic sites, plant diversity, areas of archaeologic importance and habitat for animal species?

When developers build a housing development they are required to put money or land into a fund for the community’s use, for parks and recreation. This fund is called the Parkland Dedication Ordinance (PLDO). Alpine currently has $950,000 in this fund. The ACPG can vote to prioritize the money in this fund, which they did recently. They voted to prioritize the fund for a concept they call a Sports Complex, which would be for the school’s use. If they are successful, our PLDO fund will be zeroed out. If developers achieve their goals of filling in open space with tract homes and businesses, then we should, at the very least, have a substantial park built here that we can be proud of for the use of the entire community.

Take a look around Alpine and note what you would miss if it were gone, and what you feel sad about that is already gone. The late 70’s gave rise to a development boom that resulted in urban blight. We are on the threshold of another boom.  Most of us want to see development thoughtfully designed to preserve open space and designed to fit in with the rural feel of our town. Low income housing should not be left out of the plan, as the rents are climbing steadily higher. Don’t just lie down. Fight for it.

Alpine Resident Urges Others to Attend Community Plan Update & Planning Group Meetings to MAKE A DIFFERENCE

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Submitted By Mary Harris – February 2018

The next meeting of the Alpine Community Plan Update is around the corner. Look for information that will be posted soon here on ACN. You can also read more about it HERE. People living in Alpine need to attend and let their county representatives know what is on their mind. Let your voices be heard loud and clear! Tell them what YOU want and what you don’t want….. Some say that in the next twenty years, Alpine’s population may double. Development is on the rise. What do you want to see preserved in Alpine? What do you value here enough to fight for?

I have many concerns for our little town of Alpine. What style of development would you approve of? Would you prefer as little development as possible, or would you like a Walmart between Starbucks and Viejas Casino?

I am personally clamoring for a park! Not just another pocket park located on school property where no dogs are allowed. Not a thimble sized park with no shade. Not a Sports Complex “park” at the middle school….and not a park where 50% of its area is designated for athletic fields. I want a substantial park, a park we can be proud of, as a community. A minimum of 15 acres, and hopefully much more! A park which has a good sized dog park located within its boundaries. A space with green grass and big shade trees, a water feature,where we can go and enjoy nature, and bring our children and families…a park where there will be no signs saying “No Dogs Allowed”.

What do YOU want to see in a park? “A Park 4 Alpine” invites you to take a SURVEY HERE and express your wishes. If developers get what THEY want, open space in Alpine may become scarce. One way to preserve green space and habitat for wildlife, plants, and people is to create an awesome park. If I could get whatever I wanted in a park, it would be as grand as Balboa Park in San Diego or as beautiful as the park in Portland, Oregon that rises high up over the city with a view of Mount Hood.

Naysayers here want to tell us to give up on ever getting a park. We have to go to the meetings that are discussing this and many other issues relevant to us in Alpine. We need to show up to the Alpine Community Plan Update meetings. They are scheduled as a series of six meetings, and we have three to four more to go….

Also, attend the Alpine Community Planning Group meetings…they meet monthly at the Community Center next to the library, on the fourth Thursday of most months at 6 pm. The meetings are announced in the Alpine Community Network and in the Alpine Sun. (The Next meeting is March 22, 2018) You can find the agenda for the monthly meetings printed in the same publications, both online and “hard copy”,  I have learned a lot about our community since I have been showing up. I have learned a lot about who sits at the table and represents us. We can make a difference.

If you want to find out when the next meeting is you can always type the words “Alpine Planning Group Meeting” in the search bar here on the Alpine Community Network Website, or look in the Community Calendar.  You can also subscribe to the Alpine Community Network EMAIL LIST and you will be emailed all the events happening in Alpine Weekly!

Mary Harris




Letter to the EDITOR: To All the Alpiners That Want an Alpine High School, “DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED”!

By George Barnett

To all you Alpiners that want an Alpine high school, “Do not be discouraged”! 26 of your friends and neighbors and children traveled to Sacramento last week (read story here) to present our case before the State Board of Education (SBE),  The SBE had much sympathy and support for Alpine having its own high school.  It also harshly admonished Grossmont, and told Grossmont it had to repair a breech of trust Grossmont caused with Alpine.

Much more important, the State Board of Education suggested two clear and viable alternate routes to an Alpine high school; both of which it would support.

More on that later…..But keep your chins up!  I believe we will have an Alpine high school sooner than one might think.


Submitted By George Barnett 619-659-0345




LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Community Park / Surrounding Issues – By Mary Harris

Letter to the Editor – Submitted By Mary Harris

I was re-reading Lori Bledsoe’s September 2017 article in the Alpine Sun about Park Land Dedication Ordinance (PLDO) funds and how Joan MacQueen Middle School (JMMS) wants to use, the now $950,000, in the fund for athletic field upgrades. Not long ago, George Barnett, of the Alpine Community Planning Group (ACPG), wrote in the Alpine Community Network (ACN), that he envisioned a 9 Acre Sports Complex at JMMS. Lori’s article was thorough, and included that many Alpiner’s wanted a community park built here with the PLDO money. She also covered the land offer made by El Cajon developer, Daryl Priest, and the (alleged) problems that the County found with it.

Fast forward nearly four months as we approach the new year. Things have changed in the last few months that have put Alpine in the running, at long last, to FINALLY obtain a County Park! I have made it to most of the meetings regarding the issues and have learned that, according to Bill Saumier of the San Diego County Parks and Recreation, that “the floodgates are open”, meaning that millions of dollars are now available for building new county parks.

The issue that Lori Bledsoe brought up in her article concerning a problem with the county not paying for maintenance of a park once it has been built, has been resolved. As of June 2017, the county will pay for park maintenance.

Meanwhile, members of our community have had an opportunity to express themselves about these issues through a Surveymonkey survey created by a concerned resident. Over 300 locals have taken the survey to date. Questions are asked of Alpiner’s as to what THEY want to see as far as amenities in a community park, and how THEY would like to see the PLDO funds used. The overwhelming majority are responding that they want the PLDO money used for a community park vs. a sports complex or field upgrades at JMMS.

The most important amenities sought by locals? A dog park and plenty of shaded areas.

Alpiners have been misled by the ACPG to believe that there is no land available in Alpine suitable for a county park. Not so! We have also been led to believe that the County Board of Representatives has already given the green light for either the athletic field upgrades at JMMS, or the “Sports Complex” idea outlined in articles by ACPG member, George Barnett. While the ACPG apparently did meet with Diane Jacob, our County Supervisor, NO DECISION has been made regarding proposed projects at JMMS.

I have criticized the ACPG and the Alpine Unified School District (AUSD), as well as the ACPG Parks and Trails Subcommittee for not doing a good enough job announcing their meetings, not announcing their meetings early enough, and not providing basic signage to facilitate people in being able to locate the meetings.

While the AUSD and the ACPG are good with spending approximately $5,000 to make a preliminary plan for their proposed project, they can’t part with less than $100 to provide signage or flyers. What would it take to make a few flyers and post them (more than a couple of days prior to the meeting), or place a basic sign or two ?

I have also criticized the above mentioned boards for not doing enough to connect with the community they represent. How can they represent Alpine if they don’t connect with the people of Alpine? I call it Community Outreach. This is essential in order that not just a few (who happen to sit on the boards) voice their opinions, but that the community itself, rich or poor, landowners or not, Americans with white,brown, black,or any other variation of skin color, highly educated or not, and of any religious background, and of any age whereby they be old enough to vote, may be actively welcomed to participate.

When I talk to people, I often hear that they don’t think that it matters what they think because those on the boards always get what they want anyway, so what’s the point ? This leads to apathy, and undermines community spirit.

And when a board member states that the public are “warmly welcomed” at ACPG meetings, they didn’t say, unless they disagree with the board, then they may be “welcomed” as I feel was, with rudeness, being talked down to, and with intimidating physical gestures.

It’s nothing new to me, and other single women may agree, to be treated with disrespect. A woman who may be a widow, divorced, having no grown children nearby, or other family who may care what happens to her, I feel are seen as prey by predators. The reputations of some planning group members, have become tarnished in my eyes, after I feel that I have been repeatedly treated like someone that doesn’t matter.

I lived here in the mid 70’s. I helped raise my nephew here. I became a single parent in the 80’s, and moved to where the quality schools were located. I coached and supported my daughter, from her preschool years to college, and attended her graduation, where she earned her Master’s Degree. I am retirement age now, and volunteer teaching the ESL program. I attend adult school, participate in a writer’s group, and help my “older than me” neighbors who are without family and/or money.

When the ACPG and the AUSD and Alpine Education Foundation (AEF) said they all voted unanimously to prioritize the spending of the PLDO money on sports related projects at JMMS,instead of making a community park for all to use, I asked what made sports agendas the priority when there are so many other needs of students being neglected? I didn’t get an answer.

Mainly, and I finish with this, Alpine is LONG overdue in getting a community park. A recreational facility at JMMS is designed for the school community, not the community at large. The school can find its own funding for sports projects and leave the PLDO money alone. It was originally designated for a park. Just because the PLDO fund was dipped into before, approx. ($400,000) for sports fields at JMMS, does not mean that it should be permitted again.

Concerned Resident – Mary Harris


Resident Voices Concerns Over SDG&E Turning Off Power During Windy Weather

Submitted by Savana Feraiuolo

Hi Community,

I have been doing some research about SDG&E turning off our power. We need to pull together and let them know there solution is not working for us. I have spoken to several government agencies and here is what we can do. We need to put in formal complaints with the Public Utilities Commission.

Here is the link:

SDG&E has blocked competitors from coming in. We need to get this stopped.

I spoke to Senator Ben Hueso office everyone needs to call his office and tell them their concerns. They are super nice they will get your name and number. The more people that call the more our voice will be heard. The phone number is (916) 651-4040 and (619) 409-7690. Then call State Assembly Randy Voepel at (619) 258-7737. These phone calls only take a couple of minutes and this is how our voice is heard. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I am not an expert just a citizen hoping for change. Please post and share.



A New County Park in Alpine? Department of Parks & Recreation Response

Submitted By Cynthia Bonsignore – September 23, 2017

To all concerned for the future if Alpine’s County Park,

The following is the response WE concerned Alpine residents received from the Director of Parks S. D., concerning the establishment of a Park in Alpine for ALL to enjoy with no daylight time restrictions. This letter is to clarify the position of the S. D. County Parks authority, as to the disposition of the PLDO funds ($900k) for a County Park v a school refurbishment program.


“Dear Ms. Bonsignore:
At the request of Supervisor Dianne Jacob and County Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer, Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) staff reviewed your inquiry dated September 2, 2017 regarding the use of Park Land Dedication Ordinance (PLDO) funding in Alpine.

DPR promotes health and wellness through the development and operation of parks throughout the County of San Diego. New public parks or the payment of PLDO fees are also required as a part of new residential subdivisions. PLDO fees are deposited in community specific funds and are used by the County to create or enhance recreational opportunities for community residents. In accordance with Board of Supervisor’s Policy F-26 (attached), there is a three step process in place before PLDO funds can be allocated toward a new recreation project: Community Planning Group prioritization, DPR review and recommendation, and Board of Supervisor approval.

Your email expressed your concern regarding the apparent designation of $900,000 in Alpine PLDO funds toward a sports complex at Joan MacQueen Middle School. DPR has not made any recommendations to the Board this year regarding Alpine PLDO funding and there has been no allocation of Alpine PLDO funding toward this project. DPR will be hosting a public meeting this fall to obtain community input on a park in Alpine and we are renewing our efforts to obtain parkland in Alpine.

Thank you for your interest in your community. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Jill Bankston, Chief of Development, at (858) 966-1360 or Jill. Bankston(”

Sincerely, BRIAN ALBRIGHT – Director

Dept. of Parks and Recreation

(858) 966-1303


View Letter PDF Here: CAO 18153 PLDO Funding Alpine – Bonsignore Ltr