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Dianne’s Corner: News and notes from County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob – March 2019

Dianne’s Corner
News and notes from County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob

Keeping communities safe: The Board of Supervisors recently gave the green-light to prepare for the next wave of rural fire prevention and protection improvements. Supervisor Jim Desmond and I got board approval to ask county staff to flesh out several proposals, including the development of a grant program to encourage homeowners in highrisk areas to install fire-resistant materials. We’re also looking at ways to strengthen the fire code for construction and create a regional plan for controlled burns and other preventative measures. The county continues to work overtime with Cal Fire and others to address the on-going threat of catastrophic wildfire. Since the 2003, the county has invested more than a half-billion dollars on fire prevention and emergency medical service improvements across our backcountry.

Housing: The county’s growing efforts to encourage the development of granny flats and other accessory homes are generating a lot of interest. In my recent State of the County speech, I talked a lot about the need for such housing to help address the region’s affordable housing crisis. For more information, call 858-495-5382.

Parks and rec: A recent Board of Supervisors vote cleared the way for a much-deserved, long-awaited park in Alpine. The board agreed to buy 98 acres near South Grade and Tavern roads and to work closely with the community to turn it into a park and public open space. A big win for the region!

For more District 2 news, go to or follow me on Facebook and Twitter. If I can assist with a county issue, please call my office at 619-531-5522 or email

Have a great East County day!


Supervisors Jacob, Fletcher secure board backing to look at ratepayer alternative to SDG&E


The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to develop a community choice energy program, opening the door to a more sustainable environment and competition in the local utility market.

At the urging of Chairwoman Dianne Jacob and Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, the board unanimously agreed to craft an energy initiative that could offer an alternative to SDG&E. It could also cut greenhouse gas emissions and promote solar and other types of renewable power.

Studies show that SDG&E ratepayers have been saddled with some of highest electricity rates in the nation.

“Residents, business owners and others are tired of getting ripped off by SDG&E and are saying enough is enough,” said Supervisor Jacob. “Today’s action opens the door to bring real competition to the energy market and aims to provide ratepayers with the freedom of choice.”

The board agreed to launch discussions with other local governments on a possible joint community choice energy program. Eight local cities are looking at developing choice initiatives.

“San Diego County today took a significant step toward a more sustainable future. This forward-leaning decision by the board delivers on our responsibility to leave the county and our environment in better shape than we found it,” said Supervisor Fletcher. “Community choice energy provides greater local control, leverages renewable energy, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. I am looking forward to working with staff over the next few months to demonstrate why implementation of a community choice energy program and collaborating with other cities in the region is good for the county.”

Also known as community choice aggregation, choice programs allow municipalities to band together to buy and sell electricity at competitive, if not lower, rates compared to the large investor-owned utilities.

County supervisors will be briefed on the development of a choice plan over the next few months, with a detailed proposal expected to reach them in October.

Unlike San Diego residents and businesses, the county is already allowed to shop the energy market, an option that saved taxpayers $3.4 million last year.

There are now 19 choice programs in California, serving eight million people.



San Diego County Board of Supervisors

Contacts: Steve Schmidt, 619-206-9108,

Anita Lightfoot, 619-531-4709,

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Alpine Parkland Meeting About Types of Facilities and Services Residents Want at New Park – March 5, 2019

Alpine Parkland Meeting NOTICE

Good evening Alpine. The Planing Group’s “Parks, Trails & Conservation Subcommittee” is planning a community parkland meeting on Tuesday, March 5th at 6:00pm at the Alpine Community Center. The purpose of the meeting is to receive input on the types of facilities and services Alpiners may want on a County-owned Alpine Community Park to be built on Wright’s Field. Jim Easterling, chairperson, George Barnett, secretary.

Alpine Community Planning Group (ACPG) Meeting (Agenda) – February 28, 2019

Alpine Community Planning Group
P.O. Box 1419, Alpine, CA 91903-1419

Notice of Regular Meeting | Preliminary Agenda
Thursday, February 28th, 2018 at 6:00pm
Alpine Community Center | 1830 Alpine Boulevard, Alpine, CA 91901

Archived Agendas & Minutes –


  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. October 25, 2018
      2. January 10th, 2019
    2. 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. None
  8. Group Business:
    1. Oath of office for new group members.
    2. Election of Officers
      1. Chair
      2. Vice-Chair
  • Secretary
  1. Appointment of Subcommittee Chairs. Discussion & Action.
  2. Appointment of Parliamentarian. Discussion & Action.
  3. Subcommittee Chairs to submit list of subcommittee members for approval. Discussion & Action
  4. Group to review ACPG Standing Rules. Discussion & Action.
  1. Consent Calendar
  2. Subcommittee Reports (including Alpine Design Review Board)
  3. Officer Reports
  4. Open Discussion 2 (if necessary)
  5. Request for Agenda Items for Upcoming Agendas
  6. Approval of Expenses / Expenditures
  7. Announcement of Meetings:
    1. Alpine Community Planning Group – March 28th, 2019
    2. ACPG Subcommittees – TBD
    3. Planning Commission – March 8th and 22nd, 2019
    4. Board of Supervisors – March 12th, 13th and 26th, 27th 2019
  8. 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.


Submitted By:

Travis Lyon | Chairman – Alpine Community Planning Group. P.O. Box 1419, Alpine, CA 91903-1419. 619.952.8607


Planning Group Members:

Travis Lyon – Chairman

Jim Easterling – Vice Chairman

Sharmin Self – Secretary

Glenda Archer

George Barnett

Roger Garay

Charles Jerney

Mike Milligan

Lou Russo

Leslie Perricone

Richard Saldano

Kippy Thomas

Alpine Community Plan Update: Zoning and Design Guidelines Workshop – March 2, 2019

The County of San Diego’s Department of Planning & Development Services (PDS) invites you to attend a public meeting of the Alpine Community Plan Update: Zoning and Design Guidelines Workshop. At this workshop, attendees will learn about the community’s existing zoning and design review process, hear about the update of the County’s Land Development Code and provide input on future zones and design related policies for the Alpine community.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 9:00 AM- 11:00 AM at the Alpine Community Center (1830 Alpine Blvd., Alpine, CA 91901). Parking is provided on-site.

Visit the Alpine Community Plan Update website for more information and to sign up for our e-mail list:

For more information, please e-mail or call Sandi Sawa Hazlewood at:
Phone: (858) 495-5465

My Take – Alpine Revitalization: By Mary Harris

My Take – Alpine Revitalization – By Mary Harris, February 2019

I am always happy to hear when Dianne Jacob is coming to town. She rolled in with her posse to head up the Revitalization Meeting. What follows are my observations.

While talk of integrating sports programs at Joan Macqueen Middle School with other community facilities and sports fields and venues were discussed, the bigger news was about the new park! Choosing to save the best for last, find details near the end.

Chamber of Commerce director, Alex Ward, had done his homework, providing multiple suggestions, including sprucing up the Triangle, the area behind the Tag Stop where Arnold Way and Alpine Boulevard merge at the traffic signal and renovating the ‘Welcome to Alpine’ sign.  He boasted of the project in which the Chamber has partnered with BCLT to install native plants and even native oak trees along Alpine Boulevard.

Mr. Green, of BCLT, shared his success in getting a grant that helped with funding the purchase of native plants and young oaks for the Alpine Boulevard project. The Engelmann Oak, a threatened species, was top choice for the tree selection, but it appears that the Coastal Live Oak was chosen instead, unless an Engelman was added since this writing.

Tom Myers, of the Historical Society, received grant money which will pay for the restoration of the concrete floor of the Carriage House. Grant money is available for projects deemed worthy, through the Community Enhancement Project. Ms. Jacob cautioned that the grant’s application deadline is coming up in March. Money went for the removal of eucalyptus trees at the museum site on Tavern Road, as well, and native Oaks were planted in their place.

Public Works was able to obtain grant money for improving a sidewalk at the Rios Canyon School. The ACPG chairman stressed improved circulation. The ACPG suffered a loss when Circulation Specialist, Jim Lundquist, resigned last year. Neville gave a detailed presentation explaining the needs of better circulation for the purpose of fire safety. More development necessitates road improvements.

The HIGHLIGHT was the announcement that the county is just steps away from purchasing long awaited parkland. On Wednesday, February 27 at 9 am. a public hearing will be held regarding this landmark purchase. It is almost time to break open the champagne bottles!  After twenty years of persistence, during which some of our elected officials had given up on getting a county park, we will finally taste the fruit of our labors. The maintenance issue was a hang up until recently because of a law prohibiting the county from being able to provide maintenance for new parks. Thankfully, that changed! Of the near hundred acres, ten to twenty acres are purposed for an active County Park. The remainder is slotted for open space. The County is considering options as to which nonprofit entity may be chosen to manage the open space part of the parkland.

Ms. Jacob clearly stated that Alpine shouldn’t short itself when it comes to choosing park amenities, and Bill Saumier, of County Parks and Recreation, assured me that a dog park will be included. Look for announcements of meetings encouraging community participation on Alpine Community Network, and the Alpine Sun. The rewards of becoming involved in the community where we live are feeling a part of creating a supportive environment for ourselves, our families, and our neighbors.





JMMS Sports Fields and a New Park for Alpine Update – February 6, 2019

Parkland for Alpine – Update February 6, 2019 – Submitted By George Barnett

Along with Travis Lyon, Jim Easterling, and Jon Green, I attended meetings yesterday hosted by Brian Albright, Director of Parks and Recreation for the County of San Diego. Mr. Albright’s executive staff also participated. Two major parkland developments for Alpine were discussed. Following are my personal observations:

Joan MacQueen Middle School Playing Fields:
Concept plans are completed, and Alpine Union School District (AUSD) is moving ahead. The County process for directing developers’ fees to the project from the Alpine Park Land Development Ordinance account was reviewed. Ordinance compliance issues were discussed, and were integrated into the timing schedule. A key component will be the preparing of architectural designs and cost estimates. The matter of well water and irrigation infrastructure for grass fields, and the maintenance of infrastructure over time, has been addressed by the very kind offer from an Alpine resident.

Alpine Community Park:
The County has completed negotiations to buy 98 acres of Wrights Field open space not owned by the Back Country Land Trust. Next steps include the Board of Supervisors final approvals on funding and acquisition expected later this month. Once escrow is completed and the land owned by the County, and once the County concludes an environmental survey of the land, the County will begin community outreach through the Alpine Community Planning Group (ACPG) and by County-hosted community workshops. Those efforts will include the solicitation of ideas, wants and needs from the community. The County expects to begin its outreach late April or early May. Environmental studies on the targeted land site have started. Those studies will indicate how much of the 98 acres can be used for parkland (as opposed to passive use as open space), and will give insight into the types of facilities that could be suitable under California’s environmental law. As Director & Officer of the Back Country Land Trust (BCLT), I pledged BCLT’s and its Partners resources in support to the County on biological resource land management, fire fuels reduction, waterway clean-out and restoration, on environmental education via BCLT’s Living Classroom Program in association with Alpine Education Foundation, and on habitat restoration.

By implication, through the sustained efforts of many, and due to the firm commitment of Supervisor Dianne Jacob to Alpine and to our children, Alpine is destined to have unsurpassed open space preserves, a community park, and refurbished, modern sports playing fields at its middle school! 😁

For clarity, the non-County attendees at the meetings were:

George Barnett (me); elected ACPG member & secretary of its Parks Subcommittee, director/officer of BCLT.
Travis Lyon; elected ACPG member & chairperson, elected Trustee AUSD, and director of BCLT. Jim Easterling; elected ACPG member and chairperson of its Parks Subcommittee; & elected member and President of Alpine Fire Protection District. Jon Green; Program & Outreach Director of BCLT

The above comments are mine personally, and are not intended to be those of the others attending.



​Alpine Revitalization Meeting Held in January 2019 Proves Informative & Energetic

The possibility of a high school as well as a county park kept interest high at the latest Alpine Community Revitalization Meeting

By Jo Moreland – Alpine Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Alpine’s leaders, business people, organization representatives, agencies, residents and county staff also discussed the latest news about road paving, local signage and other needs.
County Supervisor Dianne Jacob handed out praise as she led the Jan. 24 session in the Alpine Library at 1752 Alpine Blvd. “I think this was excellent,” Jacob said after the meeting. “It helps me and the other county people to know what the needs are and what we need to do.”
The county supervisor said the park proposal, which will be discussed at the county board’s Feb. 13 meeting, is “definitely a priority.” Final board approval is needed to buy 98 acres of land abutting the Wright’s Field preserve, which is owned and maintained by the Back Country Land Trust (BCLT).
BCLT Vice President George Barnett said it was “absolutely wonderful” to hear Jacob speak enthusiastically about the county buying the balance of Wright’s Field and intending to use it for community access. He said it was also good to hear her fully support the proposed upgrade of sports playing fields at Joan MacQueen Middle School, because both projects benefit Alpine.
Almost everyone leaned forward to hear Travis Lyon, an Alpine Union School District (AUSD) board member, talk about the latest effort to get a high school in Alpine.
It might be done by using Alpine Elementary School in some way, Lyon said. “We’re undergoing a process right now to identify options for the future,” AUSD Superintendent Dr. Rich Newman said in an interview. “They’ve identified nine options to date.” Newman said a Superintendent’s Advisory Task Force of parents, staff, community members and school site administrators are developing a proposal for the school board. “We’re really seeking community input,” so a number of public forums will be held, he said. “My goal is the board will hear the recommendations in February and in March the board will make a decision after the community forums.”
President Neville Connell of the Greater Alpine Fire Safe Council revealed that research after Alpine’s West Fire on July 6 shows that roads have an impact on fire prevention and safety. The blaze destroyed or damaged 38 homes and 36 other buildings. There was very little damage to buildings on east-west roads in the fire area, but defending structures on roads that “spread out like fingers” was more difficult and those buildings were more prone to damage, Connell said. “It provided us with some very interesting conclusions in how development should go forward in Alpine,” he said
A partnership between the Alpine Chamber of Commerce and BCLT to beautify Alpine Boulevard is trying to work with county permit and insurance requirements in order to pursue the project, Chamber Executive Director Alex Ward and Jon Green, BCLT outreach and program director, told Jacob.  “You’re doing great work,” she replied after encouraging them to work with county personnel and to contact her office if that didn’t work out.
Mary Kay Borchard, a volunteer community representative with the revitalization committee, said she thought the meeting was positive for Alpine’s development. “I would invite and encourage any interested resident to attend the next Alpine revitalization meeting on June 27, 2 to 4 p.m., at the Alpine Library,” Borchard said.
Jo Moreland, Communications
Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce
1620 Alpine Blvd., Ste. 208
Alpine, CA 91901
(619) 445-2722

Alpine Chamber of commerce Logo Alpine Ca 91901Jo Moreland, Communications
Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce
1620 Alpine Blvd., Ste. 208
Alpine, CA 91901
(619) 445-2722


New County Initiative Encourages ‘GRANNY FLATS’ & Waives Fees for Next 5 Years

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­NEWS RELEASE 1/9/19




The Board of Supervisors on Wednesday launched a program to encourage the development of granny flats and other small dwellings as part of a broader county effort to address the region’s housing shortage.

The board voted to waive county permit and development impact fees over the next five years for property owners wishing to build granny flats on lots with existing homes. The units can be used for family members or rented out as a source of income for the homeowner.

The program could result in thousands of additional homes within the county’s unincorporated areas, a region largely represented by District 2 Supervisor Dianne Jacob and District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond.

“This is a critical step in our on-going efforts to address the region’s housing crisis, especially the serious need for affordable housing,” said Jacob, the board chairwoman. “This new program is the quickest and easiest way for us to expedite the development of housing.”

To cover the loss of fees, the county will subsidize the program to the tune of $11 million over the 5-year period.

“There is no single solution to the regional housing shortage, but an average savings of $14,000 for an accessory home will raise property values and offer more affordable places to live,” said Supervisor Desmond. “We will continue to be creative and challenge the status quo to solve the region’s housing crisis.”

The additional homes are allowed under the county’s General Plan, which guides development in Alpine, Julian, Fallbrook, Lakeside, Valley Center and all other unincorporated communities.


Contacts:         Steve Schmidt, 619-206-9108,

Anita Lightfoot, 619-531-4709,


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County to Purchase 98 Acres Adjacent to Wright’s Field in Alpine for a NEW PARK – January 8, 2019

January 8, 2018 Submitted By George Barnett

Today the County Department of Parks & Recreation advised Alpine Community Planning Group members and others that the Board of Supervisors is expected to approve tomorrow a land purchase in Alpine for a town park. The proposed land is 98 acres abutting Wright’s Field along South Grade Road.

This is good news for Alpine as the purchase preserves the land from residential development, and together with the portion of Wright’s Field owned by the Back Country Land Trust, it extends preserved passive parkland right in the middle of our town to a plot nearly 330 acres in size.

This to me is also a fitting tribute to Supervisor Dianne Jacob who is finishing her long and distinguished career in 2020 as Supervisor of the 2nd District and the Backcountry. She has been Alpine’s strongest advocate for conservation, improved roads, better law enforcement, and our local schools, and for parkland.

Below is a map of the proposed land purchase (IN YELLOW) and the Back Country Land Trust (BCLT) owned parts of Wright’s Field bounded in white. All together, this County acquisition and BCLT property provides Alpine with a wonderful, unsurpassed passive parkland of immense environmental value. How many towns anywhere have a 330 acre environmental preserve & parkland in their middle?

The public has always been invited to use BCLT’s private-owned portion of WF north of South Grade Road as a “passive parkland”. By definition that means open to the general public for hiking, horseback riding, dog walking, star gazing, and so on – all passive activities with the only requirements to stay on the trails, to leash dogs, to pickup after dogs and to not leave trash behind. The County is buying 98 acres of WF not owned by BCLT, but from a speculative Dallas-based investor LLC. My understanding is that the County will also plan on passive uses, that is – no active sports playing fields. Maybe there’ll be picnic places, a pavilion, a kiddie playground, or things of that nature that town’s people want. But we’ll find that out in due course when the County presents some plans to Alpiners. The County is also supporting plans to upgrade the playing fields at Joan MacQueen Middle School (which are deemed active parkland), and those existing facilities currently serve la cross, soccer, soft ball and limited track and field, with the softball fields possibly becoming dual use with football. The final plan is in the hands of the Alpine Union School District.

George Barnett