GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

Finding new water for development projects

Posted by George J Janczyn on April 8, 2010

The San Diego County Planning Commission on April 2 recommended approval for a 417-home Montecito Ranch development for Ramona (see the commission’s actions document for full details).

This project goes under the radar of the California Government Code requirement that the water supply for new developments be accounted for when there are 500 dwelling units or more.

In the documentation for this project the impact on the supply of potable water is not addressed, other than saying it would hook up to the Ramona Municipal Water District. Use of reclaimed wastewater for landscape irrigation is contemplated, though I assume that would be only for the planned parks and common areas for the development, not for the landscaping on the generous residential properties which will vary in size from about 1/2 acre to 1.5 acres.

I hope San Diego area developers won’t produce a cascade of projects of less than 500 units to avoid the obvious problems that would occur in trying to identify where their new water is supposed to come from. We should consider ourselves lucky, I guess, that SANDAG recently denied a permit for a proposed 2,632-unit housing development in the North County. Water availability was not the main reason for that decision, but it’s good to slow down on approving large projects like that.

If you didn’t see it earlier, I recommend reading my March 30 post discussing some of my concerns about development.


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