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Borrego Springs Desert Area Initiative Community Involvement Forums Session One, January 29: Introduction and Input Session Two, February 26: Analysis.

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Presentation on theme: "Borrego Springs Desert Area Initiative Community Involvement Forums Session One, January 29: Introduction and Input Session Two, February 26: Analysis."— Presentation transcript:

1 Borrego Springs Desert Area Initiative Community Involvement Forums Session One, January 29: Introduction and Input Session Two, February 26: Analysis and Draft

2 Session One: Agenda  Introductory Presentation: Learn more about the Desert Area Initiative in this interactive 30-minute session.  “Topic Table” Visits: Talk personally and share feedback and ideas with your neighbors and Steering Committee members from 3:30 – 7pm  Self-paced: Stay as long as you want and contribute as much or as little as you want  Sign letter of support, if you are so inclined

3 Session One: Intentions  Gain feedback about the work done so far  Obtain input to complete / expand the work done so far  Facilitate a conversation with the community about issues impinging on Borrego Springs

4 Session One: Results  Learn more about the Desert Area Initiative (Introduction presentation)  Express opinions and ideas to help sharpen appeal (interactive “Topic Table” discussions)  Gain community support and a unified voice (opportunity to sign letter of endorsement)

5 What is the Desert Area Initiative?  Commissioned by the Borrego Springs Community Sponsor Group, our appointed liaison to Supervisor Horn regarding land use issues  An appeal to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to grant status to Borrego Springs as a special Desert Area  Grassroots effort, involving diverse volunteers who serve on the Desert Area Steering Committee

6 Volunteer Steering Committee Rich Caldwell, Facilitator Jim Engelke Abby King Betsy Knaak Kurt Levens Gwenn Marie Dennis Nourse Sam Webb

7 Desert Area Designation: Why do we need it? To manage growth that respects our desert environment.  There are thousands of acres under planned development by non-residents who may not clearly understand the desert environment.  Our native plants, animals, soils, dark night sky, quietness, arid climate, and aquifer-dependence are unique in San Diego County.  As an unincorporated area in San Diego, generic land use regulations govern our development – but many are inappropriate for a desert community.  Now is the time to act, before scheduled 2020 Plan zoning is codified

8 Desert Area Designation: Why do we need it? To give us a platform for a voice about how we grow.  The desert elements that make Borrego Springs unique are at risk if growth is not thoughtfully planned with the County’s help.  Desert Area guidelines would help us grow in a way that respects our natural environment versus one that could destroy or forever degrade it.  Desert Area guidelines would be enforced by the County as codes and required specifications when plans are approved

9 Desert Area Designation Goal: Protect our unique desert setting  Native plants, animals, soils, geology, climate  Sources of water  Clean Air  Dark Night Sky  Quiet  Friendly, small-town desert community

10 Desert Area Designation Goal: Strengthened County land use regulations  Recognize that our Village in a Park is a distinctive San Diego ecosystem requiring special consideration  Protect what makes our town so special – open vistas, dark night skies, clean air, beautiful natural (and drought-tolerant) landscapes  Enable thoughtful collaboration on growth, creating standards and guidelines that respect desert conditions  Identify new guidelines to aid Sponsor-group decision-making

11 Desert Area Initiative: How do we get there from here?

12 What We’ve Done

13 What comes next?  TODAY: Community Involvement Forum 1, to present this idea and hear what you have to say about it  February 26, 2007: Community Involvement Forum 2, present draft of final recommendations incorporating community feedback  April 2007: Final appeal documents prepared for Sponsor Group submission Supervisor Horn

14 Protect our desert setting: Problems  Native Vegetation: Lot clear scraping, an increasingly common residential building strategy, completely destroys desert habitat and increases wind-blown dust.  Water: Without it, we don’t exist. We must learn more about using our most precious resource more wisely.  Dark Night Sky: Lack of awareness of, conformance to, and enforcement of outdoor lighting regulations is increasing light pollution

15 Protect our desert setting: Problems  Climate: Expanses of black asphalt change our climate, making it even hotter in the summer  Cultural resources: Significant natural and historic sites are not properly identified or inventoried  Trails, washes, flood plains: Natural “traffic flow” patterns for desert animals and flood waters are diverted by development

16 Issue: Saving native vegetation Problem: Proliferating non-native plants and lawns don’t fit the desert, use precious water, and destroy valuable soils. Objective: Protect native plants and encourage their use in landscaping Possible Desert Area Solutions: –Promote the use of native plants, especially curbside –Prohibit lot clear-scraping –Convene native landscaping awareness classes

17 Issue: Water Problem: Aquifer depletion Objective: Ensure continued water access for all Borrego Springs stakeholders Possible Desert Area Solutions: –Facilitate removal of mature citrus groves and replacement with low water-use crops –Develop methods to help farmers convert farmlands to income sources, including subdivision –Provide Incentives to upgrade to more water- efficient irrigation systems

18 Issue: Dark night sky Problem: Lack of conformance to and enforcement of outdoor lighting regulations is increasing light pollution Objective: Preserve dark night sky at or below existing light levels Possible Desert Area Solutions: –Enforce lighting regulations –Require dimmable and down-lighting –Promote and raise awareness of our dark night skies –Revise ordinances to reduce allowable lumens

19 Issue: Air Problem: Air quality compromised by dust and other potential pollutants Objective: Maintain our valley’s clean healthy air Possible Desert Area Solutions: –Limit agricultural burn to time of optimal atmospheric condition –Implement stringent grading ordinances that prohibit lot clear scraping to limit blowing sand –Work to preserve the Salton Sea to prevent it from becoming a toxic dust bowl affecting air quality and health

20 Issue: Preserve our friendly, small-town desert community Problem: Hodgepodge and unsightly development degrades the appeal of our town Objective: Create and use effective building standards to enhance valued aesthetics: –Open Space –Panoramic Views –Abundant Wildlife –Native Plants, Wildflowers –Significant History –Desert Recreation & Educational Opportunities

21 Issue: Preserve our friendly, small-town desert community Objective: Create and use effective building standards to enhance town character and aesthetics Possible Desert Area Solutions: –Design pedestrian-friendly community with connecting paths, shade, benches, drinking fountains, crosswalks, bike racks –Develop a valley-wide system of connected walking paths with easy access from the business center to the state park and to significant natural and historical sites in the valley. –Observe Borrego Landscaping, Lighting, and Grading Ordinances and guarantee adherence on submittal materials. –Use visual graphics and signage to telegraph values and standards

22 Five Topic Tables: See more recommendations and give us your input  Shared Values  Cultural Resources  Community Design  Technology  Community Building

23 Topic Table: Shared Values Volunteer Chairs: Betsy Knaak & Sam Webb Our unique characteristics are vital to the future wealth, quality of life, and vitality of Borrego Springs. - We value: Accessible water * Clean air * Dark night sky Quiet * Panoramic views * Wildlife * Native plants * Outdoor recreation & education* Friendly desert community -These characteristics are worth protecting as the community grows. -Codes and guidelines can help ensure compatibility between the built and natural environments, unique in San Diego County -Community collaboration on a plan that reflects the natural and cultural character of the valley

24 Topic Table: Cultural Resources Volunteer Chair: Abby King Honor the rich western roots of the Borrego Valley culture and keep our history well In sight as we grow -Identify sites and structures deemed to have cultural and historical significance -Develop designation standards for authentic “mid- century” architecture -Preserve and protect the small town feel and aesthetics of Borrego Springs -Elect local planning group to work with the County on development planning -Designate Old Borego as an official historical site

25 Topic Table: Community Design Volunteer Chair: Kurt Levens Up-date and up-grade Borrego Springs design and building codes developed specifically for desert conditions. -Require adherence to Borrego Grading, Landscape, and Lighting ordinances, documented and presented in writing for permitting process on all new constructions -Prevent unnecessary disturbance of established soil crust and native vegetation -Preserve desert/mountain view corridors through legal parcels -Encourage the use of native plants, particularly at street side -Require that exterior lighting fixtures be shielded

26 Topic Table: Technology Volunteer Chair: Jim Engelke Use new technologies and strategies to reduce water and energy consumption. -Modify the design of sewage-treatment plant to allow re-use of treated effluent in golf course irrigation. -Create a system of collecting radiant energy using photovoltaics -Coordinate a system of water and sewer line extensions that will direct growth patterns -Interface hydrology systems with utility retention systems

27 Topic Table: Community Building Volunteer Chair: Dennis Nourse Building the kind of community we want Borrego Springs to be. What’s important to us? –Integrate public safety, healthcare, and education interests into collaborative planning platform –Balance pedestrian circulation to ensure safety and convenience –Provide valuable way-finding and orientation aids to newcomers and visitors

28 Thank You! The Desert Area Steering Committee appreciates your involvement and ideas. -Visit the Topic Tables -Sign the Letter of Support - ideas to: -Join our next session to review analysis and draft presentation of our appeal -Monday, February 26 th, 3 – 7pm -Questions & Discussion


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