Another inland North County project threatens our habitat and quality of life is up for a vote. San Marcos Highlands, like Safari Highlands, is a project that undermines our County wide species planning by allowing development in pre-approved mitigation areas. Here is an excellent letter from our friends at Buena Vista Audubon Society Letter to SM Planning Commission from Buena Vista Audubon
It states, in part,
About 52% of the project site is in the County of San Diego and 48% in the City of San Marcos. The County portion of the Highlands site is designated as a Pre-Approved Mitigation Area (PAMA) in the County’s draft North County Multiple Species Conservation Program (NC-MSCP). The PAMA is designed to steer development outside the area and set up design criteria and mitigation standards for any development in the area. The city portion of the site is included in the Multiple Habitat Conservation Plan (MHCP) which also identified onsite Biological Core and Linkage Areas due to the presence of valuable biological resources. These environmental planning agreements have been designed and established to protect endangered and threatened species and their habitats. Therefore, it is essential that new development be consistent with these plans, and the San Marcos Highlands project is not….
What is the point of the considerable resources expended by government agencies on environmental planning if these are disregarded when actual development proposals come forward? Environmental planning is important for the sustainability of wildlife in our region and it is essential that new development be designed to accommodate the biological constraints of any particular site.
In conclusion, we believe that the project is inappropriate for this location, and would have significant and unmitigated environmental impacts. Therefore, we request that you deny approval of the EIR and the San Marcos Highlands project, and suggest that the property owner consider a project alternative that does not significantly impact biological resources.
Please learn more about this project and support Buena Vista Audubon’s efforts to ensure this project does not destroy precious natural resources.
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