Lilac Hills–a devestation of the 2020 Plan

In 1998, the County of San Diego undertook the development of a new General Plan, called the 2020 plan. After thirteen years, $18.6 million, and thousands of unpaid hours of community planning groups, the thing was finally approved. It was to be a model of smart growth. It identified areas where over 70,000 new housing units could be built—areas close to existing infrastructure—schools, roads, public transportation, police and fire protection, water and sewer, electricity and gas, etc. As the introduction to the new plan states:

“Compared to the previous General Plan, this update reduces housing capacity by 15 percent and shifts 20 percent of future growth from eastern backcountry areas to western communities. This change reflects the County’s commitment to a sustainable growth model that facilitates efficient development near infrastructure and services, while respecting sensitive natural resources and protection of existing community character in its extensive rural and semi-rural communities. The General Plan provides a renewed basis for the County’s diverse communities to develop Community Plans that are specific to and reflective of their unique character and environment consistent with the County’s vision for its future.”

Developers don’t like the 2020 plan. They have been finagling to get around it since long before it was approved. They are asking for exceptions to the plan know as General Plan Amendments (GPA’s). I have written about two of these plans in the Harmony Grove area:,,,

There are 15 or more GPA’s now winding their way through the County Planning process. One of the most egregious GPA’s, the Lilac Hills development will be heard by the County Planning Commission on Friday, August 7, 2015. If Lilac Hills is approved, it will set a precedent for future approval of thousands of homes built on agricultural land or natural habitat, the epitome of “stupid” growth. Such approval will basically render the new General Plan toothless, $18.6 million down the drain.

Perhaps if enough citizens object to the trashing of their General Plan by developers, the Planning Commission, and the Board of Supervisors will not cave into developer demands. (Well possibly all the Supervisors other than Bill Horn—he’s always at the beck and call of the Building Industry Association.) Go to to learn more about what you can do. You can watch a short video about the project at Email the Planning Commission to voice your objection to this blatant attack on the “County’s commitment to a sustainable growth model.”


1 thought on “Lilac Hills–a devestation of the 2020 Plan

  1. Alex Maclachlan

    Our house looks down upon the Lilac Hills site. That development would make a mess out of two on/off ramps (Old 395, and Gopher Canyon) along with creating a lot of dangerous possibilities on the two lane Old 395 in between those two areas and a few intersections that are not designed for that much traffic. The stark differences between what one single private homeowner goes through in order to receive one building permit today vs what a well financed campaign for hundreds or thousands of homes can get in front of county leaders today is alarming. It just continues to show you the different rules that are afforded monied interests vs the annoyance of an individual’s rights who does not have money to give to access those rights



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