February 14, 2018  SaveGirdValley.com needs your help on the Draft EIR related to Attempt #6 to build a huge high school in Gird Valley

Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) released for public comment its Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a huge 1,500-student high school proposed for a site in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley.  The EIR is available for review via  BUSD  or on our SaveGirdValley.com website.
The public review/comment period began February 5 and continues through March 22, a scant 45 days. That doesn’t give us much time to read, digest, write and submit comments on this massive 1,800-page document. Read more…

 

February 11, 2018 BUSD calls special meeting to discuss survey questions

We know the questions we’d like to have asked but BUSD most likely will select others. Here’s your chance to listen in on that public discussion, scheduled for February 12 at 7 PM at the Bonsall Community Center.

February 7, 2018 Email blast to Bonsall neighbors

Since our SaveGirdValley.com email list has lots of contacts in Fallbrook, especially in Gird Valley, on February 7th we sent out a special email blast to our Bonsall neighbors to the south. Here is what we sent and we look forward to hearing from them soon! We hope they’ll all sign up for more info by sending us an email to SaveGirdValley@gmail.com

February 7, 2018 Draft EIR available for public comment through March 22. 

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for attempt #6 to build a high school on Gird Road was released on February 6 and is available for review by registering and downloading it from the Bonsall USD website at www.bonsallusd.com.  That process eventually takes you to this link where you can download the document. A copy is also available for review at the Fallbrook Library and at the BUSD District office. We have secured the file so you can also access the full Bonsall Draft EIR with Appendices here. 

Per BUSD, the public review/comment period began February 5, 2018 and continues through March 22, 2018. 

The document is very large and we’ll be reviewing it with volunteers but also raising money to help with legal fees related to this review process for the Draft EIR. You can mail checks made out to SaveGirdValley.com to care of Teresa Platt, 2915 Lakemont Drive, Fallbrook, CA 92028 or drop them off at Dolly Harty’s house at 3502 Oakcliff Drive.

When you read the Draft EIR, you might want to keep in mind our previous comments, filed when the process was first announced. We’d like to hear your thoughts too.

Thank you and please share with your neighbors!

February 1, 2018 Guest commentary in Village News on BUSD’s attempt to build a high school in Gird Valley

The Village News published a commentary by Peter Kunasz of Citizens for Accountability In Taxation and Education (CATE) on BUSD’s attempts to build a massive high school in Gird Valley.

Jan 28, 2018 BUSD to survey 400 district residents in effort to justify Attempt #6 to build huge high school in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley

Thank you to everyone who took time from their busy schedules to attend the Bonsall Unified School District’s (BUSD) January 11 meeting. You really should attend the February 8 and March 8 Board meetings. Seriously, it’s better than theater.

The board is split 3/2 on moving forward on yet another attempt to build a huge high school in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley. Board members Timothy Coen, Erin English and Lou Riddle vote as a block in favor of building while Sylvia Tucker and Dick Olson are concerned the small district cannot afford to build a second high school after just completing one in 2016 and that the district faces strong community opposition to building a high school in Gird Valley. … Read more


JAN 23, 2018 Village News on Superintendent’s Advisory Committee (SAC) Site Analysis Report and our analysis

Sadly, BUSD Superintendent David Jones is the only person quoted in the entire Village News article about the Site Analysis so there’s not a lot of meat in this piece, reads like a BUSD press release. But we’ve already done an analysis of the report and researched the Committee (which is supposed to represent the public). As is often the case, all is not as it seems to be. You’ll want to read this, our analysis of the report.

JAN. 13, 2018 It only took us six months but we finally found out what the last Superintendent was actually paid in 2016. It’s a shocker!

In 2015, The San Diego Union Tribune commented  on Dr. Justin Cunningham’s Superintendent’s salary, benefits and pension ($191,000 for overseeing a 2,300-student school district) in an article entitled “Some superintendent salaries rising to the extreme.” Here’s the snippet from the article:

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… Read more


JAN. 9, 2018 Mark your calendars!

Thursday, January 11, 6 PM, attend the BUSD Board meeting. We expect to hear about the Superintendent’s site advisory committee’s report and the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) related to the sixth attempt to pass a bond to build a 1,500-student high school in Gird Valley (overdue for release). Here’s an email blast we just sent out on the key issues. As we move forward, please keep this in mind: October 2012: The Village News reported that “BUSD studied its existing facilities and determined that Sullivan Middle School can adequately house the small high school that is envisioned. The school would house approximately 500 to 600 students.” This was before BUSD built a high school for 350 on the Sullivan Campus in Bonsall. We have asked for capacity figures for the Sullivan Campus. Still waiting. We would really like to see a full inventory of what BUSD  already has: acreage, capacity (permanent and temporary buildings) and enrollment by site. Hopefully we’ll have that info at some point.


JAN. 9, 2018 Q: How many high schools do we have in the area? You’ll never guess!

Do we even need another high school in the area? That’s a sensible question. So one of our volunteers worked up a list of high schools in the area. Guess what? We have 32 publicly-built and funded high schools and 15 privately-funded high schools in the area! That’s amazing! Beyond this, you can home school or attend school online. Here’s the list we have so far of how many high schools we have in the area. Have we missed any?? Also important to note that BUSD enrollment for grades K-3 is declining (peaked in 2013-14 at 1,134 and dropped over 7% to 1,054 in 2016-17). Fallbrook Union High School District (FUHSD) has seen enrollment plummet by more than 20 percent from a high of 3,117 students in the 2008-’09 school year to about 2,000″ as of November 2017. 


JAN. 8, 2018 Site Advisory Committee Report released along with proposed contract with bond experts for another attempt (#6) to pass a bond to build a huge high school in Gird Valley. 

The Agenda for the January 11 BUSD Board Meeting (see you there!) is online and it includes item 9.4, the Site Advisory Committee (SAC)  Presentation which met six times in closed session (we asked, we were not allowed in and there are no public recordings of their meetings). Not included in the report is any detail as to how those serving on the committee met the parameters set by the Board. We’ve asked for this info several times. No response. … Read more


JAN. 6, 2018 Mark your calendars!

Thursday, January 11, 6 PM, attend the BUSD Board meeting. We expect to hear about the Superintendent’s site advisory committee and the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) related to attempts to build a 1,500-student high school on Gird Road (overdue for release). Here’s an email blast we just sent out on the key issues.


DEC. 5, 2017 Mark your calendars!

Thursday, December 14, 6 PM, attend the BUSD Board meeting.

Join us Wednesday, December 20, 4 PM to 8ish PM for a neighborhood Holiday Mingle. This is a “more the merrier” event. Hear an update about progress at Monserate Winery and meet BUSD school board candidate Roger Merchat. Hope to see you there! Ho! Ho! Ho!


NOV. 16, 2017 Site Advisory Committee Established and Experts Warn BUSD Not to Attempt Bond for Building on Gird Road Site in 2018

At the BUSD November 9 meeting, bond experts warned BUSD not to attempt a bond to pay for building a 1,500-student high school on a proposed site on Gird Road in Fallbrook and the Board released the names of volunteers chosen to serve on the Superintendent’s Site Advisory Committee. Broken down by region, they are: Area 1, Pala – Eric Ortega, No Alternate; Area 2, Rancho – Tom Flanagan, Alternate: David Toney;  Area 3, Gird – Eric Nordeen, Alternate: Kara LaRussa (supported Measure DD and building on Gird Road in Village News, October 6, 2016); Area 4, Sullivan – Kassandra Costa, BUSD (elementary) teacher, Alternate: Larissa Anderson (Campaign Manager for failed 2016 Measure DD to fund building a big high school on Gird Road); Area 5, Bonsall – Jeff Johnson, Alternate: None; Area 6, Bonsall West – Brian Olson, Alternate: Eric Ford, reported the Village News. … Read more


NOV. 7, 2017 Reminder: Attend BUSD Board Meeting November 9!

Hope to see you there, 6 PM. Come earlier and sign up if you want to speak. Here’s the agenda. Per Agenda Item 9.6, 24 people volunteered by October 31 to serve on the Superintendent’s Site Advisory Committee. The breakdown by geographic areas is as follows: AREA 1 / PALA:  1;  AREA 2 / RANCHO:  5; AREA 3 / GIRD:    6;  AREA 4 / SULLIVAN MS:  3; AREA 5 / BONSALL ES:  1;  AREA 6 / BONSALL WEST:   5; OUT OF DISTRICT:  3. We should hear more about this at the meeting. The Environmental Impact Report was expected to be released by now but we have not yet seen anything. There will be bond elections experts presenting at the November 9 meeting too so that should be interesting.


OCT. 19, 2017 BUSD seeking applications for site advisory committee

The Village News reports on BUSD’s new Superintendent’s Site Advisory Committee. Read all about it and consider donating your time and expertise! Please review the application and guidelines.


OCT. 15, 2017 Busy SaveGirdValley.com Volunteers are busy attending meetings, learning and volunteering. Join us!

SaveGirdValley.com volunteers attended a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Workshop and the Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) Board meeting on October 12. BUSD is also establishing a Superintendent’s Site Advisory Committee to help build the perfect school in the perfect location. We need your involvement! … Read more


OCT. 9, 2017 Please attend the BUSD Board Meeting, Oct 12, 6 PM!

Here’s the info you need abut this meeting to be held, 6 PM, at the Bonsall Community Center. The Agenda includes a resolution to raise fees on homes and developments based on a new Needs Report that you’ll want to read! BUSD will also be hammering out the details on a Superintendent’s Advisory Committee to survey the area for properties suitable for a high school location (Item 9.2 on the Agenda). If interested in serving, you’ll have until October 31 to submit an application.  These Site Advisory Guidelines provide some direction.


SEPT. 30, 2017 Fallbrook and North County residents invited to CEQA/EIR Workshop September 30

PLEASE ATTEND! Fallbrook and North County residents are invited to attend a one-day workshop on September 30  on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and its Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process.


SEPT. 29, 2017 Special Board Meeting, EIR and process to pursue school funds

A status report on the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and design information for a  high school for 1,500 students proposed for a site on Gird Road in Fallbrook was presented at a special board meeting on September 28 at the new (opened Fall 2016) 18,000 square foot 350-student high school. This high school is located at the Sullivan Middle School Campus (current enrollment 328). Ten classrooms upstairs are designed to serve 27 students each, reported Facilities Manager David Medcalf. The upper floor also hosts a large lab space, the Principals office and a separate office for the administrative assistant. Downstairs is broken into additional large rooms/labs with a very large meeting space. … Read more


SEPT. 28, 2017 Lest we forget, here’s what they told us in 2012

July 2012: California Department of Education (CDE) analysis notes that “Upon unification, the district’s plan for the high school facility is to convert the existing Sullivan Middle School site into a high school over a 4 year period.  The first year after unification would include 9th graders at the site, the 2nd year after unification would include both 9th and 10th graders, etc., until after 4 years of unification all 4 grades of high school (9 through 12) would be located at the site.  The current enrollment at the middle school is 533 students.  At this time, the site has 10 excess capacity classrooms for additional students if needed. This would provide ample space for the projected enrollment of 513 students for all four grades of high school. In addition, the site has a special education classroom and regional program currently housed on site. (Attachment 6.).” … Read more


SEPT. 27, 2017 BUSD calls special meeting to discuss building plans

As part of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed Gird Road site, BUSD has announced holding a special board meeting on the evening of September 28 to discuss the schematics for building another brand new 1500-student high school and performing arts center. You will want to carefully READ the info on this meeting and, if you can, attend the meeting. BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF THE CEQA WORKSHOP ON SATURDAY.  The BUSD Special Board Meeting on September 28 will start at 5:30 PM and will be held at at BUSD’s brand new  350-student high school in Bonsall 7350 West Lilac Road. … Read more


SEPT. 24, 2017 Village News reports on September 30 CEQA Workshop

“Fallbrook and North County residents are invited to attend a one-day workshop on Sept. 30 on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and its Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process,” reports Village News. “Hosted by respected environmental attorney Kevin Johnson, this workshop will help us all gain an understanding of the law, its purpose, power and the CEQA process for protection of the environment.”

Read here our latest call to action for this important meeting.

September 15, 2017 Fallbrook and North County residents invited to CEQA/EIR Workshop September 30

Fallbrook and North County residents are invited to attend a one-day workshop on September 30  on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and its Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process.

Hosted by respected environmental attorney Kevin Johnson, this workshop will help us all gain an understanding of the law, its purpose, power and the CEQA process for protection of the environment.

… Read more

September 15, 2017 Interview with Dr. Sylvia Tucker, veteran member of BUSD Board of Trustees. Women’s Lifestyle magazine.

Congratulations to the inspirational Dr. Tucker for being featured in this magazine! All your hard work over many years is much appreciated!

September 10, 2017 Mark your calendars: Two important meetings to save North County and beautiful  Gird Valley! 

Thank you to everyone who took time from their busy schedules to attend the Bonsall Unified School District’s (BUSD) August meeting. Please make an effort to attend the September 14 Board meeting at the Bonsall Community Center. You also need to attend a Workshop on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) on September 30. Mark your calendars now! Read more….

August 11, 2017: Thanks for showing up at the meeting!

Thanks to all the volunteers who took time from their busy schedules to show up at the BUSD school board meeting on August 10.  For many attendees it was their first time and they were able to meet the new Superintendent David Jones who committed to working hard for educational excellence and the community. Speakers included the daughter of the Campaign Manager for last year’s failed Yes on DD $58M initiative who read selected portions of a Facebook thread. Stated concerns at the meeting and the Facebook thread include: BUSD’s deficit spending over 6 years and failing financial position; the community’s rejection of funding for building on the proposed Gird Road site five times at the ballot box over several decades, most recently in 2016; that the proposed site on Gird Road is inconveniently located in Fallbrook, not Bonsall, far from where the majority of the students live; that Fallbrook already supports a very large high school; traffic, traffic and traffic; increased growth in Gird Valley and Fallbrook, areas that committed to slow growth decades ago; and more. For those who are cramming to learn about this issue, we highly recommend  our HISTORY section as a great place to start your research. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at the next BUSD meeting September 14, 6 PM.

August 7, 2017: We need your support to Save Gird Valley! Attend the BUSD Meeting on August 9 and an upcoming CEQA workshop!

We need you at the BUSD Board meeting August 9, 6 PM, and an upcoming California Environmenal Quality Act (CEQA) workshop organized by CEQA attorney Kevin Johnson. Read more…

August 4, 2017: BUSD has a new superintendent and changes Board meeting to August 9, 6 PM. Please attend! 

Read all about it! BUSD has a new superintendent, reports the San Diego Union Tribune‘s Deborah Brennan-Sullivan. 

Please make an effort to attend the BUSD Board Meeting Aug 9, 6 PM at the Bonsall Community Center. (NOTE: Meeting date changed from Aug 10 to Aug 9!)

The site on Gird Road (proposed for a very large high school and performing arts center) will be discussed at the August 9th meeting so please mark your calendars, attend the meeting, urge others to attend, spread the word! Thanks! 

July 16, 2017: We continue to work together to stop a massive development proposed for Gird Road!

Thank you to everyone who took time from their busy schedules to attend the Bonsall Unified School District’s (BUSD) July 13 meeting where the Interim Property Report was formally presented to the Board. Volunteers spent m any hours over five months researching properties and the Interim Property Report details the findings. It includes info on the proposed Gird Road site and others including the Ocean Breeze Ranch property located adjacent to the existing Sullivan Middle School/Bonsall High School campus. …Read more

July 13, 2017: Community Leader Jack Wood tells BUSD it is “ill advised” to continue attempts to build on the Gird Road site. 

Read Community Leader Jack Wood’s speech which included the history of the property and closed with, “… I am here to speak … on behalf of Fallbrook because of the constituents who are calling all up and down the Gird Valley. During the General Plan update and the Fallbrook Community Plan it was never considered that there would be a high school there, and it is not an appropriate location. I think it would be ill advised for this school district to continue to pursue that property for a high school.  It is not an appropriate property for numerous reasons.”

The July 16 2017 Village News included a shot of Jack Wood along with the caption, “Jack Wood expresses his opposition on behalf of a number of other Fallbrook residents who oppose the proposal to build the Bonsall High School along the southern end of Gird Rd during a BUSD school board meeting, July 13.

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July 10, 2017: We need you to help save Gird Valley!

Hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July and are enjoying the summer!

We want to provide a quick update on the 1,500-student school and performing arts center, a massive development, proposed for Gird Road and urge you to attend BUSD’s Board Meeting on July 13. …Read more

June 26, 2017: SaveGirdValley.com submits comments on NOP on EIR

SaveGirdValley.com volunteers submitted lengthy comments on the Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a 1500-student high school and performing arts center proposed for a site in Gird Valley, a site that has been rejected by the voters for a high school fully five times. Please share and we’d like to hear your comments too!

June 16, 2017: EIR process explained in PowerPoint, comments due 6/26

The “scoping meeting” related to the Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report on the Gird Road property is now viewable in an online PowerPoint presentation. Follow the link to submit your comments on the process by June 26.

The Initial CEQA on the site reported, “Development of the project will impact approximately 22.4 acres of the 48 acre site.” Now the NOP of the EIR states the project will disturb 39.5 acres.” This means BUSD plans to build over most of the land including the 16.14 acres of federally designated (under the Endangered Species Act) critical habitat for the wetlands dependent endangered arroyo toad. To mitigate this damage via mitigation credits from a mitigation land bank can be costly.  The average cost per acre for mitigation credits in San Diego County is $380,000/acre. Credits located within the San Luis Rey River Valley are estimated at $500,000/acre.

June 15, 2017:  BUSD new high school Interim Property Report released 

In early January 2017, BUSD administration asked members of the community to research high school building sites that would be acceptable to both local residents and the District. Over the next 5 months, many hours were spent researching properties within the District boundaries. This interim report details the findings, all or in part, and will be officially released to the Board on June 8, 2017. Click Here to Read the Report..

June 12, 2017: Your input is needed to stop massive development proposed for Gird Road!

Even though North County voters have denied a high school on Gird Road fully five times, it keeps coming back. Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) is ignoring the voters and moving forward with an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process for a massive development proposed for Gird Road in Fallbrook. Your input and commitment is needed to stop this.

Please attend at least one of the two meetings BUSD has scheduled this week:

  • Wednesday, June 14: a “public scoping” meeting regarding the Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the BUSD’s proposed project on Gird Road. The Power Point Presentation from this meeting will be online soon. You need to get your comments in on the Notice of Preparation by June 26. There will be other opportunities to comment on the EIR in the future too.
  • Thursday, June 15: a “public hearing” on the EIR process during BUSD’s regular Board meeting. If you want to speak, come a few minutes early and sign up.

If you can attend both meetings, even better! They will start at 6 PM at the Bonsall Community Center, 31505 Old River Road, Bonsall.

… Read more

June 5, 2017: Massive brick and mortar monster development proposed for Gird Road! We need comments and attendance at upcoming meetings!

Even though North County voters have denied a high school on Gird Road fully five times, it keeps coming back. Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) is now undergoing the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process and you need to comment on the massive brick and mortar monster development proposed for Gird Valley and attend the meeting on the EIR process on June 14, from 6-8 PM, at the Bonsall Community Center, 31505 Old River Road, Bonsall.

Additionally, under pressure from community outrage over the proposed Gird Road project and underpaid teachers working without contracts, BUSD’s controversial pro-growth Superintendent Justin Cunningham has announced he’s retiring. BUSD is asking for community input on the next Superintendent at a stakeholder forum June 6, from 5 to 7 PM, at the Bonsall Community Center. An online survey is also available to the public on the BUSD website through June 12.

… Read more

May 18, 2017: Monserate Winery is planting vines in its vineyard in Gird Valley! So exciting! 

May 18, 2017: Special meeting of the BUSD Board

7 PM. Details and agenda here.

May 18, 2017: Looking back a few years….

Less than five years ago, the official line from Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) was, “We do not want, nor do we need a massive brick and mortar high school ……Nor do we need fifty acres of dirt to accomplish our mission.” 

Only five years ago, here were the plans and promises:

July 2012: California Department of Education (CDE) recommends that SBE adopt the Negative Declaration …. which finds that there is no substantial evidence that the project (proposal for the Bonsall School District to expand to include a high school) will have a significant effect on the environment. The State Board of Education issued a report on the subject and BUSD declared: In a development planned to begin in the next 2–3 years, Palomar College will be across the street from the future site of a Bonsall School.  We are exploring the possibility of this becoming a future site of a high school using a 2 plus 2 program where students in high school can graduate with up to two years of college credit. With an increased use of technology to serve the digital learner, our educational program will be flexible enough to adapt to a variety of settings.”

… Read more

May 11, 2017, 6 PM Regular BUSD Board Meeting

You’ll want to attend! Agenda is available for your review.

April 25, 2017 BUSD’s Controversial Pro-Development Superintendent Announces Retirement

Controversial pro-developmnet Superintendent Justin J. Cunningham announces he has a knee injury and will retire from his position with a goal of having a new Superintendent in place as of July 1. His compensation (salary plus benefits) package at retirement totals over $210,000. The Village News reports Cunningham’s taxpayer-funded pension will be 80 to 85% of his salary.

March 26, 2017 A+, Five Fails and Who’s Driving The School Bus?

A+ to everyone who packed the house on March 14 for SaveGirdValley.com’s first official meeting. What a great showing! You’re terrific!

The website is up and running and our Project List is shaping up nicely, a good starting point for community work. We are looking for volunteers, those willing to lead projects and serve on the steering committee, to help with fundraising and provide creativity! Don’t be shy! Let us know what you’d like to do to help Save Gird Valley.

Beyond the basics of getting a group formed, we have been compelled to direct a lot of effort to the proposed high school on a site on Gird Road. Even though North County voters have voted this down fully five times, the issue keeps coming back.

Here’s a quick synopsis of the Five Fails:


March 11, 2017 A Tale of Two School Districts

The San Diego County Office of Education supports almost 780 schools serving more than 500,000 students through 124 charter schools, five community college districts and 42 school districts.

This is the tale of two of those school districts located in two unincorporated towns living side by side in North San Diego County.

The 2010 Census tell us Fallbrook covers 17.6 sq. miles with 9,999 households and a population of population 30,534; 26.3% (8,045) under the age of 18.

… Read more


March 7, 2017 Gird Valley Is Organizing and Needs You!

When development threatened the fallowed golf course in Gird Valley in early 2016, neighbors organized to save the property. The 116-acre property has been the heart and soul of Gird Valley since the 1960s and its loss would have been a tragedy for Fallbrook.

After months of false starts and broken deals, escrow closed on the property on November 15, 2016. The new owners, Jade and Julie Work, are long-time Fallbrook residents. They have begun the transformation of the neglected property into a working vineyard with an Italian-themed restaurant and wine-tasting room. Single sycamores are becoming groves, trellises are being constructed and soon the vines will be planted. The Works have also committed to preserving the property from future development through the use of conservation easements, a great gift to the community.

… Read more