November 8 2018
October 11, 2018
September 13, 2018
August 9, 2018
Tuesday, April 24, 6:30 to 8 PM at the Fallbrook Library Mark Jackson of Save Our San Diego Countryside will speak on the Lilac Hills Ranch proposal. Along with Attempt #5 to build a huge high school in Fallbrook’s Gird Valley, the voters rejected the massive 1,700-unit Lilac Hills Ranch in 2016. But the developers are back with the same proposal to build over 1,700 units on farmland, a density not supported by the County General Plan. Lilac Hills Ranch is arguing that this is good for the environment. Please be there on April 24th and here’s a flyer to help spread the word!
April 12, 2018 Jason List of Urban Futures presented results of a telephone survey of 400 voters. Yes, the answers went a little shaky whenever the Gird Valley site came up. The Board listened and heard from audience members who felt those opposed to a huge high school in Gird Valley were “selfish” and those who felt Gird Valley is worth saving from such a huge development (especially when a school on that site has been rejected five times at the ballot box). Others felt Bonsall should build its high school in the center of the district in Bonsall (as it was told to do so by the State and the County during its unification process), not at the northernmost edge of the district in Fallbrook. Several speakers worried that the Sullivan Campus in Bonsall (located in a moderate wildfire hazard zone) was dangerous but were pushing for building on Gird Road (located in a high wildfire hazard zone). Brian Olson noted that BUSD has presented a proposal for Gird Valley, a school for 1,500 students plus staff, that has only one exit/entrance, a point that is non negotiable for the community wherever the school will be built. Traffic concerns came up over and over and over again. A 1,500-student school on Gird Road will generate a 73% increase in traffic and traffic is a concern on West Lilac and at all the BUSD schools but BUSD has made absolutely no effort to be a good neighbor and reduce its traffic, district-side, through the adoption of a carpool app. Community engagement came up but BUSD does not archive recordings of its meetings online so it’s impossible for district residents to really learn about the issues. BUSD’s Board called a break then returned and deviated from its stated objective on Agenda Item 9.2, “Board Discussion and Approval of Building New Bonsall High School Campus at Gird Road Site”. Instead it voted to affirm the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee and its Site Report (not included in the Agenda) stating Gird is the best site for a high school and to educate the public on why. Here’s our analysis of that report. Will there be a bond measure in November, Attempt #6 to build a high school on Gird Road? We still don’t know.March 19, 2018 Fallbrook Community Planning Group’s March meeting (Agenda, Item 5) on the Draft EIR for Bonsall Unified School District’s proposal to build a 1,500-student high school in Gird Valley in Fallbrook. Gird Valley neighbors spoke and shared concerns regarding the very large project creating a massive increase in traffic, parking problems and accidents while pointing out that the proposed site is not centrally located within the Bonsall Unified School District. Planning Committee Vice-Chairman Jack Wood noted that endangered species were found on the property, detailed how the property had been declared surplus and was to be sold when Fallbrook High School owned it, that it had been declared not suitable for a high school. He noted that the FCPG requires that we “don’t disrupt the natural terrain of the land, this is absolutely contrary to that.” Commenting on the undulation of the property, he questioned the volume of cubic yards of land that would have to be removed. He had concerns about the “undulation of that property, the inadequacy of the parking,” noting that the school was being built to a 1,500 student population. “That location would clearly disrupt Gird Valley and would create traffic that is far in excess of what you have there today.” “There are a number of reasons why this property is not suitable for a school. This would create, with the current zoning, 2-acre lots, this would create about 17 to 18 houses on that particular property and that would be my recommendation. So based on the interest of saving the Gird Valley from the unwanted traffic and congestion, I strongly oppose the development of a high school on this location.”Planning Committee Chairman Jim Russell stated, “I think a major egregious error in this EIR is the fact that the property is not centrally located where a high school should be so folks can feed in from all around. This is the very extreme edge of the school district,” “on the very extreme edge, the northern edge, of the district and in my opinion is not an appropriate place for a high school.” Russell stated BUSD understated parking needs for students, staff, “they will have parking for less than 10% of the student body.” “I think [this development] would totally devastate Gird Valley with all the students trying to park out on Gird Road and I seriously question the logic of the folks who put those numbers in the EIR and think that is an appropriate thing to do.”
January 11, 2018: While they were presented with a full contract for bond experts to work on passing a bond, board member Dr. Sylvia Tucker and Dick Olson argued to limit the work to a survey of district resident to see if they would support a bond measure in 2018. The measure was not defined but it is most likely another attempt (#6) to build a 1,500-student high school in Gird Valley. Tucker and Olson won the argument and the motion to pay $3,500 for a survey passed. Agenda Item 9.4, the Site Advisory Committee (SAC) Presentation, noted it was presented with eight sites and reviewed five, sites 4-8. We’ve requested the SAC share the rankings for all eight properties, even ones that got 0s for whatever reason (concerns over lack of utilities or topography issues, etc).
December 20, 2017: 4 PM to 8ish PM, Gird Valley neighborhood Holiday Mingle. This is a “more the merrier” event so all are welcome. We heard about progress at Monserate Winery, circulated a letter for signatures urging the County to fast track the Winery and met BUSD board candidate Roger Merchat. A good time was had by all! Best wishes for the New Year!
December 14, 2017: 6PM, BUSD Board Meeting included a lengthy discussion of the proposed Gird Road site, an update from the Site Advisory Committee, notice that the release of the EIR related to the property on Gird Road will be delayed until after the New Year. Board President Tim Coen expressed his opinion that BUSD could “absolutely” pass a bond in 2018 to build a high school on Gird Road, that the reason the bond failed was not the location of the proposed school but that the community did not trust the Board.
November 9, 2017: 6 PM, BUSD Board Meeting Bond election experts explained why BUSD failed its bond measure in 2016 and how it would be impossible to pass the same bond in 2018. Community opposition for the bond (which was the fifth attempt to fund a high school for a proposed site on Gird Road) was noted as the reason. The meeting minutes (9.1) do not include bond expert Dale Scott’s report. We have asked BUSD to correct this. In the meantime, here is Mr. Scott’s report. Superintendent’s Site Advisory Committee volunteers announced.
October 31: Deadline for volunteering for Site Advisory Committee
October 12, 2017: 6 PM, BUSD Board Meeting, details on new Site Advisory Committee
September 30, 2017: CEQA/EIR Workshop We learned so much about CEQA and EIR process. Thanks to Kevin Johnson and PCL for hosting!
September 28: 5:30 PM, BUSD Special Board Meeting, recording, presentation by BakerNowicki Design for schematics related to EIR for Gird Road, proposed high school/performing arts center site. Eric Ruby, working on the EIR noted that there would be no need for eminent domain related to widening Gird Road (29:45 and 31:00 and 32:00), there is enough room within the County right of way. Discussion of work to withstand legal challenge (30:00). Julie Zimmerman, Education and Funding Principle at BakerNowicki, outlined the state funding process, at 38:45 discussed design for new Bonsall Hight School at Sullivan Middle School and plan approval process, at 45:44, referring to the new high school at Sullivan Middle School campus, states, “We actually submitted it as Sullivan Middle School to preserve your high school eligibility…”
Jack Wood speaks at the BUSD July 13, 2017 Board meeting. Mr. Wood currently serves on the Fallbrook Community Planning Group and served on the Real Property Advisory Committee which recommended the FUHSD declare the Gird Road property as surplus. He gives background on why the Gird Road parcel was declared surplus (not suitable for a high school, decisions made that led to slower growth in Fallbrook than projected, traffic, community opposition to the site, etc). He cautions the BUSD Board that continuing to attempt construction on Gird Road is ill advised. Board Member Dick Olson officially delivers the must-read Interim Property Summary and Evaluation for BUSD High School a report created by a group of community volunteers reviewing properties in the district and meeting five times with Assistant Superintendent William Pickering and Principal Lee Fleming over several months. Retiring (as of July 31) Superintendent Justin Cunningham insists it be recognized that he didn’t order this particular report and felt it was a “waste of time”. Sparks fly between Cunningham and Olson. BUSD board acknowledges receipt of the report. [Volunteers also created a video of the Gird Road and the Ocean Breeze Ranch parcels.]
The Board approves “Agreement Renewals” for legal services with pro-development C.A.S.H.-related legal firms: Atkinson Andelson Loya Ruud & Romo, Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost and Lozano Smith. [For more on the pro-development CASH, Coalition for Adequate School Housing, see entries for 1978 and July 2015.]