I've seen up close how school board member turned Chula Vista mayor Cheryl Cox nurtures her friendships with developers (most recently in the Laurie Madigan case), but I'm just getting to know Cheryl's husband Greg Cox and his fellow San Diego County Supervisors.
Rob Davis writes in today's Voice of San Diego:
"When developers in San Marcos want to build homes atop coastal sage scrub -- a dwindling habitat that's home
to the rare California gnatcatcher -- they turn to San Diego County's government for help.
"Over the last decade and a half, developers have destroyed 183 acres of scrub in San Marcos, paying San Diego County $879,000 for the right to do so.
"Their ability to build on the habitat was supposed to be temporary. Under a compromise forged to help North County cities develop after the California gnatcatcher became threatened, the cities were granted the ability to destroy 5 percent of the habitat while they worked on a long-term conservation plan."
It looks to me like the supervisors are selling irreplaceable resources to keep their campaign coffers filled with developer contributions.
The agreement to sell was supposed to be temporary.
From Voice of San Diego:
In exchange for the right to oversee development in federally protected areas, a group of North County cities agreed to formulate long-term conservation plans. Nearly 15 years later, those plans remain unfinished.
What It Means:
Each government received the right to develop an allotted amount of sensitive land as conservation plans were being developed. The county has offered its allotment up for sale to developers, removing an incentive for cities to finish their plans.
The Bigger Picture:
San Diego’s habitat plans, once lauded as pioneering efforts, have been beset by delays, funding issues and other problems.