Archives: Current Issues 2006


Thank you to all the Friends who called or sent mail to members of the San Dieguito River Park's Board, urging them to oppose the sale of city property now leased by Fairbanks Ranch Country Club.

The property is rare publicly -owned open space running along the banks of the River, and constitutes a critical piece in the San Dieguito River Park. In 1982 the City promised to keep this land as “public open space in perpetuity.”

On Friday, November 18, the Board unanimously rejected an earlier suggestion to support the sale under certain conditions. Instead they expressed their concerns that promises made to the public in 1982 were being ignored or forgotten. They discussed specifically the refusal of the Country Club to maintain a public trail on the north side of the River.

The nine-member, multi-jurisdictional Board manages the River Park which encompasses land in Poway, Del Mar, Escondido, Solana Beach and the City and County of San Diego. Earlier this fall the Board asked Park staff to draft a letter to the City suggesting that they would support a much -rumored sale of the Country Club property only if certain conditions were met. Those conditions included deed restrictions, as well as construction of a public trail, as part of the River Park's Coast-to-Crest multi-use trail system.

At the November 18 meeting Board member San Diego City Councilman Brian Maienschein immediately voiced his opposition to selling the property, whatever the conditions. He also said that the head of the Real Estate Assets Department in the City had resigned under pressure and that loopholes in, or violations of the lease will be looked at closely in coming months.

The rest of the Board followed suit. County Supervisor Dianne Jacob urged the Board to determine "the best way to achieve the goals and objectives ofthe River Park" related to the property and to discuss them face to face with the new mayor. She asked staff to compile all the early documents that promise public trails on the property.

Freda Reid spoke on behalf of the Del Mar Lagoon Committee and Jacqueline Winterer represented the Friends at the meeting.

Ann Gardner,
Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley