As many residents in the area are well aware, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors (BOS) has been signing away our countryside to developers left and right by granting amendments to our County’s General Plan. Many of these sprawling suburban developments have unsafe fire evacuation plans similar to those used during the recent Camp Fire in Paradise. These developments put the lives of all current and future residents at risk.
Our supervisors need to hear from the voting public. I hope that you will take the time to write and submit letters to the editor of the Union-Tribune, to encourage your County supervisor to shift their priorities to focus on the health and safety of San Diego County residents.
You may want to include one or more of the following points, in your own words, in your letter:
- Building more homes in San Diego County’s backcountry or in areas where the road network will not support additional evacuation traffic would directly put residents at risk of entrapment in the next wildfire. As was the case in Paradise, there are very limited routes out in the case of fire; fast evacuations are not a realistic plan.
- The plan touted by law enforcement and County Fire Authority of staggered evacuation to make up for inadequate road infrastructure has been shown to be a recipe for more deaths in Camp fire.
- Similarly, the Building Industry Association (BIA) argument that more fire resistant building requirements and defensible space will make residents safe has been debunked by the Tubbs fire, where, 87 percent of the homes built after 2008 (with the highest fireproofing standards) burned to the ground. In the Thomas fire, a vast majority of the houses that were destroyed had the same new building standards
- We could avoid a future tragedy by making better decisions today.
- The people of San Diego want safe, well-planned affordable housing. The Harmony Grove Village South plan and other plans that require General Plan amendments as part of their approvals are the opposite of those things as the housing is neither safe nor affordable.
- The Board of Supervisors should prioritize public health and safety over developer profits.
Please submit your letters to The San Diego Union-Tribune by this Friday, December 14th:
Email your letter, name, community of residence, and daytime phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org (put it all in the body of the email). Your letter must be 150 words or less. It’s best to write in response to a specific article that the Union-Tribune has run, such as this Dec. 3 piece: San Diego County Wants to Build 10,000 New Homes in Fire-Prone Areas. Please cite the article you are referencing in the first line of your letter.