San Diego County supervisors approve land purchases for conservation

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – County supervisors today unanimously approved two land acquisitions for conservation, including 254 acres in the town of Alpine. Most of the property, owned by Helix Land Co., is designated as a conservation area and home to the coastal California gnat catcher, which is listed as a threatened species.

The San Diego River Park Foundation, which owns and manages 300 acres nearby, will manage the acquired property through an agreement with the county.

According to county documents, the total purchase cost of the Alpine site is $2.02 million, which includes staff time and appraisal review; closing and title costs; and land protection costs, including signage, boundary survey and vegetation management.

The county will also buy 76 acres of land in Lakeside to increase the Lakeside Linkage Preserve from 135 to 211 acres, which will create a larger protected area for sensitive species including the coastal California gnat catcher, coastal cactus wren and orange-throated whiptail.

The county is buying the parcel — located between Jackson Ridge Parkway and Jackson Hill Drive, west of Los Coches Road — from Centex Homes for $2.25 million. Total project costs are $2.47 million, including staff time, title costs and land protection costs.

In related news, the board approved a Jan. 9 public hearing on two proposed land purchases in Valley Center, east of the county’s Hellhole Canyon Preserve.

One 251-acre parcel is located at the end of Sierra Verde Road, southeast of the preserve, while the second property of 320 acres is on the northeast end of Hell Creek Road.

In June, the county was awarded a $200,000 state Habitat Conservation Fund for the Sierra Verde Road property. If supervisors approve the purchase next year, both privately owned land parcels would cost the county $4.5 million, according to documents.

Supervisors also approved the annexation of a 515-acre parcel, mostly occupied by Otay Landfill, to the city of Chula Vista.

According to the county, the land is surrounded by territory under city of Chula Vista jurisdiction. Along with the county and Chula Vista, other owners include the Otay Water District and Otay Landfill. County officials said there hasn’t been any opposition to the annexation.

Categories: California News, Local San Diego News