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Reader Tom S. wrote that,

“It wasn’t about politics or war; it WAS a land use decision. The residents didn’t want that land use in their neighborhood. Just like residents of North Park want smoke shops to go away; just like residents of Point Loma object to the girly bars on Midway.”

Response: If residents of a community do not want a certain type of land use, they can ask their elected official to help them change the use, depending on that jurisdiction’s general plan. It was decided by elected officials in the city of San Diego that “smoke shops” and “girlie bars” were not in the best interests of the health, safety, or welfare of the residents (and their children) of those areas. Those were policy decisions, not land-use decisions. The reason the policy decisions were made is that the existing or proposed use did, in fact, fit within the existing land use guidelines. Therefore, if what is being suggested is a policy debate by the Board of Supervisors considering whether they, on behalf of all San Diego County residents, wish to bar Blackwater from locating here, fine. Please call your Supervisor. 

However, unless that policy debate occurs, one thing remains the same regardless of your histrionics. Whether to approve Blackwater’s proposed training facility is a land use decision that will be made by the Board of Supervisors 

Reader Omni-Potent wrote that it

“is Potrero’s decision (whether the Blackwater project moves forward), and they decided.”

Response: On the contrary, individuals not living in Potrero were the folks who organized and conducted the smear campaign that resulted in the recall of planning group members who were simply trying to do their job. Further, planning group recommendations are advisory only. The final decision as to the disposition of the project lies 100 percent with the County Board of Supervisors.

Finally, Reader Steve K asked the single salient land use question when he said,

“who would think that a change from agricultural to military base is an appropriate use for our county’s back country?”

Response:  Blackwater has submitted an application to the County for a Major Use Permit and have applied for a rezone — not to change the base zone but to remove the Special “A” designator and the agricultural preserve. It’s also important to note that the property is not under a Williamson Contract, and contrary to misinformation, none of our proposed development is in the Cleveland National forest. 

Obviously, Blackwater believes that a training campus of 145 acres of an 824 acre parcel, with berms and buffers, and which will preserve the remaining acreage, of natural habitat, species, and open space, at a location that is now being used as a chicken and cattle ranch, believe that it is an appropriate change of use. Ultimately, however, as I’ve said, the final decision lies with the County Board of Supervisors.

I would like to discuss this further, but none of those who made the other 24 comments either read the first paragraph of my piece in which I made it clear that my comments would be based only on our land use project in Potrero, or chose to ignore it and instead used this opportunity to deface VOSD’s website with baseless, uninformed, and/or ignorant graffiti.

I thank VOSD and the three people who read and understood the first few words of my piece.

— BRIAN BONFIGLIO

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