The 760 area code split will go to yet another set of public hearings, the California Public Utilities Commission just announced.

The 760 area code is almost out of seven-digit combinations. Last year, the CPUC started the process to decide whether to split the code geographically or with an “overlay zone,” where only new phone lines generated would get the new prefix. The commission held six public meetings on the issue in Apple Valley, El Centro, Palm Springs and Carlsbad.

The commission decided a few months ago to split the code geographically — carving off North County San Diego and assigning that region a new code, 442.

But now the chambers of commerce in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos, and Vista have filed a petition, “contending that the CPUC’s decision was the result of erroneous interpretation of public comment received and the absence of comment from significant portions of the affected public,” according to a press release. North County Assemblyman Martin Garrick added his name to the complaint.

Here’s more, from the CPUC:

Claiming inequitable economic harm imposed on northern San Diego County businesses and residences, the petition asks the CPUC to modify the decision to adopt an area code overlay, rather than the geographic split that had been adopted.

The commission will hold a meeting in Victorville and one in Carlsbad to hear further public comment:

September 4, 2008, 4 p.m. n 7 p.m.

Carlsbad City Hall, Council Chambers

1200 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad

The region served by 760 is vast, reaching North San Diego County and chunks of Imperial, Inyo, Riverside, Mono and San Bernardino counties. It touches the Mexican border in the south, sprawls beyond the Mojave National Preserve in the east, stretches up past Mammoth in the north and arcs to the Pacific Ocean to grab a cluster of North County cities and unincorporated areas.

KELLY BENNETT

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