The proposed site of the Lilac Hills Ranch development / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

San Diego County has a “triggers dashboard” made to keep things moving in the right direction and stop openings when COVID-19 surges.

Certain development — like a surge of new cases or changes in hospital capacity — were set to trigger action by the county to curb the virus.

Well, thresholds were passed, triggers were triggered. But the totality of the resulting action appears to be … not much? VOSD hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby talked about just how confusing that is as cases are surging in the region and the state.

Police Update: We’re Following the Law

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Police Chief David Nisleit held a press conference this week to announce a new de-escalation policy, updates on use of force and a requirement that officers intervene when other officers use unreasonable force.

Those announcements were made this week, painted as proactive measures from the city in response to community calls for change. But, as Libby pointed out in this week’s episode, those are mostly actions police are already required by law to take.

AB 392, the state law written by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber on police use of force, came with a companion bill that laid out new training requirements on de-escalation and communication.

MTS Has Its Own Police Issues

The police reform movement is catching up to the Metropolitan Transit System, too. Last week, MTS officials decided to pull back on a program that was made to catch more people who ride without paying.

VOSD reporter Lisa Halverstadt found recently that the agency handed out nearly 1,500 tickets to fare evaders in just one week last year, which has led to financial hardship for many people ticketed.

So now, officials in the agency are reviewing how they ticket, how they employ their security forces and their own use of force policy.

Tonight, on the Season Finale of ‘Lilac Hills’ …

Lilac Hills, a development project that’s been in the works for about 15 years and would create a new community near Valley Center, has had a long, strange history. It was alive and kicking, then killed, then brought back. It even went to a countywide vote in 2016, where it was soundly rejected.

This week, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors made what appears to be the final vote to lay the plan to rest. Only Supervisor Jim Desmond, who represents the area in question, voted in favor of the project.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob noted that county staff recommended denying the project, which she’s not seen in a long time, largely due to extreme fire hazard.

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Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at

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