Planners prioritize Rancho Bernardo projects for city
By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
Recycled water for landscaping, a new park and second fire station are improvements Rancho Bernardo Planning Board members want the city to pursue for Rancho Bernardo when crafting the fiscal year 2014 budget.
These three priorities received an overwhelming amount of support during the board’s Oct. 25 meeting over other suggestions that will also be forwarded to city officials.
Board member Vicki Touchstone said city officials this summer decided to ask each community to give suggestions for their Capital Improvement Program projects. CIP is a multi-year forecast of capital needs that can include new construction or planned improvements to existing facilities. They have to be “tangible” with “a life expectancy greater than one year.” Possible areas include environmental services, fire-rescue, park and recreation, public utilities, transportation and storm water.
The board is also to give feedback on a list city officials compiled because some of the projects listed in previous years have been completed or are no longer needed. These include various roadway and median improvements and expansions, renovations at Rancho Bernardo Community Park, Rancho Bernardo-Glassman Recreation Center, Ed Brown Senior Center, Rancho Bernardo Library, water services infrastructure, storm water projects and sewer improvements.
When voting on suggestions generated at the meeting by board members, residents and other community groups, Touchstone said cost and financing should not be considered since the city has various funding options along with possible grants the board members do not know about.
Each board member was given three votes, which they could distribute as they wished among the suggestions. Making recycled water available for landscaping in public areas received 33 percent of the votes (16 of 48 cast). The city purchasing an almost 11-acre vacant site on Avenida Venusto that Poway Unified School District intends to sell so part or all can be turned into a park received 25 percent of votes (12 of 48). Constructing a second fire station in Rancho Bernardo since Station No. 33 has the largest geographical area to cover citywide came in third, with 21 percent of votes (10).
Bus stop and shelter upgrades received three votes (6 percent). There was a three-way tie with two votes each (4 percent) for completing missing sidewalk sections at Escala and Bernardo Center drives and along Rancho Bernardo Road between Via del Campo and Matinal Road, and installing lights on sports fields two and four at Rancho Bernardo Community Park.
Other suggestions considered included bicycle lane additions, storm drain renovations and installing artificial turf on two community park sports fields.
- Forum to address Rancho Bernardo’s lack of recycled water
- Bernardo Heights school site eyed for park
- Committee needed to move forward with recycled water
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