Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Bill Horn and the life east of the 15

County supervisor advised to recuse himself from development vote

Would Bill Horn benefit from the massive Lilac Hills Ranch development?
Would Bill Horn benefit from the massive Lilac Hills Ranch development?

An environmental nonprofit has put San Diego County supervisor Bill Horn and his colleagues on the board on notice: follow the advice of the Fair Political Practices Commission and don't permit Horn's vote to weigh in on the massive Lilac Hills Ranch development slated for Valley Center, just over a mile from Horn's 37-acre ranch.

Bill Horn

The proposed Lilac Hills Ranch development includes construction of 1746 homes and 90,000 square feet of retail on approximately 600 acres of land just east of Interstate 15 near West Lilac Road in Valley Center. If approved, the development would be the largest and most dense mixed-use development within miles. According to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, current zoning laws allow for only 110 homes on the 600-acre plot.

Environmental groups and others have blasted the proposal, whereas Horn supports the development.

Conflict of interest?

At issue is whether Horn has a potential conflict of interest in voting for the project. Improvements to nearby infrastructure and the potential for future development would most likely raise property values for nearby landowners, Horn included.

Sponsored
Sponsored

On October 13, after the Fair Political Practices Commission advised there was a potential conflict of interest, Horn issued a statement announcing that he was recusing himself from voting on Lilac Hills.

Horn quickly backtracked. In public statements made in the following days, the North County supervisor attacked the commission for intruding on democracy and silencing his constituents by preventing him from voting on the development. He called the letter a "clear case of overreach."

Horn claims that he has nothing to gain from the development. He has said his land is not suitable for development; besides, he entered into a contract with the state under the the California Land Conservation Act of 1965, also known as the Williamson Act, which prevents him from developing any portion of his property in exchange for breaks on property taxes.

Cleveland National Forest Foundation on alert

Horn's decision to fight the commission's advice has raised questions from the Cleveland National Forest Foundation, a nonprofit environmental preservation group.

In an October 19 letter, the group demanded that Horn and his colleagues take heed of the commission's advice, or else be in jeopardy of legal action.

"There is no reason for Supervisor Horn or the County to be alarmed at the [Fair Political Practices Commission's] advice, which provides a narrow, fact-based analysis of Supervisor Horn’s particular situation in this instance. The [commission] nowhere implies that other Supervisors in other situations will also have to recuse themselves in decisions involving smaller developments, or developments in more built-up areas. Likewise, the situation might be different if a Supervisor merely owned a home nearby a proposed development, and did not own developable land, as Supervisor Horn does. In any event, Supervisors concerned about potential conflicts in the future may always seek the [commission's] advice, as Supervisor Horn did here."

As for Horn's agreement to not develop the land, attorneys for the Cleveland National Forest Foundation say that the contract will likely expire before the development is complete, and Horn could cash in later.

"Supervisor Horn claims that the Lilac Hills Ranch project cannot increase the value of his property because it is currently under a Williamson Act contract and contains many steep, allegedly undevelopable slopes. While it is true that his land is currently protected by a Williamson Act contract, the [commission] has already described why this fact is not relevant. Specifically, such contracts are subject to termination, which would allow Supervisor Horn or successors in interest to develop the property.

"...[T]here is no basis for Supervisor Horn to ask the [commission] to reconsider its advice that he has a disqualifying conflict of interest with regard to the Lilac Hills Ranch development. But if Supervisor Horn requests new advice, it is imperative that he present accurate and complete information to the [Fair Political Practices Commission] regarding the development potential of his property. His failure to do so would undermine public trust, subvert our democratic system, and expose himself and the County to liability."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

San Diego Dems get cash from RCS Harmony Partners

Donors want to raise taxes to get others to join in altruism
Would Bill Horn benefit from the massive Lilac Hills Ranch development?
Would Bill Horn benefit from the massive Lilac Hills Ranch development?

An environmental nonprofit has put San Diego County supervisor Bill Horn and his colleagues on the board on notice: follow the advice of the Fair Political Practices Commission and don't permit Horn's vote to weigh in on the massive Lilac Hills Ranch development slated for Valley Center, just over a mile from Horn's 37-acre ranch.

Bill Horn

The proposed Lilac Hills Ranch development includes construction of 1746 homes and 90,000 square feet of retail on approximately 600 acres of land just east of Interstate 15 near West Lilac Road in Valley Center. If approved, the development would be the largest and most dense mixed-use development within miles. According to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, current zoning laws allow for only 110 homes on the 600-acre plot.

Environmental groups and others have blasted the proposal, whereas Horn supports the development.

Conflict of interest?

At issue is whether Horn has a potential conflict of interest in voting for the project. Improvements to nearby infrastructure and the potential for future development would most likely raise property values for nearby landowners, Horn included.

Sponsored
Sponsored

On October 13, after the Fair Political Practices Commission advised there was a potential conflict of interest, Horn issued a statement announcing that he was recusing himself from voting on Lilac Hills.

Horn quickly backtracked. In public statements made in the following days, the North County supervisor attacked the commission for intruding on democracy and silencing his constituents by preventing him from voting on the development. He called the letter a "clear case of overreach."

Horn claims that he has nothing to gain from the development. He has said his land is not suitable for development; besides, he entered into a contract with the state under the the California Land Conservation Act of 1965, also known as the Williamson Act, which prevents him from developing any portion of his property in exchange for breaks on property taxes.

Cleveland National Forest Foundation on alert

Horn's decision to fight the commission's advice has raised questions from the Cleveland National Forest Foundation, a nonprofit environmental preservation group.

In an October 19 letter, the group demanded that Horn and his colleagues take heed of the commission's advice, or else be in jeopardy of legal action.

"There is no reason for Supervisor Horn or the County to be alarmed at the [Fair Political Practices Commission's] advice, which provides a narrow, fact-based analysis of Supervisor Horn’s particular situation in this instance. The [commission] nowhere implies that other Supervisors in other situations will also have to recuse themselves in decisions involving smaller developments, or developments in more built-up areas. Likewise, the situation might be different if a Supervisor merely owned a home nearby a proposed development, and did not own developable land, as Supervisor Horn does. In any event, Supervisors concerned about potential conflicts in the future may always seek the [commission's] advice, as Supervisor Horn did here."

As for Horn's agreement to not develop the land, attorneys for the Cleveland National Forest Foundation say that the contract will likely expire before the development is complete, and Horn could cash in later.

"Supervisor Horn claims that the Lilac Hills Ranch project cannot increase the value of his property because it is currently under a Williamson Act contract and contains many steep, allegedly undevelopable slopes. While it is true that his land is currently protected by a Williamson Act contract, the [commission] has already described why this fact is not relevant. Specifically, such contracts are subject to termination, which would allow Supervisor Horn or successors in interest to develop the property.

"...[T]here is no basis for Supervisor Horn to ask the [commission] to reconsider its advice that he has a disqualifying conflict of interest with regard to the Lilac Hills Ranch development. But if Supervisor Horn requests new advice, it is imperative that he present accurate and complete information to the [Fair Political Practices Commission] regarding the development potential of his property. His failure to do so would undermine public trust, subvert our democratic system, and expose himself and the County to liability."

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Ravel, Bates, and Respighi at San Diego Symphony

Next Article

Wing Wars: Chicken Wing Crawl Competition, Thrift Store Treasure Bazaar

Events March 9-March 13, 2024
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.