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

Parkland push is on for Tijuana River Valley

County supervisor Greg Cox maintains desire for campgrounds

Among the many established paths in the Tijuana River Valley
Among the many established paths in the Tijuana River Valley

Nearly 100 people showed up at the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park Wednesday night (December 14) to see what county officials are thinking about putting in the large and largely undeveloped park that starts at the U.S.-Mexico border and stretches north for a mile and a half.

"We have an opportunity to do something very, very unique with our partners," county supervisor Greg Cox said. "We can open this up to more public use where it's appropriate for public use — most of the land is sensitive habitat."

The 1800-acre park is already home to the county's largest community garden, with 96 plots and at least as many people on the wait list. Ballfields line the northeast top of the park across from Suzie's Farm, and "there are 22 miles of hiking, bicycling, and equestrian trails. It includes two high mesas at the border and much acreage in the lowlands north of Monument Road, on both sides of the Tijuana River, and from Dairy Mart Road to about a mile from the beach on the west end.

The open space is part of an area renowned among bird-watchers for the hundreds of species found there, and a bird and butterfly garden has been established to take advantage of its location on the Pacific Flyway.

In October 2015, the San Diego County Parks and Recreation department held an open house to survey locals and current users on where to put a campground and how to put the park to work. Wednesday night, parks staff unveiled some ideas and alternative scenarios on how to do that: two locations for the campground, an outdoor arena, additions to the community garden, a bicycle park for kids, more playing fields, and where to put all of them.

There was a lot of enthusiasm for a bicycle park for kids. José Galaz, a boardmember of the San Diego Mountain Bike Association, came to support the idea. "A bike park would be a great place to teach kids how to be safe and enjoy the trails and the roads before they go out on them," he said. "The way many kids learn to ride — on the streets and sidewalks — it's scary for them and not safe. This would be a perfect place for a bike park."

Gale Moriarty of the Tijuana River Valley Equestrian Association said the proposed outdoor arena would be useful to the community. "I think they could use the arena as a venue for all kinds of things — a lot of equestrian events, of course, but also things like dog shows," she said.

The river valley folks who attended seemed less enthusiastic about the idea of a campground, which the county is committed to pursuing. They worried about traffic increasing on the narrow, shoulderless roads where a lack of connector trails force horses to share the roads with vehicles.

"We need connector trails," said Emma Reese. "Connect the mesas — the trails are already there, they should be part of the plan. Otherwise we have to ride or hike on Monument Road and that is just so dangerous."

In December 2013, Greg Cox surprised everyone — more than a dozen agencies have a stake in the river valley — by announcing his plan to put a campground in the valley, with his preferred site in Border Field State Park.

Cox is partly driven by a mandate from the California Coastal Commission (on which he serves) and its more than $10 million stash of developer fees that are supposed to be creating affordable lodging on the coast. The commission has collected more than $19 million, and the money it was able to spend went to campgrounds and hostels. No developers seem to be interested in building cheap motels.

The coastal commission has been unable to find a way to create affordable lodging along the California coast — part of its mission is public access — despite workshops and aggressive attempts to sell the idea on its part.

In 2014, Imperial Beach mayor Serge Dedina rejected the idea of cheap lodging in his city, saying the city needs the extra taxes on tourists that a top-shelf hotel brings.

Cox's idea was immediately controversial. The state parks bit into Cox at a public meeting, with then-superintendent Clay Phillips declaring "there will never be a campground in Border Field." But Cox has persisted, shifting the possible locations to the county park just east of Border Field.

After the October 2015 public workshop, acting San Diego Border Patrol sector chief Rodney Scott penned a letter to the county parks detailing why the preferred locations for a campground may not work out:

"Over 3,200 of [the 5,300 arrests in the Imperial Beach sector] occurred within the immediate vicinity of the proposed campsites. Twenty five percent of those apprehended had prior criminal convictions in the United States and some of the illegal crossers were documented gang members," the letter said.

The latest possible sites for the campground are on top of Spooner's Mesa and west of Hollister at the north end of the park.

County staff will take the comments and design a final plan, which they hope to have approved in the next year, according to parks department head Brian Albright. "We're going to do it," he promised. "You're going to see it come to fruition in a few years."

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

Previous article

Hypno5e: A Distant (Dark) Source Experience, Exploring Ethics: Neuromodulation

Events February 27-March 3, 2021
Next Article

Boxing great Archie Moore’s Stockton sanctuary

Custom swimming pool was dug in the shape of a boxing glove
Among the many established paths in the Tijuana River Valley
Among the many established paths in the Tijuana River Valley

Nearly 100 people showed up at the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park Wednesday night (December 14) to see what county officials are thinking about putting in the large and largely undeveloped park that starts at the U.S.-Mexico border and stretches north for a mile and a half.

"We have an opportunity to do something very, very unique with our partners," county supervisor Greg Cox said. "We can open this up to more public use where it's appropriate for public use — most of the land is sensitive habitat."

The 1800-acre park is already home to the county's largest community garden, with 96 plots and at least as many people on the wait list. Ballfields line the northeast top of the park across from Suzie's Farm, and "there are 22 miles of hiking, bicycling, and equestrian trails. It includes two high mesas at the border and much acreage in the lowlands north of Monument Road, on both sides of the Tijuana River, and from Dairy Mart Road to about a mile from the beach on the west end.

The open space is part of an area renowned among bird-watchers for the hundreds of species found there, and a bird and butterfly garden has been established to take advantage of its location on the Pacific Flyway.

In October 2015, the San Diego County Parks and Recreation department held an open house to survey locals and current users on where to put a campground and how to put the park to work. Wednesday night, parks staff unveiled some ideas and alternative scenarios on how to do that: two locations for the campground, an outdoor arena, additions to the community garden, a bicycle park for kids, more playing fields, and where to put all of them.

There was a lot of enthusiasm for a bicycle park for kids. José Galaz, a boardmember of the San Diego Mountain Bike Association, came to support the idea. "A bike park would be a great place to teach kids how to be safe and enjoy the trails and the roads before they go out on them," he said. "The way many kids learn to ride — on the streets and sidewalks — it's scary for them and not safe. This would be a perfect place for a bike park."

Gale Moriarty of the Tijuana River Valley Equestrian Association said the proposed outdoor arena would be useful to the community. "I think they could use the arena as a venue for all kinds of things — a lot of equestrian events, of course, but also things like dog shows," she said.

The river valley folks who attended seemed less enthusiastic about the idea of a campground, which the county is committed to pursuing. They worried about traffic increasing on the narrow, shoulderless roads where a lack of connector trails force horses to share the roads with vehicles.

"We need connector trails," said Emma Reese. "Connect the mesas — the trails are already there, they should be part of the plan. Otherwise we have to ride or hike on Monument Road and that is just so dangerous."

In December 2013, Greg Cox surprised everyone — more than a dozen agencies have a stake in the river valley — by announcing his plan to put a campground in the valley, with his preferred site in Border Field State Park.

Cox is partly driven by a mandate from the California Coastal Commission (on which he serves) and its more than $10 million stash of developer fees that are supposed to be creating affordable lodging on the coast. The commission has collected more than $19 million, and the money it was able to spend went to campgrounds and hostels. No developers seem to be interested in building cheap motels.

The coastal commission has been unable to find a way to create affordable lodging along the California coast — part of its mission is public access — despite workshops and aggressive attempts to sell the idea on its part.

In 2014, Imperial Beach mayor Serge Dedina rejected the idea of cheap lodging in his city, saying the city needs the extra taxes on tourists that a top-shelf hotel brings.

Cox's idea was immediately controversial. The state parks bit into Cox at a public meeting, with then-superintendent Clay Phillips declaring "there will never be a campground in Border Field." But Cox has persisted, shifting the possible locations to the county park just east of Border Field.

After the October 2015 public workshop, acting San Diego Border Patrol sector chief Rodney Scott penned a letter to the county parks detailing why the preferred locations for a campground may not work out:

"Over 3,200 of [the 5,300 arrests in the Imperial Beach sector] occurred within the immediate vicinity of the proposed campsites. Twenty five percent of those apprehended had prior criminal convictions in the United States and some of the illegal crossers were documented gang members," the letter said.

The latest possible sites for the campground are on top of Spooner's Mesa and west of Hollister at the north end of the park.

County staff will take the comments and design a final plan, which they hope to have approved in the next year, according to parks department head Brian Albright. "We're going to do it," he promised. "You're going to see it come to fruition in a few years."

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

Hummingbirds begin their dance in San Diego County

Lupines help the soil, manzanita's red bark
Next Article

San Diego's anti-fascists turn fascist

What really happened in Pacific Beach
Comments
3

Need to get rid of those strawberry farms and horses.

Dec. 15, 2016

what strawberry farm?

Dec. 16, 2016

At the north end of the valley there are several farming operations, including Suzie's Farm. I'm not sure what they're growing now.......

Dec. 27, 2016

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — 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 Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup 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 Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search 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 Waterfront — All things ocean 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