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SANDAG adds 75 acres to habitat preservation

Through its TransNet-funded Environmental Mitigation Program, SANDAG has acquired two more parcels of property as open-space habitat, totaling nearly 75 acres. The properties were acquired to offset the impacts of two railroad-related transportation projects.

The larger parcel, Time Out Holdings/Stacco in Oceanside, is a 68.18-acre property bordering State Route 76 to the north and just to the east of the 80.3 acre Jeffries Ranch property, already conserved by SANDAG as open space.

The $4-million acquisition offsets acreage used in the double-tracking of rail between San Onofre and Las Pulgas in Camp Pendleton and the Santa Margarita Bridge Replacement Project.

The property is described as 60.18 acres of fallow agriculture land, which will be restored to upland sage vegetation and eight acres of wetland.

In Otay Mesa, south of State Route 905 and in the midst of a larger conservation area owned by the City and County of San Diego, SANDAG has acquired two parcels totaling 6.71 acres of disturbed coastal sage scrub and remnant vernal pools. The property sits entirely within City of San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program land. 

These properties, purchased for $273,000, will offset expansion of the San Ysidro Intermodal Freight Facility. Most of it will be restored to coastal scrub sage and vernal pools.

Caltrans will oversee management and restoration of both the Oceanside and Otay Mesa properties. Total cost of acquisition, restoration, and management of these properties will come to a little more than $9.5 million.

Adopted by voters in November 2004 as part of the TransNet Extension Ordinance and Expenditure Plan, the $850 million Environmental Mitigation Program seeks proactive solutions to mitigate the impacts of transportation projects. The program goes beyond traditional mitigation by including annual funding for habitat acquisition, management, and monitoring activities to help implement regional habitat conservation plans.

Since 2008, SANDAG has acquired 2,376 acres of open space, much of it previously marked for development. About $89.3 million has been spent purchasing sensitive habitats that support threatened wildlife.

For more information go to www.keepsandiegomoving.com/EMP.

Project Manager(s)

Keith Greer, Principal Regional Planner
Phone: (619) 699-7390, E-mail: keith.greer@sandag.org

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or pio@sandag.org.