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Mayor Urges Deukmejian Veto of Development Plan

Times Staff Writer

San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock has asked Gov. George Deukmejian to veto a bill that could give new life to stalled development plans of several influential San Diego County landowners.

Hedgecock said in a telegram to Deukmejian that the bill by Sen. Jim Ellis (R-San Diego) affecting developments just outside the city limits “represents an unnecessary intrusion by the state into a local land-use issue.”

Hedgecock, who like the governor is a Republican, added that the bill “will benefit a few private property owners by encouraging unplanned, ill-timed growth along our city’s northern boundary.” Press Secretary Mel Buxbaum said the mayor sent the telegram Tuesday morning.

But Kevin Brett, assistant press secretary to Deukmejian, said Wednesday afternoon that Hedgecock’s telegram had not yet been received. He added that so far the Administration has no position on the bill.

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At issue are required “sphere of influence studies,” which were supposed to be approved by county Local Agency Formation Commissions (Lafcos) for all of the state’s cities and special districts this year. With a few scattered exceptions, those studies were completed in time in all counties except San Diego.

Ellis’ bill, in effect, allows Lafcos to act on any annexation applications submitted before Dec. 31, 1984, even if the sphere studies are not in place.

Six of nine development proposals affected by the bill are in San Diego County. Landowners include former supermarket chain chairman Tom Ralphs, Watt Industries president Joe Davis and former San Diego Chargers owner Eugene Klein.

The bill was sent to the governor Wednesday after the Senate concurred unanimously with largely technical amendments by the Assembly, which passed the measure 63-8 on Monday.

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Hedgecock, who has been a vocal opponent of plans to begin developing the 3,600-acre Ralphs Ranch, just north of the city limits, had opposed Ellis’ bill all along. But the City Council voted 6-3 to support the measure, against the recommendations of Hedgecock, three city departments and the council’s own Rules Committee, which reviews legislation.

County Supervisor Susan Golding, who says the development is the county’s affair, not the city’s, appeared at the meeting in May and urged the city’s support for the bill.

Besides the six developments in San Diego County, the measure would affect two annexations in Santa Cruz County and one in tiny, rural Sierra County.


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