Carmel Valley board backs San Dieguito River Park Ranger Station


By Kristina Houck

Having recently opened the Birdwing Open Air Classroom along the San Dieguito Lagoon, the San Dieguito River Park hopes to build a ranger station near the outdoor structure.

Located off San Andres Drive and Via de la Valle, the station would be the first for the agency, which is responsible for preserving and interpreting the natural and cultural resources of the San Dieguito River Valley.

The proposed 1,400-square-foot ranger station would feature a front porch, an office space, meeting room, employee restroom, public restroom and a fenced yard. Plans also include an attached 1,000-square-foot three-car garage.

If approved, the station would be next to the parking area near the Birdwing Open Air Classroom, but closer to the California Bank & Trust building. San Dieguito River Park owns the property.

The agency already applied for a substantial conformance review from the city of San Diego, and sought support for the station from the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board at its June 26 meeting. Board members offered their full support for the project.

The city is expected to decide in July. Because the site is in the coastal zone, the San Dieguito River Park also must obtain a coastal development permit from the Coastal Commission.