Fish and Game could consider east-west connection


Karen Billing

Staff Writer

Randy Rodriguez, of the California Department of Fish and Game, said that an east-west connection for Del Mar Mesa is a possibility, although not at this time. He said CDFG is waiting on several projects, such as the Carmel Valley Road extension and other developments in the area, to go through in order to establish the best access point.

“We never said there can’t be access from the east,” Rodriguez said. “We’re basically seeing how to accommodate the work with those projects before we put something on the ground. We want to do good planning so we come up with the best access from the east. It may or may not be crossing Fish and Game land.”

The Fish and Game land is mitigation from Caltrans and is home to a very sensitive vernal pool habitat in one of the core resource areas in the city, said Rodriguez, who used to work for the city of San Diego and has been working on this issue for 12 years now.

The land has suffered a lot of damage, Rodriguez said, “A few bad apples out of the whole bushel” causing problems and prompting CDFG to have wardens patrolling the area and issuing citations. Gaining control on damaging use will go a long way toward the possibility of adding new trails, he said.

Rodriguez noted that more trails would also require a community plan amendment from Del Mar Mesa, a detail that often gets forgotten. He said the intent of Del Mar Mesa’s original community plan was to keep the area as a preserve with no public access.

“It’s a tough situation, it really is. I think we achieved a workable balance for this first phase,” said Rodriguez. “That area in the city has the most access to trails than any other area in the city besides Mission Trails. It’s hard to believe that there’s not enough bicycle trails and facilities.”