Torrey Hills planning board in Carmel Valley to take lead on greenbelt project from city

By Karen Billing

After six years of being funded and more than three years after it was designed, the Torrey Hills Community Planning Board’s greenbelt project actually has a potential starting date.

The board voted unanimously at its Nov. 20 meeting to enter into a reimbursement agreement with the city of San Diego that allows the Torrey Hills Master Association to privately design, bid and construct its greenbelt project, shaving off about 488 days from the timeline should it be left to the city to complete.

Torrey Hills taking the lead means a start date of October 2014 rather than a city’s projected start date of September 2015. This option would also save at least $132,000 of the city’s $441,000 budget.

The simple greenbelt project improves a 200-foot SDG&E easement under the power pole and lines at the crest of East Ocean Air Drive. The proposed greenbelt faces a row of houses and is edged by the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve.

The open space will be refreshed with native plants, stacked native boulders, and a decomposed granite trail will wind through the property and link users to canyon trails across the street. A trellis area is planned where people can sit and look out over the canyon.

As $425,000 in funds has been contributed to the city for the project from private donations and Torrey Hills Maintenance Assessment District money since 2007, the $132,000 saved will be able to be applied to other unfunded community improvements.