Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the San Dieguito River Park?
The planning area for the
San Dieguito River Park is located in central San Diego County,
at the northern edge of the City of San Diego. The
western end begins at the ocean at Del Mar. The planning
area follows the course of the San Dieguito River to its source at
on Volcan Mountain just north of Julian. The planning area
crosses through or is adjacent to six local jurisidictions. It
includes the Del Mar Fairgrounds, Lake Hodges, San Pasqual Valley
the San Diego Wild Animal
Park and Lake Sutherland.
Is the San Dieguito River Park part of the City or the County?
No. The San Dieguito River Park is a Joint Powers
Authority. The term "Joint
Powers Authority" (JPA) means that some public agencies have
agreed to jointly share certain powers, such as the power to
acquire land. Sometimes governments enter into joint powers agreements
they agree to share their powers, without creating a separate
agency. In the case of the San Dieguito River Park, six different
(the County of San Diego and the Cities of Del Mar, Escondido,
Poway, San Diego, and Solana Beach) joined together to create
separate, independent agency, the San Dieguito River Valley Regional
Open Space Park Joint Powers Authority, in order to plan, acquire,
improve, operate and maintain the river park.
What is a Focused Planning Area?
The Focused Planning
Area (FPA) is the area of focus for the San Dieguito River
Park's acquisition and planning efforts. It is the area of jurisdiction for the
San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority. The FPA roughly corresponds to
the viewshed of the San Dieguito River Valley and its tributary streams - that
is, what you could see if you were standing on the valley floor. The Focused
Planning Area has been adopted by the six member agencies of the JPA as a regional
park planning boundary. It is important to understand that San Dieguito River
Park development projects and user activities are limited to public lands and
also to private lands whose owners have given written consent. Mere inclusion
in the FPA does not indicate that private property is part of the Park and does
not in any way affect the private
property rights of the owner.
How long will it take to "finish" the Park?
The creation of the San Dieguito River Park is a long-term project. It is one
that not only you, but your children and perhaps grandchildren will be able to
participate in. Individual segments are acquired, planned and implemented as
funds become available.
Enormous progress has been made in the 20 year life of the Park since its creation in 1989. Future milestones will be the completion of the 55-mile Coast to Crest Trail and building three Visitor Centers (lagoon, central and backcountry).
How long has the Park been in existence?
The San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority was created on June 12, 1989.
Since that time the agency has been working to acquire land, raise funds and
provide recreational opportunities. Sixty-five miles of trails are open to the public in various areas of the Park, in the lagoon area, Santa Fe Valley and Del Dios Gorge, the
Lake Hodges and San Pasqual Valley vicinities and Santa Ysabel/Volcan Mountain.
How is the San Dieguito River Park funded?
The Park's operational budget is funded by a combination of sources:
membership contributions from its member agencies
Betting Revenues from the Del Mar Race Track
from grant administration
Partner Membership Dues
Revenue from land management.
The Park's land acquisition, trail construction and maintenance, interpretation
and habitat restoration programs are funded from grants and donations.
What recreational opportunities are available now?
San Dieguito River Park encompasses many jurisdictions. Some of those jurisdictions
currently provide recreation opportunities. These include: The Del Mar
Fairgrounds, the City of San Diego Water Utilities Department, the County of
San Diego, and
the Cleveland National Forest. The City of San Diego Water Utilities
Department manages Lake Hodges and Lake Sutherland. Fishing and boating is
the season at both lakes. The County of San Diego operates the Volcan
Mountain Wilderness Preserve, located adjacent to the Park. In addition, the
Wild Animal Park is located within the Park. Some of the trails you
can find in the Park are:
Lagoon Trail and Boardwalk
Shore Lake Hodges Trail
Canyon/San Pasqual Valley Trail
Mountain Wilderness Preserve Hiking Trail
The San Dieguito River Park is working
to provide additional trails for hiking, bicycling and horseback
How do you get to the Park?
There are many different access points in the Park. In the lagoon area, access is via San Andres off Via de la Valle. In the central area the Park can be reached by Interstate
15 at the Via Rancho Parkway exit or the West Bernardo/Pomerado Road exit.
Look at individual trail maps for access information.
Is the San Dieguito River Park a 501 (c)(3) organization?
No. However, gifts and bequests to the San Dieguito River
Park JPA are deductible for income, gift and estate tax purposes. The San
Dieguito River Park JPA accepts
and administers donations, gifts, endowments and bequests for conservation
purposes. The Joint Powers Authority was established as a separate public
to a city or county. Under the federal tax law, contributions to the JPA
are as tax deductible as contributions
to a private, charitable "501(c)(3) organization. You may wish, however,
to make contributions instead to the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, a private 501(c)(3) organization which was established
by supporters of the San Dieguito River Park.
How does the Park impact private property?
The Park does not impact private property. Some property owners have been concerned
that the Park Board would condemn their land for park use, or that the Park Board
would control how and what they built on their property. To address these concerns,
the Park Board adopted a Private Property Rights Protection
Policy. The Park Board has pledged not to infringe on private property
rights to achieve its goals and objectives. The Park Board will not condemn
property. The Park Board does not
have "land use authority" and cannot regulate or impose restrictions on
private property owners. The Park Board will not put trails on privately
without the property owner's consent.
What can I do to help the San Dieguito River Park become a reality?
You can become a Park
You can volunteer your time and skills. Click for volunteer
You can make a tax-deductible donation to one or more of the Park's funds.
Click donation for information about the Park funds.
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