“If it seems that the present suburban growth is too rapid, too poorly connected with public services, too extensive and homogeneous, too destructive of the land...then why does it happen?” 

Temporary Paradise? (1974)

The Back Country KAN explores best practices for suburban growth into undeveloped lands, and in particular, how to balance needs for housing, public services, and environmental conservation.


Retired Senior Regional Planner



Policy Director

Council District 3


The city's magnificent site, for which its residents have such strong affection, is still intact but may be losing its best qualities. [...] We recommend slowing down and changing the form of suburban development while redirecting growth to present urban areas...”

Donald Appleyard and Kevin Lynch, Temporary Paradise?

Temporary Paradise? (1974) sets forth a vision for the future of San Diego to protect the region’s defining feature - its natural environment. This vision directs us to invest in our existing communities in a number of ways, such as improving the housing stock in existing neighborhoods and upgrading current schools and public facilities. By improving our urban areas, we can strengthen existing communities and grow responsibly.

For almost 60 years, C-3 has served as a steward of the vision in Temporary Paradise? and has endorsed Measure A, on which San Diegans will be asked to vote on this March 3.

Measure A, also known as the “Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside Initiative,” requires a county-wide public vote to approve large-scale residential development projects proposed in the rural and semi-rural areas of the unincorporated area. The initiative's main purpose is to honor the intent of the County of San Diego General Plan by concentrating growth in existing towns and villages and thereby protecting rural, low density areas.

Current policies in the County General Plan (adopted in 2011) provide the capacity to build 60,000 units focused in and around existing communities. Massive suburban development projects, such as Lilac Hills Ranch and Newland Sierra, however, have attempted to circumvent what’s called for in adopted plans by rezoning rural land for thousands of residential units at much higher densities than currently allowed.

If these projects were to move forward, their impacts would be felt regionwide. These projects contribute to traffic congestion, reduce the availability of farmland, allow more housing in high-risk fire areas, and place a burden on public services and infrastructure beyond what the County has planned for. Also, taxpayers throughout the region will end up subsidizing these sprawl developments to pay for new roads, sewers, schools, fire and police protection causing either an increase in taxes or a drain of funding and resources from the older, established urban and suburban areas where most of the region’s residents live now.

The goal of Measure A is to support the policies in the County’s currently adopted General Plan and add transparency when those policies change and higher density developments are proposed and approved than the plan allows in rural and semi-rural areas. Measure A is complementary to C-3’s long standing values of supporting sound planning practices, protecting environmentally sensitive lands, and preventing further sprawl.

Please vote “Yes” on Measure A to help achieve the vision developed decades ago in Temporary Paradise?

The Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside website provides more information about the initiative and ways to get involved or to provide financial support to the campaign.

Citizens Coordinate for Century 3

February 24, 2020

Apply for one of the following available seats on the Back Country KAN.

Community Leader [2]
Planning, Design, or Environmental Professional [3]
Policy Specialist [2]
Send letter of interest and CV to Susan Baldwin.

C-3's Knowledge Action Networks (KANs) bring together local thought leaders from planning, design, policy, academia, community development, and more to address our region’s distinctive and pressing land use challenges.


Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C-3) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to education and advocacy on issues of policy, planning, and design throughout the San Diego region. Federal Tax ID: 95-2593199





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