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San Diego County is just about done with reviewing the Environmental Impact Report documents provided by the Developer. Once they are finalized, most likely within the next 2 months, there will be a 45-day public review period. During this time, we all must provide our written opposition to the Valle de Oro Community Planning Group, the County Planning & Development Services (PDS), and each Board of Supervisor. Everyone on our Contact List will be informed when the 45-day public review period begins and that it is time to submit your written feedback.

Now is the time to inform as many neighbors, businesses, schools, community centers, senior facilities, family, and friends about the proposed project and how they can join the Contact List and access our How To Help resources.

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We received a letter from the County Planning & Development Services (PDS) dated July 27, 2020, stating that the first draft of Environmental Impact Reports (EIR) have been reviewed. The County has determined that more information and additional reviews of the reports will be necessary before PDS will approve the documents.

Once approved, the EIR documents will go out for a 45-day public review. A public meeting will be held during that time. The estimated time for public review is "later in the year". Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public meetings and hearings are only happening virtually at this point.

Following completion of the EIR process, the project will be scheduled for a public hearing before the Planning Commission for a decision. The County believes this may occur in Summer 2021 depending on actual completion of the draft EIR process. Then, the Planning Commission decision may be appealed to the Board of Supervisors. If this occurs, the Board of Supervisors will have the final decision to approve the project or not.

We will need everyone who opposes the Cottonwood Sand Mine to write to our local Valle de Oro Community Planning Group, the Planning & Development Services, and the Board of Supervisors during public review periods. We will inform everyone on our Contact List when this is needed. Please be sure we have your contact information so you can help!

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The proposed Cottonwood Sand Mining Project developers submitted a first iteration draft Environment Impact Report (EIR) and technical studies in mid-March 2020 to the San Diego County Planning and Development Services. The Planning and Development Services staff have been in the process of reviewing those documents and expect to complete this process by end of May 2020. Once complete, a revised project application schedule will be developed. The County anticipates the EIR will be finalized by this coming Fall and that a Public Review will be scheduled at that time. The County staff have shared that they are not certain how a Public Review Meeting will be conducted given the COVID-19 Pandemic concerns, social distancing, and limits regarding large gatherings. 

To allow all public citizens the opportunity to participate, we are strongly recommending that the County postpone an EIR Public Review Hearing until a time when the public can convene in person. We believe that holding a virtual meeting in place of a true public hearing will leave out a multitude of concerned citizens who want to hear and speak to County officials about a potential Sand Mine Pit being dropped in the middle of their community and the Sweetwater River watershed.

We understand that the COVID-19 Pandemic has placed all of us in unprecedented times and we appreciate the many demands currently made on all individuals. Even so, the right for a Public Hearing should not be adjusted just to maintain a schedule. The potential impacts of this project to community residents may be great. Therefore, we believe it is crucial that the County delay the next Public Hearing until a time that all citizens may meet and discuss their concerns openly and fairly.

We urge all interested parties to contact the County Planning and Development Services and the Board of Supervisors and request that a virtual meeting NOT replace an in-person Public Review Hearing regarding Cottonwood Sand Mine Project, MUP-18-023 Environmental Impact Report. A sample letter has been provided. Please edit to personalize, include your name and contact information, and then email to the addresses included on the sample letter.

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Public Review Notice for the Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed Cottonwood Sand Mining Project. Concerned citizens should provide written comments during the NOP period from October 24, 2019 through 4:00pm on Friday November 22, 2019 (a 30-day period). The County will conduct a public scoping meeting at the Hillsdale Middle School at 1301 Brabham Street in Rancho San Diego on Monday November 4, 2019 at 6:00pm. Please be there with all your neighbors!


There will also be a Valle De Oro Community Planning Group meeting on Tuesday November 5, 2019 at 7:00pm at Otay Water District Headquarters - Lower Terrace Training Room, 2554 Sweetwater Springs Boulevard, Spring Valley where Board members invite the public to share their comments regarding Cottonwood Sand Mining Project's preparation of their EIR. PLEASE come to both meetings!


Draft Project Description for the Cottonwood Sand Mining Project submitted to the County of San Diego Planning & Development Services (PDS) at a pre-application meeting on May 10, 2018

Major Use Permit Application & Updated 11/19/2018 Project Description

Plot Plan

Discretionary Permit Application


May 31, 2019 County of San Diego Planning & Development Services (PDS) Scoping Letter to developer outlining major project issues requiring resolution for project to be recommended for approval.

November 8, 2018 County of San Diego Planning & Development Services (PDS) letter to developer providing a summary of the major issues discussed at the May 10, 2018 pre-application conference, key decisions or determination, and items that must be submitted for project application processing

November 19, 2018 County of San Diego Department of Planning & Development Services (PDS) Notice To Property Owners regarding zoning application 

Professional Meeting

The Valle de Oro Community Planning Area encompasses approximately nineteen square miles of the unincorporated portion of the County of San Diego. The Planning Area is located to the south of the City of El Cajon and to the east of the city of La Mesa. Several neighborhoods are located within Valle de Oro. Those include: Casa de Oro, Mount Helix, Vista Grande Hills and Rancho San Diego. 

November 6, 2018 Valle de Oro Community Planning Group Monthly Meeting/Cottonwood Sand Mining Project Presentation - Notes for the community taken by STOP Cottonwood Sand Mine Steering Committee

Valle De Oro Community Plan Land Use Map

Valle De Oro Community Plan / San Diego County General Plan

Valle De Oro Community Planning Group Roster 2020

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August 12, 2017 "A Tale of Two Golf Courses" by J. Harry Jones

November 14, 2018 "Proposed Sand Mining Project at Cottonwood Golf Club Faces Pushback" by Karen Pearlman

November 26, 2018 "Sand Mine Proposed at Cottonwood Golf Site: Residents Opposed Set Community Meeting November 28" by Miriam Raftery

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November 28, 2018 "Owner of Cottonwood Golf Club in El Cajon Wants To Turn It Into A Sand Mine" by Matt Boone

November 28, 2018 "Some For, Others Against Plan to Turn Golf Course Into Sand Mine" by Omari Fleming

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November 29, 2018 "Golf Course Community Organizes Against Proposed Sand Mine Project in East County" by Anthony Pura

November 28, 2018 "Residents Concerned With Plan to Turn Cottonwood Golf Course into a Sand Mine" by John Soderman

November 29, 2018 "Plan to Turn Cottonwood GC into Sand Mine Draws Protests" by Joe Barks

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December 3, 2018 "Sand Mine Proposed for Golf Course Brings Rancho SD, Jamul Residents Out in Protest" by Karen Pearlman

December 5, 2018 "Opponents of Sand Mine Proposed at Cottonwood Golf in Rancho San Diego Pack Community Meeting" by Paul Kruze

December 14, 2018 "Proposal to Turn Cottonwood Golf Course into Sand Mine Meets Community Opposition" by Ana Nita

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December 21, 2018 "Nearly 2,200 Residents Express Opposition to Cottonwood Sand Mine"

January 17, 2019 "Cottonwood Sand Mine On Agenda Feb. 12 For Jamul-Dulzura Planning Group" by Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2019 "County Letter on Cottonwood Sand Mine Reiterates Community's Significant Concerns" by Barry Jantz

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November 1, 2019 "Public Meeting on Cottonwood Sand Mine Project Proposal: County seeks input on preparation of Environmental Impact Report" by Barry Jantz

November 5, 2019 "Cottonwood Sand Mine Opponents  Step Up Efforts" by Karen Beth Pearlman

November 4, 2019 "Rancho San Diego Residents Are Teed Off Over Sand Mining Project" by Richard Allyn

November 4, 2019 "Rancho San Diego Residents Give Input On Proposed Sand Mine" by Kasia Gregorczyk

November 17, 2019 "Proposed Cottonwood Sand Mine Draws Unified Opposition From Rancho San Diego Residents At Scoping Meeting" by Paul Kruze