Study: developable land in county running out

Research shows county land is becoming scarce

New numbers obtained by 10News revealed San Diego County could resemble a concrete jungle within two decades.

In the 4S Ranch area, Pulte Homes plans to build more than 130 houses in the next few years, and the chic interiors are not the only selling point.

"Because land is scarce, that's what's driving families to neighborhoods to buy now," said Leah Sidhu of Pulte Homes.

According to the research group Equinox Center, available land in San Diego County is scarce. Right now, 83 percent of all developable land in the county has been used up. Equinox Center says that number will grow to almost 90 percent by 2030 and 95 percent by 2050.

While most urban centers are developed, research shows most of the untouched land is in parts of the North County -- including the San Marcos, Vista and Escondido areas -- and parts of the East County.

"People want their children and grandchildren to stay here, and we don't want this to turn into 'L.A. Jr.' We don't want to pave the last remaining acres," said Ann Tartre, executive director of Equinox Center.

Experts say one option to slowing the development is to build something higher density on the available land, such as apartments or condominiums, instead of building a single-family home.

Recent numbers show that 92 percent of all the acres of land developed for residential use are used for single family homes.

According to Equinox Center, a focus on high-density living in urban areas will actually help ease future traffic, since commutes will be shorter.

County supervisors are expected to support the planning strategy in their general plan update, which will be completed later this year.

"If we grow smartly, then we'll have a little less dense development and leave some of that green space and some of the quality of life we enjoy," said Tartre.

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