Supervisors OK land purchase for county preserve

Hellhole Canyon Preserve (Photo:

SAN DIEGO — The Board of Supervisors Wednesday approved the purchase of more than 600 acres of land for Hellhole Canyon Preserve in Valley Center to create more open space.

Supervisors voted 4-0 in favor of two land purchases. Greg Cox, attending was a conference out of state, was absent.

One 251-acre property is located at the end of Sierra Verde Road, owned by JP Birdland and Paradise Mountain Ranch, southeast of the preserve.

According to the county, total costs, including staff time and land improvement, for the Sierra Verde Road property are nearly $3.4 million. Last June, the county received a $200,000 state Habitat Conservation Fund grant to help pay for the property.

The other parcel, 320 acres, is located northeast of Hell Creek Road. The property, owned by Friends of Chabad Lubavitch San Diego, is appraised at $1 million; total project costs will be nearly $1.2 million.

The annual cost to maintain both parcels is estimated at $52,250, according to the county.

The 1,907-acre Hellhole Canyon offers 13.5 miles of moderate-to- advanced trails. It also features an equestrian-friendly staging area, a look- out point and an amphitheater.

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