Summery of Easement and Convenance Agreement
The key protections provided in the agreement are:
Protection of the viewshed from any future development (building, cell phone tower, avocado grove etc.).
Access to the existing hiking trails by Deer Park residents and visitors.
Acceptance of the Deer Park practice of inviting the activity and temple bell (5am-10pm).
Deer Park use of a secondary emergency access road – if required in the future.
1. Protection of the viewshed.
The 120 acre area to the west and to the north of Deer Park (shown in green on the map) will stay in a natural state in perpetuity. This means that any current or future owners of the land are not allowed to build-on, farm, or disturb the natural land in any way. Current or future land owners are also not allowed to build any structure - even outside the viewshed - that can be seen from the Ocean of Peace Meditation Hall and from the Solidity Hamlet.
The protection of this land not only provides a tranquil setting for our practice it also provides a continuous natural habitat for the animals and plants that connects with the open space of Deer Park and the large natural open space of Daley Ranch Park to the east. This is the most beneficial type of habitat protection because it retains a large, connected area for animals and plants to propagate. The land is home to many wonderful animals such as song birds, hawks, owls, rabbits, bobcats and rare plants such as Manzanita, Engelmann oaks, mountain lilac (ceanothus) and sages.
2. Access to the existing hiking trails.
Deer Park residents and visitors are allowed to use the existing hiking trails on the view shed. This provides a wonderful hiking loop that includes the path up the valley (north-south) toward the municipal water tank and connecting with Lilac Lane, the Ridge trail from Lilac Lane south along the ridge and the short section of the access road from the south end of the Ridge trail east to the main Deer Park parking lot. The trails provide wonderful immersion in nature including walks through chapparal valleys, manzanita forests and views from rock outcroppings. However, Deer Park is not allowed to create any additional paths in the area.
The easement specifies that the walking paths are not to be used by motorized vehicles. The Deer Park four-fold sangha will be working with the land owner to establish signage and enforcement of this restriction. Also the Ridge trail will be managed as a walking path – allowing natural vegetation to narrow the path from the current dirt road width down to a six foot pedestrian path. The current land owner (MJM) will maintain the Ridge trail as a walking path as long as they own the property. If they sell the property Deer Park has the right to continue to maintain the pedestrian path to meet our needs. The path up the valley will be maintained by Deer Park to meet our needs from now going forward – MJM will not be maintaining this section of the trail since it is expected that only Deer Park people will be using it.
3. Acceptance of the Deer Park practice of the Sounding of the Bell
The agreement assures that any current or future residents on the developable (west slope) portion of the MJM property will be informed of the easement and covanance agreement. The covenant states that Deer Park practices the sounding of the bell beginning at 5:00 a.m. and throughout the day until typically 10:00 p.m. It notes that the that the sound level can be up to the maximum the county sound limits as measured from the developable area (west slope) of the MJM property.
By informing and setting the expectations of the residents, and by setting a high sound limit we are creating the conditions for Deer Park to continue our regular practice of the use of the large temple bell and the smaller activity bells in both the hamlets. This will be important if and when housing development begins west of the ridgeline.
4. Use of a secondary emergency access road
Deer Park currently only has one road for entering and exiting the monastery. This is all that is currently required by the county and the fire district given the current structures and housing on our site. Deer Park intends to build a new nunnery in order to provide adequate housing and is applying for permits from the County of San Diego. It is highly likely that the county will require that a secondary emergency entrance/exit be developed in order to support this and any other new construction permits for Deer Park.
The agreement signed with MJM assures that Deer Park can have an easement on the MJM property to establish a secondary emergency access road if it is required. The easement for this road is marked on the attached map of the MJM property. It follows the existing waterline easement and includes additional area southeast of the waterline easement in order to assure that the slop of the road can meet the fire department requirement of less than a 20% grade in steepness.
Read about the background on why an Easement and Covenance was used for Deer Park Ridge, click here!