San Diego may be the biggest city in the county, but it's certainly not the only one. San Diego County is home to 18 different municipalities and 9 of those cities make up what we typically call North County. Now there's an effort underway for the cities that span from Del Mar and Poway, north to Oceanside and Vista to develop some common economic goals and a regional identity.
San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn, who's just launched his re-election campaign for his final term, has been the major proponent behind the initiative called Prosperity on Purpose. It lays out a regional visionary plan and economic development strategy for North County. The goal is to attract developers, business and investors to the region.
The San Diego North Economic Development Council is leading the effort and so far has drawn up a comprehensive economic strategy, which is needed for federal funding. Some North County cities feel they lost out on millions of dollars in tax money for transportation improvement when the regional planning agency, SANDAG, divvied up TransNet money.
The SDNEDC has also created a map on Google Earth for developers to use as a tool to determine if they want to invest in the region.
Branding North County is the next step.
But that could prove to be the most challenging. And it's not the first attempt at trying to brand North County either. The region is made up of coastal affluent cities, rural and unincorporated areas with individual goals, needs and interests.
For example, Carlsbad and Oceanside are currently on opposite sides of the aisle when it comes to Carlsbad's controversial Quarry Creek Housing project. And the Gregory Canyon Landfill has also been a point of contention.
Plus, the region is also split politically. Horn, a Republican, represents large unincorporated areas while Dave Roberts, the first Democrat to be elected to the county board in decades, represents coastal cities and towns along with part of Escondido.
Roberts and Horn don't see eye to eye on every issue, but giving North County a new identity is something they agree on and are collaborating to make it happen.