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Escondido Residents Fight Proposal To Build On Golf Course

Signature gatherers are gearing up in Escondido for a campaign to prevent a developer from turning a bankrupt golf course into a housing tract.

Golf courses are suffering from escalating water rates and diminishing membership, so Escondido Country Club’s predicament is part of a trend.

Ken Lounsbery is a local attorney for the campaign to prevent the golf greens from becoming another subdivision of single-family homes.

"The citizens initiative measure is intended to restore an historic promise," he said. "Those historic zoning regulation require that the club and course be maintained as a green belt."

Erica Holloway is a a spokesperson for the course’s new owner, a developer appropriately named "Stuck In The Rough LLC."

"Our legal team looked into that," she said, "and there is no covenant or deed restrictions that preclude the property to be developed as it is currently zoned, which is for single-family housing."

If signature gatherers get support from 10 percent of Escondido’s population, the city council will decide whether to adopt the measure or put it on the ballot.

Residents have already raised a campaign war chest of almost $150,000, but a legal battle over the greens would likely cost much more.

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Avatar for user 'RegularChristian'

RegularChristian | May 6, 2013 at 7:54 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Without being too familiar with Escondido, I would think open space for the public's enjoyment would be a much better use of that land than more single family houses which can be built elsewhere.

There are more important things for a community then the sales and property taxes developers promise in exchange for permits to make their own small profits. I hope the city council in Escondido can see the long term benefits to the public.

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | May 6, 2013 at 8:37 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

money talks, voters walk

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Avatar for user 'ideashelp'

ideashelp | May 9, 2013 at 2:57 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

The reality about this situation is that it could affect any community in San Diego. But what is really disappointing is that this property has been a greenbelt, intertwined into an existing community for 50 years. It is a green space, an animal habitat, and pristine historic open space which has been a benefit to all of San Diego County for many generations. Take a drive by sometime and see its natural beauty.

The community of Escondido wants this property to remain open space. The community has asked the present owner to work with it on a plan to make this happen so that all benefit. There has been no response from the present owner, other then he will not sell it to another private interest. It has been suggested that the owner compromise and sell the property to a nonprofit which could be created, so that only the community benefits. Hopefully, a way forward can be found, where everyone wins, the community, the present owner, and the green space. We can only hope that everyone does the right thing and that the residents and community of San Diego preserves this important open, green space for future generations.

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