Monday, May 6, 2013
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.