380 Homes To Be Built On Defunct Escondido Country Club Golf Course
November 16, 2017 1:15 p.m.
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Alison St. John, reporter, KPBS News
The long battle over the fate of the old Escondido country club golf course may have been settled last night by the city Council. Lawmakers voted 3-2 to approve a plan to build houses. The boat could and a five-year dispute which began when the owner bought the property and closed the golf course. It is the controversy that's given rise to lawsuits, elections and chicken manure. Joining me is Alison St John. The plan that they approve last night was put forward by new urban west developers after the previous plan was rejected. Do you think having this new sign-on was a key to getting approval?Well, it did make a difference because Michael lost any kind of support in Escondido when he used a strategy to put off the homeowners around the golf course. He created a foul odor that earned him $100,000 fine from the county. So he basically realized that he was not going to win back the community support and he had it over the project to another developer which is of the one that came up with this plan that was approved last night.What can you tell us about the plan?380 homes on the golf course. It would include three villages and be 40 acres of open space included and it Community Center. It has buffer zones. If you are a homeowner on the edge of the golf course it would have buffers in the backyard. There would be some green space surrounding the new property in a between the old houses in the new properties.This actually contains more homes than the initial proposal.Right back at the beginning in 2013 when Michael shut it down, he suggested building 280 homes. They would have been larger homes and it might not have been a buffer zone. Some people say you would've done better if you would've accepted the offer.How will this help Escondido meet the number of homes that they are supposed to build?Sendak has made projections that suggested that Escondido's housing needs and build most by 2020 in order to meet the needs. In the last few years they've built three or 400. This would be a step in the right direction. Escondido is not alone and not meeting their housing need assessment goals. Like many cities it is way behind in this would contribute to the crisis.This is going to increase traffic congestion in the area.Everybody agrees on that even the city says this is the impact that will be a lot more traffic on the 15. There's no guarantee that Caltrans will invest in doing anything about that interchange. They concluded that this is something that you cannot mitigate for and the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.This developer faced a setback on a similar project in Poway. What you think we are seeing two separate outcomes for these developments?In Poway that is a different situation for the developer because that land is zoned as open space. In Escondido, it was only zoned for development. The city tried to change the zoning after he bought it back to open space and the court said no. So the situation in Escondido is different because the zoning has been up for development from the beginning. I think what happened last night could be a bit of a portly thing for Poway. Poway is a different type of community. It remains to be seen how these situations resolve themselves. The community in Escondido is not finished finding either. I spoke to somebody who said that they are considering their next moves the.You can see that in what I read about the public testimony that was heard by the Escondido city Council about this vote on the development and it was pretty evenly divided.Yes, I think there might've been more people against it last night. The city Council -- the three members of the city Council who voted for it said this is the best way to get Michael off your back. You have a developer that we trust to will take it over. If you keep fighting you might get fewer homes but you will get all the amenities. The people who are still opposed Saint our property values have been reduced by this vote and we may turn around and sue the city for harming our property values and for taking what we thought would about the homes was going to remain open space. We shall see what happens.I've been speaking with reporter Alison St John. Thank you.Thank you.