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Proponent, Opponent Discuss Revived Lilac Hills Ranch Development

February 26, 2018 1:42 p.m.

Proponent, Opponent Discuss Revived Lilac Hills Ranch Development

GUESTS:

Jon Rilling, project manager, Ranch Capital

Steve Hutchinson, member, Valley Center Community Planning Group

Related Story: Proponent, Opponent Discuss Revived Lilac Hills Ranch Development

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

>>> SAN DIEGO VOTERS MAY HAVE THOUGHT THEY HAD HEARD THE END OF THE LILAC HILLS DEVELOPMENT WHEN THEY DEFEATED THE PLAN IN 2016. BUT NOW AN UPDATED VERSION OF HOUSING DEVELOPMENT HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE COUNTY. LILA KIER'S RANCH STILL CALLS FOR 1746 NEW HOMES AND CONDOS ON 608 ACRES OF UNDEVELOPED LAND IN VALLEY CENTER. DEVELOPER SAY THIS PROPOSAL INCORPORATES ALMOST ALL THE CHANGES COUNTY PLANNERS ORIGINALLY REQUESTED, AND WOULD HELP EASE SAN DIEGO'S CRITICAL HOUSING SHORTAGE. JOINING ME IS JOHN WELLING, PROJECT MANAGER FOR THE DEVELOPMENT WITH RANCH CAPITAL. WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>> SOME EVEN SAID AN OVERWHELMING KNOW INTO THIS DEVELOPMENT IN 2016. IT WAS DEVELOPED BY 64% OF THE VOTE. WHY PROPOSE THE SAME SIZE DEVELOPMENT IN THE SAME AREA AND EXPECT A DIFFERENT ANSWER?
>> BECAUSE MEASURE B WAS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THAN WHAT THE CURRENT PROJECT IS. THE CURRENT PROJECT IS MEANINGFULLY BETTER. IT INCORPORATES ALL THE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT THE COUNTY ORIGINALLY WANTED. OR A NEW MODEL FIRE STATION OR TWO DOZEN LOCAL ROAD IMPROVEMENTS. THEY WILL GENERATE MORE ENERGY THAN THEY CONSUME. A VERY ROBUST TRAFFIC DEMAND MANAGEMENT PLAN THAT WILL HELP WITH CONGESTION, NOT JUST ON LOCAL ROADS, BUT ALSO THE FREEWAYS. THE CULMINATION OF THIS ENTIRE NEW PLAN IS THAT THE COMMUNITY WILL BE A FIRST-EVER VILLAGE IN THE COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO TO HAVE A ZERO CARBON FOOTPRINT.
>> ONE OF THE PROBLEMS UPON OPPONENTS HAD WAS THE DENSITY.
>>'S WE ARE IN A HOUSING PROJECT RIGHT NOW. FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS THE COUNTY IS ONLY BUILT HALF THE AMOUNT OF HOMES THAT IT NEEDS. THE PROJECT WOULD PROVIDE CONDOS AND TOWNHOMES, MULTIFAMILY, SINGLE-FAMILY, SENIOR HOMES AND IT WOULD CREATE A MULTIGENERATIONAL COMMUNITY. SOMETHING THAT GRANDPARENTS COULD LIVE NEXT TO THEIR CHILDREN, AND GRANDCHILDREN WITHIN A 10 MINUTE WALK FOR BETWEEN 300-$600,000. THAT'S RIVERSIDE PRICING.
>> WOULDN'T IT BE MORE COST-EFFECTIVE TO BUILD A HOUSING PROJECT THAT COMPLIES WITH THE COUNTY'S GENERAL PLAN? IN OTHER WORDS, IN AREAS WITH EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE LIKE ROADS, FIRE STATIONS AND SCHOOLS, THE KINDS OF THINGS YOU'VE AGREED TO BUILD AS PART OF LILAC HILLS?
>> EXCELLENT QUESTION. SO THE COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO BACK A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO VERIFIED THAT LILAC HILLS RANCH COMPLIES WITH ALL OF THE GOALS AND CAUGHT POLICIES. IT COMPLIES BECAUSE IT IS IN THE EXACT RIGHT LOCATION. IT IS RIGHT OFF THE 15 FREEWAY. SMART GROWTH, IT HAS ALL THE INFRASTRUCTURE IT'S IN THE SEWER AND WATER DISTRICT. THE SEWER IS ABOUT A MILE AWAY, THERE ARE ROADS.
>> BUT PRESENTLY, IT IS ONLY ZONED FOR 100 HOMES.
>> THAT'S CORRECT. ZONING IS ONLY ONE COMPONENT OF A GENERAL PLAN. UNDER THE EXISTING ZONING, WHICH YOU WOULD HAVE IS 100 FIVE-ACRE McMANSIONS, BUT ONLY 1% OF THE POPULATION COULD AFFORD. SO THAT'S THE TRADE-OFF.
>> THE LILAC HILLS FIRE BROKE OUT LAST YEAR IN AN AREA EXTREMELY CLOSE TO THIS PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT. WE'VE BEEN TOLD WIRE -- WILDFIRES WILL BECOME MORE FIERCE AND MORE FREQUENT. WHY BUILD AN AREA THAT'S THE VERY DEFINITION OF AN URBAN INTERFACE FIRE RESCUE.
>> IT'S OVER HALF OF THE COUNTY IS IN SUCH AN AREA. THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT LILAC HILLS RANCH IS HELD TO A HIGHER STANDARD. FOR EXAMPLE, THE COMMUNITY HAS A FIRE PROTECTION PLAN. THAT FIRE PROTECTION PLAN WAS APPROVED BY THE LOCAL FIRE DISTRICT. THAT ENSURES THAT ALL THE HOMES ARE FIRE SAFE. MEANING THEY ALL HAVE FIRE SAFE -- SPIDER -- FIRE SPRINKLERS AND BUILD OUT OF MATERIALS THAT ARE NONCOMBUSTIBLE. THE PROJECT WOULD GENERATE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS THAT WOULD GO TO THE LOCAL FIRE DISTRICTS. SO THEY COULD STAFF THAT FIRE STATION. THE FIRE STATION CAN COVER THE ENTIRE PROJECT WITHIN FIVE MINUTES. IT CAN ALSO COVER A LOT OF THE AREA IN THE DISTRICT.
>> LAST TIME LILA KILLS DEVELOPERS CHOSE TO BYPASS THE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND GO RIGHT TO THE VOTERS, WHAT KIND OF ROUTE IS THIS NEW TEAM GONNA TAKE ON?
>> WE WILL SIT DOWN WITH TEAMS ON OUR SIDE, AND THEN AT THE TIME WHEN THE COUNTY DETERMINES THAT ALL OF THE INFORMATION HAS BEEN PROPERLY ADDRESSED, THEY WILL BRING US TO THE DECISION-MAKERS.
>> AND THAT WOULD BE THE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.
>> THAT WOULD BE THE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.
>> I'VE BEEN SPEAKING WITH JOHN WILLING, PROJECT MANAGER FOR THE LILA KILLS BRANCH DEVELOPMENT.