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Group Behind Defeat Of Carlsbad Project Lends Support To Anti-Measure B Campaign

Photo caption: Area in Valley Center where Lilac Hills Ranch project is planned, Aug. 30, 2016.

Photo by Alison St John

Area in Valley Center where Lilac Hills Ranch project is planned, Aug. 30, 2016.

A grassroots group that defeated a well-funded initiative earlier this year is now working with opponents of Measure B, a much bigger land-use initiative on this November’s ballot.

Community members who helped defeat a well-funded initiative earlier this year are now working with opponents of Measure B, a much bigger land-use initiative on this November’s ballot.

Measure B will give every voter in San Diego County a say on whether to build a master-planned community development on semi-rural land in Valley Center. Lilac Hills Ranch would add 1,700 homes and 90,000 square feet of retail and commercial space in an area where the county's current General Plan calls for just 110 homes.

Lilac Hills Ranch LLC has contributed $1 million to the campaign to educate voters about the benefits of the plan. The group opposed to the initiative has declared $21,000 in contributions.

Cori Schumacher said her community defeated Measure A, a plan to build an upscale mall on the shores of a Carlsbad lagoon, in February, despite being outspent 100 to one.

Schumacher said she is working with the opponents of Measure B, to use social media to counterbalance the influence of TV advertising.

“Money only has an impact in a political vacuum. Social media and getting the word out is functionally the same as a great deal of money,” she said. “Social media is the great equalizer when it comes to grassroots campaigns.”

The special election in Carlsbad involved only 66,000 registered voters. Campaigns for and against Measure B in November will need to reach out to the 1.5 million people registered to vote countywide.

Clarification: Citizens for North County, the group primarily responsible for defeating Carlsbad's Measure A in February, has not yet taken a position on Measure B, the Lilac Hills Ranch Initiative.

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