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Judge Changes Ballot Arguments For Lilac Hills Measure

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.

The Lilac Hills Ranch development in Valley Center that goes before San Diego County voters in November as Measure B had its ballot arguments slightly changed by a Superior Court judge's ruling.

Measure B would allow Accretive Investments to move forward with its proposed development, which would place more than 1,700 homes and 90,000 square feet of commercial space on agricultural land that is currently zoned to hold 110 new homes and no commercial space.

RELATED: Lilac Hills Initiative Gives Voters An Important Choice

Attorneys for the developer wanted language by opponents modified in about two dozen instances, but the judge ruled in their favor in only about half of them. Opponents had wanted to say in their statement that the developer would not have to build a school, but Accretive Investment has already entered into an agreement to build one as part of the project.

Opponents wanted to say that the development was in violation of the county's general plan. But the wording was changed to "inconsistent" with the general plan.

"The court supported our concerns about Measure B: It is inconsistent with the general plan, it will not provide affordable housing, and the developer's contributions to address known traffic impacts are a drop in the bucket compared to what it will cost taxpayers to keep traffic flowing," James Gordon of the No on B campaign said. "San Diego voters are committed to defeating this ill-conceived measure."

The project would place a town roughly the size of Del Mar in a rural area that currently lacks roads, water, sewers and emergency services to support a population of this size, opponents said. The county's analysis of Measure B indicated that the project would add more than 19,000 daily car trips to regional roads, freeways and highways.

Judge Eddie C. Sturgeon issued his ruling on the accuracy of ballot arguments submitted against Measure B Tuesday, on the eve of the registrar of voters deadline for ballot statements.

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