San Diego County Voters To Decide Fate Of Newland Sierra Housing Project
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Credit: Zach White
San Diego County voters are getting their first chance to vote on a large housing project that was previously approved by San Diego County Supervisors.
Measure B will decide whether the Newland Sierra project moves forward.
Developers want to build about 2,100 homes, retail space, trails, parks and set aside some open space near Interstate 15, just north of Escondido.
The land is currently zoned as rural or semi-rural, but project backers pushed for an amendment to the county’s development guidelines greatly increasing housing density.
County supervisors granted permission for the project, but opponents gathered enough petition signatures to force the measure onto the March ballot.
Supporters of the project say the county needs the development.
“San Diego is suffering from a severe housing crisis,” said Kenneth Moore, spokesman for Yes on Measure B. “And unfortunately the people that are hurt most by this severe housing crisis are working families in San Diego County.”
The housing development is being opposed by owners of the Golden Door Resort which promises visitors privacy, serenity and light.
“We can’t let narrow special interests of a $10,000 a week luxury spa take precedence over affordably priced housing for working families,” Moore said.
Not so says the opposition to Measure B, which says developers of the Newland Sierra project took advantage of the system.
“They got cheap land because this project wasn’t supposed to be there. And they’re going to up-zone it and they’re going to make over a billion dollars,” said Clif Williams, a Measure B opponent.
County voters will decide, for the first time, whether they agree or disagree with the board of supervisors, which approved the general plan amendment allowing the project to move forward.
“This is the people of San Diego saying we’ve had enough of these sprawl developments and we’re not going to allow it to happen,” Williams said.
A yes vote on measure B allows the project to be built. A no vote overturns the supervisor’s approval.
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