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San Diego County Voters To Decide Fate Of Newland Sierra Housing Project

This map shows the North County location of the proposed Newland Sierra maste...

Credit: Zach White

Above: This map shows the North County location of the proposed Newland Sierra master-planned community west of Interstate 15, June 2018.

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San Diego County’s registered voters are in a position to decide the fate of the Newland Sierra housing project, along Interstate 15 north of Escondido.

Aired: February 4, 2020 | Transcript

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.

Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.

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.

RELATED: Measure A Seeks To Change Development Rules

Reported by Erik Anderson , Video by Nicholas Mcvicker

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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Aired: January 28, 2020 | Transcript

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Erik Anderson
Environment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI focus on the environment and all the implications that a changing or challenging environment has for life in Southern California. That includes climate change, endangered species, habitat, urbanization, pollution and many other topics.

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