New fight to save neighborhood near country club - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

New fight to save neighborhood near country club

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ESCONDIDO (CBS 8) - People who live near the now-defunct Escondido Country Club are fighting to save their neighborhood.

Homeowners have gathered enough signatures to qualify for the Citizens Property Rights Initiative that would preserve the land as green space.

The Escondido neighborhood put through a gauntlet of emotions.

"It makes me want to cry," Jerry Swadley of the Escondido Country Club Homeowners Organization said.

A view from above shows how much of the green at the Escondido Country Club golf course has dried up.

"The grass and trees are dying, the wildlife has left or died," Swadley said.

Dozens who live on or near the closed down course didn't let their drive die with it. Residents gathered 9,000 signatures targeting Stuck in the Rough, a Los Angeles developer group that recently bought the country club. They're demanding the new owners preserve and maintain the green. Stuck in the Rough wants to build about 450 homes on top of the closed down course.

Escondido City Clerk Diane Halverson now has 30 days to verify 951 pages of signatures.

"You don't see this kind of response unless there's a fundamental right that's being violated," homeowner Jim Ahler said.

For the dozens of residents who showed up in green shirts, the color is about the nature they miss and the perceived greed they've had more than enough of.

"Money is worth more to them than the quality of life we have at the Escondido Country Club," Ahler said.

The city clerk has until august 20 to validate all the signatures and get back to the homeowners.

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