Escondido campaign to stop development on golf course kicks off - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Escondido campaign to stop development on golf course kicks off

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ESCONDIDO (CBS 8) – New campaign signs against Prop H in Escondido are being planted in yards opposing a housing development at the former country club and golf course.

“The whole area is blighted,” said Escondido Country Club homeowner, Deanna McHose. “We used to have this lush beautiful green golf course."

With 10 weeks to the November 4 election, Proposition H is on the ballot, an initiative to develop the country club and golf course into a housing development funded by Hollywood developer Michael Schlesinger.

The Escondido Country Club Homeowners Organization or ECCHO are kicking off an aggressive campaign against Prop H.

“It's really a grassroots, gorilla campaign and it has to be boots on the ground,” said Escondido realtor Rick Elkin.

Schlesinger who owns Stuck in the Rough. He bought the 100 plus acres in 2012 and closed the country club and golf course to build about 400 homes and an olympic size pool on the land.

“It's not realistic because of the traffic situation. Schools, the general environment itself they have to wrap up the roads,” said McHose.

The city council voted to make the land open space but now it's stuck in court. The owner filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Schlesinger has been called a bully and accused of pulling shady tactics such as dumping chicken manure on the land to get back at outspoken homeowners.

“This issue is about trust in my opinion. It's not about a bunch of spoiled older golfers who have lost their golf course,” said Elkin.

McHose has lived across the street from what used to be the golf course for more than a decade. She used to enjoy walking her dogs in the neighborhood but says not anymore.

“It's just not pleasant to do that anymore that sounds selfish but it was really at one time a very beautiful area,” said McHose.

While many of these homeowners are in their golden years, they are not going to give up their open space so easily.

“I don't think anyone in this community wants to go down without a fight that's for sure,” said Elkin.

CBS News 8 emailed the developer's spokesperson for a statement but as of news time the message has not been returned

Council member and mayoral candidate Olga Diaz recently announced she supports the initiative.
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