Escondido Country Club: Debate over proposed development continu - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Escondido Country Club: Debate over proposed development continues

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ESCONDIDO (NEWS 8) – For years people living near the former Escondido Country Club have debated over a plan to build houses on the abandoned golf course.

The Santa Monica developer New Urban West wants to build The Villages, a development plant that includes 380 powered homes.

On Tuesday, the Escondido Planning Commission considered approving the proposal and for two hours those in favor of the housing project said they just want to move on from the long saga that has plagued their neighborhood.

"We love the four miles of walking trails and the 42 percent preserved open space," said Miles Grimes, with Renew Our Country Club group, ROCC.

The Escondido Chamber of Commerce said it supports housing like the proposed plan, but those against it said they are disappointed the Planning Commission is moving forward for a City Council vote.

“We want something reasonable and we want to be responsible,” said Mike Slater, president of the Escondido Country Club Homeowners Organization, ECCHO.

The development plan has gained the support of the ROCC group to revive the land that was once a jewel.

“Currently, the clubhouse is an attraction for the undesirable in our community. There is graffiti gang signs and severe vandalism,” said one supporter.

The ECCHO has been fighting any proposed development – arguing it’s too dense for its zoning, traffic congestion and would rather see half the number of homes on the property.

“The notion of blighted condition, this is the wrong place to put his purpose,” said ECCHO attorney and opponent, Everett Delano.

Jonathan Frankel, with New Urban West Project Management, said “what can each of us do this week, this month, this year to be part of the solution.”

The City Council is scheduled to vote on the village’s housing project on November 15.

In 2014, voters defeated Prop H, which stopped a larger housing development on the former country club, owned by Michael Schlesinger – who at the time was accused of dumping chicken manure on the land as retaliation against opponents.

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