From what I have read MS is now involved at Cottonwood CC golf course. Apparently he will turn it into a sand farm. And New Urban West has been designated as the potential developer at Carmel Mountain Ranch Golf Course too.
Together they have discovered a growth industry here in San Diego.
As for Stoneridge in Poway, here is the latest news report...
(Amanda Brandeis, ABC Channel 10 news Aug, 6, 2019)
"Poway developer Kevin McNamara hopes neighbors will support his plan for the defunct golf course.
McNamara calls his development "The Farms at Stoneridge." It has an agricultural theme, including hiking trails, parks, community gardens, and a butterfly farm. It would also bring 160 homes to the area.
Voters will get a chance to vote on the plan in 2020.
A community workshop will be held in September and McNamara urges people with questions or suggestions to email him at email@example.com."
The organization representing the iconic golf retirement community (the Escondido Country Club Homeowners Organization (ECCHO) has reached a definitive agreement with the property owner's designated developer, New Urban West, Inc. (NUWI). The war over the future development of the now fallow golf course property came to an end on July 4th 2019. The settlement brings six years of conflict to a halt. It stops all further litigation and and gives the broken community a green light to rebuild itself.
Was the war worth it?
Since 2012 the ambience and future of the community has been in a state of war as the Beverly Hills-based property speculator battled the self-funded non-profit homeowners organization ( ECCHO ) for the right to redevelop the property as a housing development. By now we all know what the dispute was all about. The argument boiled down to what degree of influence should the settled community have on designs to reinvent their homeland.
Some will say in America property rights are sacrosanct: If the owner has the proper zoning, or if he can get it from city planners after the fact, then stand aside and let the process play out. Others will say, wait a minute, shouldn't the people who have sculpted the appeal of the neighborhood since 1964, have some influence on the direction their new neighbor takes their community?
During the battle, it became clear that the war of attrition would come down to financial considerations. The community group was made up of hundreds of long term residents who were living out their retirement on limited incomes. But they dug deep and contributed thousands of dollars to the defense fund. But compared to the deep pockets of the property owner, they were outgunned. Fortunately, there were a few determined ECCHO members who had the financial wear-with-all to keep the issue of community integrity in the news, to hire quality legal council, and to push for some sense of balance in the ultimate legal disposition of the 109 acres of prime North County real estate.
Now that the parties have settled, the question is who won? Is this settlement just a delayed pre-ordained outcome or did ECCHO actually win any substantial concessions?
The answer is mixed. Many will be disappointed that the developer will be allowed to build just under 400 residences. Most of those folks would have been a lot happier with something like 200 units and lots of open space preserving the established tree stands and natural habitats. Others are very happy that the plan New Urban West Inc. (NUWI) developed will be built.
The reality is that both parties did have to compromise. NUWI promised to contribute $750K to a compensation fund for those that donated to the resistance effort. By doing that they acknowledged the nobility of the residents efforts. They also agreed to major upgrades to traffic mitigation efforts, and to require unfettered public access to community parks and walking trials that will eventually be built by other builders. In return, ECCHO dropped their legal appeal and stepped aside, allowing NUWI to move ahead immediately on their already approved redevelopment plans.
The moral to the story is that David stood up to Goliath but suffered some serious trauma. The golf course and the beauty it brought to our community is long gone, and we have all come to grips with that fact. The loss of the comradery of club membership, the golf, the pool, the tennis and special community events tore us apart. Many folks were forced to move and take deep discounts on their home equity as property values sunk from the undetermined future of the golf course property. The Escondido Country Club Community passed away in 2012.
On the other side, the owner/speculator will have a nice return on his investment, and because New Urban West worked with the local residents, after some hard fought legal leverage was applied, we can only hope that their experience in these kinds of projects ( i.e., Brookside/Reidy Creek) will pick up the pieces and put our broken community back together.
I have suffered a death in my family. I am attending a reunion and memorial for my older brother in Montana. I will be very sentimental for a few more days and unable to comment on anything. But like the situation in my community, my sentiments are not as important as the legacy that remains. As one door closes, another one opens....
Over 35 years ago, when I was a newlywed, I worked from home. My wife would come home from work for lunch and we would watch Days Of Our Lives together as we ate.
At first I had a hard time getting into the seemingly mundane narrative of the small town characters and their conflicts. Over time I began to appreciate the acting, the writing, the moral dilemmas and the never ending drama of neighborhood conflict. Every once in a while, 54 years later, I will catch an episode and think "Wow, they are still going at it?"
Shortly after moving to Escondido I joined the Escondido Country Club. A few years later my wife started working at the clubhouse as a cocktail/special events server. For the next 20 years we lived in our little version of Salem. The drama never stopped between member cliques, member boards and the management. Like the characters on the TV show, owners and members came and went, lived and died, and some left and came back again.
And like the show, we got used to it and ultimately found solace in being a part of a community of like-minded golfers and local homeowners. We shared more than just a golf experience. The club sponsored all kinds of charity events, tournaments, estate sales, financial services workshops and holiday and graduation parties. Our kids used the pool and tennis courts, and many friends were married under the towering eucalyptus trees.
Our community centerpiece survived ownership changes, recessions and lawsuits until one day in 2012 when everything changed. Since that day half the community feels betrayed, and the other half feels, well, betrayed...
We both call each other names, scream invectives and claim one side is holding the other side 'hostage'. An outsider might think they were watching the latest iditoration of Days of Our Lives, but we are only one soap opera of many.
Meantime, while lawsuits continue to stop the current owner from redeveloping the abandoned golf course property with a high density city-within-a-city, we can all agree the current situation is tragic and sad.
If there is one thing that leaves me annoyed, just as the storyline of weekly soap operas often do, it is the total lack of dignity the various characters show for each other. They shake each others hands at community events, then turn around and trash talk about them privately. They assign preposterous motivations to "suspects" in nefarious plot machinations, then a few years later watch their kids get married!
Until I actually lived it, I never bought the idea that people actually did stuff like that. Now I know I was wrong. Maybe that is what attracts daytime soap opera viewers: Exposing the dark side of otherwise nice neighbors next door.
Television is fantasy and requires unrealistic plot twists to keep an audience, but our community drama is very real and as I have often said, a human tragedy that was never intended to be so destructive to people who were otherwise minding their own business.
Having said that, there is evidence that the producers of the series are spinning off many other soap operas of a similar plot because the series is very profitable, so if anyone wants to look at who is benefiting most from the storyline, it isn't much of a secret.
"This is not the first time Bobby Heath or Michael Schlesinger have devastated communities in order to sell homes. Golf properties in San Diego, Escondido, Corona, Rancho Mirage, and others have been owned or operated by Heath and/or Schlesinger and shut down in order to force the local residents to allow additional development of homes, hotels, apartments, etc. WGP and Michael Schlesinger purchase, invests in, or controls golf courses as a modern-day land-grab. If the local residents resist their efforts, they destroy the community." - Mike Konrad, https://www.victoryforvellano.com/
Stay tuned, the script is still being written...
What Happened to Our Community?
The story of how a quiet corner of paradise has devolved into
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