In 1959, at a boy scout meeting I got hit in the forehead by a swing. My mom rushed me to the hospital, and they put in a dozen stitches. It took over 50 years, but the scar is no longer visible. I still have one on my left hand I incurred at 13 years of age when I crashed my FlexiFlyer. It is still visible, but it was a very nasty tear that wasn't treated properly. It wasn't on my face so my mom just cleaned it with hydrogen peroxide and wrapped it with a butterfly bandage.
Our Country Club community has been living with an untreated wound for over six years. Hundreds of homeowners were involved in a massive pileup, and some had life-threatening wounds. A few didn't survive.
The doctors and the patients couldn't agree on a treatment plan, so the wound festered. Just this week the doctors brought in a team of cosmetic surgeons to remodel the wounded area. It will be a long and difficult operation. I am sure when the procedure is complete, the repaired neighborhood will look very good. Not like new, because that is impossible. Not like before, because that is only a dream.
Will there still be scars? Only in the minds of some people who have lived here for decades and remember what it looked like before the car wreck. Old skin always looks different than the new skin, and the stitch marks will be around for awhile as the community heals.
Will the patient be able to return to normal activities? Yes, they say we will see a new, healthy and active neighborhood. It will be different, but still fun and attractive. It's called gentrification. It is a normal and healthy life-cycle for older neighborhoods. The older homes will be attractive to young couples looking for a less expensive starter home. The newer homes will be attractive to growing families with plans for a lifetime.
Time, they say, heals all wounds.
I have lived long enough to see the truth in that. But some wounds are not cosmetic, not something that is easy to see, and much more difficult to treat properly. War veterans know what I am alluding to. The Country Club neighborhood is made up of all different kinds of veterans of the War On Escondido. Some like to talk about it, some don't.
Now that peace has been declared, and the rebuilding has begun, it is good that many of the oldest and most experienced vets will get some benefits to help them recover. And everyone will be comforted to know there will be no more insecurity, no more lawyers and courtrooms, no more threats of lawsuits. There is some grass on the other side of the hill.
But the memories linger. Sometimes it hurts to look at what was for many years our perfect little corner of paradise. To see the golf carts zooming around the streets, to smell the fresh cut grass, and to swing by the clubhouse for a beer before going home for dinner.
Like any conflict, there will always be remnants of the past to remind us of those times, but for the next generation, it will be all too easy to forget.
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....
What Happened to Our Community?
The story of how a quiet corner of paradise has devolved into
To review the timelines of this ongoing saga, just <click> on any Month below....
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