We are starting to see a concerted effort by New Urban West, the designated builder of a proposed new housing plan for the abandoned Escondido Country Club property. They are flooding social and news media with public relations releases about how their 'new' plan would provide new jobs and lots of tax revenues for the city of Escondido. They paint a rosy picture for all people who will not be affected by the massive development, but conveniently forget to mention how little it would do to help the inhabitants of the immediate community recover their loses, or preserve the character of the town they built. Nor do they note that a very similar plan, under Proposition H, was defeated on a citywide ballot vote, by a 2 to 1 margin, back in 2014.
Currently, local homes have lost up to $100K in equity, due to the deteriorating condition of the centerpiece of the community, and the uncertainty of the outcome of the hostile takeover of the community by an out of town property flipper.
Of course it will help to move the process of repurposing the property ahead, we all want that! But don't be bullied by the 'divide and conquer' and 'stop the decline' strategy employed by the one person who stands to gain the most from the high density plan. Remember, he is solely responsible for the mess we are in. It is all part of his master plan.
The zero sum choice of nearly 400 new houses, new streets, driveways, walls and fences plus thousands of cars, new demands on public services and water usage versus a combination of alternative designs emphasizing open space, habitat preservation, and senior-oriented housing is a false choice. It is a dishonest appraisal of the potential that exists for restoring the quality of life that drew most of us to move here in the first place.
The fact that the property looks so bad is the result of a purposeful effort to extort consent from the distraught neighbors to build highly profitable, wall-to-wall homes. If the owner had kept the 'unprofitable' golf business going during this period of redesign, he would have spent far less money and the community would not have been financially wrecked. He would have gained the respect and collaboration of the community.
Instead, his self centered and singular approach has carpet bombed our home values and ignored our needs, simply to achieve a massive return on investment with little or no concern for what the neighborhood will look like in ten years.
So please, ignore the public relations hype, look down the road, and try to envision a new image for Northwest Escondido. In the spirit of compromise and for the sake of those who already live here, most of whom have invested much of their life in building the ambience and desirability of our community, tell your local representatives that the current plan is not good enough.
We can do much better for the victims of this mess, and also for the future residents of our little corner of Paradise.
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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....