Your Questions on Proposition H:
Who do you Trust?
How much did the new owner pay for the Escondido Country Club property?
Using the projected 430 lots, we estimate less than $4K per lot. Do the math....this is an opportunity of a lifetime if you are a serious property 'Flipper.'
Why didn't the membership buy the property and save the golf course?
The ownership at that time (La Jolla Development Group) had driven the business into the ground. They had drained all the cash reserves and allowed the facilities to deteriorate. Clearly, it was going to take serious cash and industry expertise to correct.
Shouldn't the owner be allowed to develop it?
He should. But not without due process and consideration of the impact on the existing community. The City and the residents built this town and have a vested interest in it's future and a right to be included in the planning process. This property flipper has shown no concern for anything other than self enrichment.
Wouldn't new homes be a better solution than letting the property deteriorate?
New homes use water, they bring additional traffic impact, they need classrooms and city services. They may well be a part of the long-term solution, but under the terms of Prop H, there would be nothing to mitigate those impacts and nothing to replace the lost value the golf course green belt brought to the neighborhood.
What does Proposition H really do?
It is a legal shortcut for the real estate speculator to implement his self-serving, high density mobile home sized housing tract without going through the usual planning and collaboration process that should be expected before a project of this size was ever approved. It maximizes the flipper's ROI.
Why did the City Council let this happen?
Mr. Schlesinger has a powerful team behind him. This is a potential goldmine for him, so he is investing a ton of money to force his plan through. They have triangulated themselves to either win approval through the ballot box, or sue their way to mega profits through the courts.
The City has been caught off guard and may be getting outfoxed.
That is why we, the Citizens, have to
VOTE NO ON PROP H!
What is the alternative to 'The Lakes' plan?
The best alternative is to VOTE NO ON H, then see what the court says about the 'takings' lawsuit. From there our City will have some leverage to reevaluate the future of the property and protect the community from urbanization and decay.
Does the City really face bankruptcy over the owner's 'takings' lawsuit?
No. The City manager has stated Escondido has the were-with-all to see this through. There are many different legal scenarios that could result, but the fact is it is in the best interests of the City to reassert the original intentions of the master plan for the Northwest part of Escondido, and find a way to remodel it for the benefit of all of the community, not just the wallet of one real estate speculator who will take all of his profits back home to LA.
I don't know much about this issue, so who should I trust?
Yes on H has a former California State Senator Dennis Hollingsworth supporting it. Mr. Hollingsworth lives in Murrieta, CA. It is not clear where he fits in.Yes on H has one person from the area, former homebuilder Michael Crews, who is on the payroll to voice his support. Mr. Schlesinger paid signature gatherers nearly $6 a piece to get his Prop H initiative on the November ballot..they certainly supported him.
Other than that, he has a lot of money.
Mr. Schlesinger has routinely made questionable claims about his supposed collaboration with various homeowner groups, his contributions to local charities, and his concerns for the local homeowners, while simultaneously suing many of them, and then dumping truckloads of untreated chicken waste near their homes to intimidate them. When confronted about it, he said it was a mistake and it happened without his consent...must have come from a disgruntled employee...?
He recently told reporters that when he initially bought the course, he gave serious consideration to keeping it in operation, only to learn later that is was losing money. So then he decided to go into the tract building business!
Come on, how stupid do you think we are?
Now he wants to do something no one has ever done in Southern California: build an enormous housing tract in the middle of a settled community. It would represent the largest infill project in San Diego history, by someone who has never built a single house before!
Really? It would be the blind leading the blind!
On the other hand...
The NO ON PROP H support group consists of all local Escondido people. People like Ken Lounsbery, a renown property rights litigator and former Deputy Mayor of Escondido. We have support from former Mayor Lorraine Boyce, former Councilman Dick Daniels, former Escondido Police Chief Mike Stein, High School Football Coaching legend Chick Embrey plus current City Council members Ed Gallo, Mike Morasco and John Masson. We have hundreds of volunteers who helped gather signatures for the Property Rights Initiative and our NO ON PROP H house-to-house, people-to- people information campaign. Our support comes from grassroots neighbors helping neighbors.
Ultimately, this is a question of trust.
So, do you trust the elected Escondido City Council, who voted unanimously to save the greenbelt, the Escondido City planners who gave serious consideration and due diligence to the Master Plan back in 1963 when they designated the golf course to be 'Golf/Park' use only?
Do you trust the people who live in Escondido, who have built local businesses and invested their life savings into their homes and their community, those who have dedicated their time to volunteer to save their neighborhood?
Or, should we turn this whole thing over to the
Flippers From LA?
As I walk and talk to Escondido voters about Proposition H most people ask, "Do you have an alternative plan to building 430 homes on the property?"
Normally, I just point out, "it doesn't matter unless we stop The Lakes from being approved on November 4th."
But I wish I could say "Yes, I do. I am not a multi millionaire property developer, and I do not have an investment in this property, so it is not really my duty to come up with such a plan.
But since you asked..."
I suggested back in April of 2013 that this property could easily support a timeshare development. Marriot, or Hyatt, or any of the major fractional ownership developers who want to compete with Lawrence Welk, could cluster timeshare units on the periphery of a more compact executive golf course. The acreage could support walking trails, an outdoor concert facility, some special events and meeting facilities so groups would be able to hold weddings, graduations, retirement parties, business meetings and other events such as art shows or antique auctions.
Timeshare owners would have access to swimming pools, tennis courts, exercise and fitness equipment gyms. Other outdoor activities like shuffle board or lawn bowling, fire pits and barbeques. A health spa would be open to the public.
There would be room for some public motorhome short term hookups, maybe even a fishing lake and a frisbee golf course or a dog park.
I could also see a mixed use retail cluster to support a restaurant, maybe a sports bar or a place to pool regional winemakers, a 'Best of North County Wine Tasting Room' if you will.
These are the kind of creative and value adding features the neighborhood is looking for. Instead of the demise of the private course becoming an eyesore of a massive wall-to-wall housing tract, we need to look at this as an opportunity to reinvigorate our brand, not dilute it!
The Escondido Country Club community has traditionally attracted a substantial number of Snowbirds from northern climates and Zonies from the sweltering desert climates. They come and spend money on recreation and entertaining themselves, going to the Zoo Safari and our Arts Center. The want to play golf and sit outside at night watching the stars and listening to music. The want to take advantage of our moderate daytime and evening weather over 300 days of the year!
The Lawrence Welk Resort is proof that this kind of attraction will work in North San Diego County.
Escondido leaders should encourage more tourist dollars be spent right here instead of at Lake San Marcos, or La Costa, or the Rancho Bernardo Inn!
Our neighborhood needs a place to gather for family activities, for community events and school functions and celebrations. All of this is part and parcel of what makes this a great place to live, and a great place to visit too!
When you deduct the one element that tied this community together and simply replace it with more housing units to the exclusion of any other amenities, you turn a semi-rural, resort style community into a monolithic suburb, devoid of any intrinsic value or identity.
This will ultimately degrade the appeal of the community, lower values of the older homes which will discourage reinvestment, which in turn continues the spiral of destruction of the neighborhood.
I realize these ideas make assumptions that may or may not be possible, but the thought process, the determination that this part of the City of Escondido is worth remodeling is intriguing. There is a huge difference between building a 430 room addition and completely remodeling, modernizing and rebranding an entire resort-style community.
Revitalizing the Escondido Country Club community with a variety of attractive amenities will enhance the Escondido experience, bring renewed attention from tourists, and encourage existing homeowners to reinvest and revitalize their homes.
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....
You might also like:
What happened on November 9th, 2016? Can anyone tell us how Donald Trump became leader of the free world?
Will Progressives ever own up to how they have divided the country? They whine and complain, but the truth is their policies always result in unintended consequences.
I explore how Trump's Reckoning with the Cult of Progressivism is the only medicine that can restore the American Spirit of Exceptionalism, and how the world needs Americanism to thrive.
Click here to buy it now!