Mr.Abed, I read in the Times-Advocate that you think the Country Club neighborhood should be 'happy' with your deal with Michael Schlesinger.
My neighbors have suffered a $100M equity transfer from their homes to the back pocket of the Bully from Beverly Hills, and it was your capitulation that gave him exactly what he wanted all along.
I cannot for the life of me understand how you would turn around and reward Schlesinger's disgusting bullying and legal intimidation of the people who trusted you.
What has your deal gained that we didn't have before we spent thousands of volunteer hours, hundreds of thousands of homeowner donations and taxpayer dollars to properly follow the California constitutionally guaranteed citizens initiative process?
Why would you invite Olga Diaz into the negotiations when she was so obviously owned by Mr. Schlesinger? Mike Marasco doesn't live in or represent our district, so why wasn't John Masson invited to attend the negotiations? Don't bother answering that because we all know the deal was done before the meeting and you could not afford to have a council member get in the way of closing it.
Acting in the best traditions of Chicago's Mayor Daley's backroom deal making, you dismissed all of our hard won progress towards finding an equitable and forward looking solution when you took it upon yourself to hand over residential zoning that your own city attorney, as well as the uber qualified land use attorneys hired by ECCHO had all agreed was no longer applicable to the property. And for the sake of discussion, even if it was still somehow magically still zoned R1-7 (after 50 years of it being considered otherwise), it could have only happened due to your administrative malfeasance!
I don't know how a man who professes to have the interests of the citizens of Escondido can sleep at night after giving away over a hundred million dollars of our money, and flatly ignoring the voters overwhelming defeat of Proposition H.
It pains me to admit it, but your interview absolutely destroys any notion that you ever really had a grasp of the historical importance and integrity of our community, and that you are anything other than a cynical politician looking for election funding expediency.
ECC is not alone in resisting the attack on open space.
"On Friday, November 6, 2015, the Fairfax County Circuit Court granted the motion for summary judgment filed by Fairfax County. As a result of this decision, RN Golf, the owner of the golf course, would have to file a formal plan with the county in order to pursue any proposed redevelopment of the golf course. RN Golf had based its case on a letter from the county zoning administrator which the court in effect found was merely an advisory opinion and was not appealable. In light of its ruling, the court vacated the decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals from earlier this year and dismissed other motions of the various parties as moot."
Neighbors of the Reston National Golf Course in Virginia are standing up to fight....
"Connie Hartke, President of Rescue Reston, a group comprised of citizen volunteers who oppose any re-development of the golf course said “We are pleased with the court’s ruling which requires that RN Golf must go through a formal plan process before it can re-develop the golf course. However, while we have won this round, the fight is not over and RN Golf still has other options available to it including appealing today’s ruling or attempting to amend the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan. We must remain prepared to continue the fight so long as RN Golf remains committed to its attempts to destroy our community’s valuable open space.”
We have brothers and sisters all over the country fighting to stop wealthy developers from exploiting their neighborhoods for enormous profits by rezoning golf course property for massive housing tracts.
New homes can rise on the closed Mizner Trail Golf Course near Boca Raton, Palm Beach County commissioners decided Thursday, after years of developers and residents fighting over what to do with the land.
The final say, however, may come from the courts. The commission's decision to allow 252 homes is expected to spawn a legal fight over the future of the old golf course that snakes through the Boca Del Mar neighborhood.
The golf course owners have been pushing to allow development on the land since the course closed in 2005.
But through the years, a large contingent of nearby residents has been trying to protect the open spaces and golf course views they thought would always remain.
Neighborhood groups opposed to building on the golf course have said they would go to court to stop development.
"We will not go quietly. We will fight for what's ours," Boca Del Mar resident William Vale said.
"It's never going to be a golf course again," Valeche said. "I think this is the best use for it."
Building plans proposed by Compson Mizner Trail Inc. call for building 252 homes on the 130-acre golf course. That is 36 fewer homes than when commissioners in March delayed a decision on the proposal.The 252 homes would include 115 zero-lot-line houses, 45 townhomes and 92 condominiums or apartments.
Boca Del Mar residents who oppose building plans contend that the golf course that meanders through their community was always intended to remain a golf course — not become a new neighborhood that brings more traffic, lights, noise and other intrusions.
While the developers and many Boca Del Mar residents continue to differ about what to do with the closed golf course, other building plans are being considered for other Palm Beach County golf courses.The County Commission last year approved building 689 homes and an assisted-living facility on a closed golf course beside Century Village, north of Okeechobee Boulevard and west of West Palm Beach. That approval is being challenged in court.
Also, representatives for Boca Dunes Golf and Country Club and Boca Greens Country Club have had preliminary talks with the county about building homes on golf course land.
"No one is going to want to buy [a home] on a golf course, because here today, gone tomorrow," said Betty Holland, who lives near the old Mizner Trail golf course.
By Andy Reid, Sun Sentinel June 26, 2014
As I looked around at the audience at our Escondido Country Club community update meeting on Tuesday night, I couldn't help but notice how the people in the crowd are fiercely loyal to their neighborhood.
Over the past five decades, they came here for a reason and got what they wanted: a beautiful semi-rural little town, where services are nearby and the lines are short. A place with lots of open space and a resort-like feel where the trees and lakes support lots of wildlife, and it is only 20-30 minutes to the beach, downtown or even some High Sierra-like mountains and forests.
The community is safe, quiet, and blessed with weather most people would die for. And of course, we had the central point, the heart of the community, our local golf club that provided the glue that tied so many of us together, that gave the community it's identity, and that lent its green landscaping and open space security blanket to the ambience that drew most of us here in the first place.
I am sure many in attendance never played golf, and may never have been members at the club, but they too will testify that the presence of the Country Club was a stabilizing and comforting element that, now that it is gone, cannot easily be replaced with any combination of residences, strip centers or flood retention basins.
When one of the City Council members, who was attempting to rationalize his vote to restore the illusionary residential zoning to the golf course plots of land under dispute, said he couldn't understand why some of us wouldn't want the property redeveloped, I heard several attendees holler, "We already had what we wanted!"
One woman, obviously irritated, asked "Why was this ever allowed to happen? How did our community and our leadership allow this to get to this point?" She was just stunned because the whole tone of the meeting was like a memorial for a child who died too young...
Our local Council representative said, "Who would have ever thought this guy (Schlesinger) would come into our lives? Who thought this series of events about the zoning would ever happen?"
Well, that is exactly the problem! Community leaders were not watching the henhouse and the coyotes came along and now we are all looking at each other asking, "Who is responsible for this slaughter?"
It is, however, disingenuous for our leaders to claim they had 'no idea' this could happen.
The fact is Mayor Abed met with representatives of SITR before they purchased the property, and he confirmed for them that the R1-7 zoning overlay would allow them to build homes on the land. Some members of our leadership may have been asleep at the wheel, but our Mayor knew what was about to happen and he made no effort to head it off at the pass.
After the meeting I got to thinking, when the property went 'under water,' and several of the members offered to buy it, or to help it to improve its operations, the City could have, and in hindsight, should have offered to help those efforts. Once the Mayor knew that an investor had ambitions to convert the property, our leaders could have helped preserve the iconic asset by connecting recently extended recycled water supply lines to the courses irrigation system. They could have offered some tax relief, some support from the business and tourism promotional fund. They could have offered some zoning variances to allow for limited commercial development, like a small boutique hotel/spa, for instance. The golf course was, after all, one of the main attractions for out of state tourism traditionally attracting hundreds of sun seekers from all over the US.All of these ideas would have improved and enhanced the existing asset, and helped raise the tax base for the area. The Country Club was too important to the Escondido Brand to fail...
But none of that happened. In fact, the Mayor never shared his insight with the rest of the Council. Why?
When his business partner, Dick Daniels suddenly switched teams, we started to see the Mayor's true allegiance emerge. Now that the Mayor has shown his true colors by capitulating to the Bully, it is clear that he was in on the deal from the very beginning and all of these political machinations were just a circus act to affect his reelection and pave the way for him to move up the political ladder to San Diego Supervisor.
In my mind, his actions amount to a crime, similar to an arsonist. He secretly played with fire, and it ended up causing havoc in the community. He lied to us when he said he 'had our back.' He should be held accountable for reckless disregard for the security of the community he was sworn to serve and to protect.
He has culpability for the premature death of our community child.
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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