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....
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