Michael, many times during the campaign, you said Proposition H, the Lakes Specific Plan was on the ballot because "11,000 Escondido voters signed the petition to put it on the ballot, they wanted it on the ballot."
Prop H was crushed at the polls.
It is clear what the voters don't want. They don't want 430 homes jammed onto the golf course fairways. They don't want 'free recreational' facilities that they will end up subsidizing for generations. They don't want increased traffic waits at the freeway onramps.
The near 2 to 1 rejection of Prop H indicates voters agreed that locals had been locked out of the planning process and should have a say in how the community will be remodeled.
They want you to sit down and collaborate. Judge Maas, in his preliminary ruling of November 14th, said the same: He wants everyone to sit down and find a resolution before this gets too deep in legal quicksand.
Why in the world would anyone want to keep throwing massive amounts of money at lawyers to solve something we can solve ourselves?
Ultimately, you have a lot to offer our neighborhood. We all have a lot to gain from you and your desire to 'revitalize' the Escondido Country Club community. This fundamental truth has yet to be realized, due to the trust deficit.
Now is the time to start the process of rebuilding trust. On both sides.
I often tell a true story of how early in my career as a cabinet sales rep, I nearly got into a fistfight with the superintendent on a massive 600 home project (adjacent to Temecula Creek Resort golf course) when my cabinet delivery for the model homes was delayed. Under incredible pressure to hit the project Grand Opening date, he was furious with me and my company. He called me a liar and an idiot, among other epithets, and suggested we duke it out in the street! Since he was a former Marine Sergeant, I declined his offer.
In the end, however, as the phases passed, he used to point to me as one of the 'best suppliers on the project.' I worked hard to win his support, I wanted things to go well just as much as he did. We had the same objectives. After a very rough start, we overcame our animosity and worked well together to get the job done. It was a very successful and fulfilling project.
The moral of the story is, we can all learn about and from each other. We do, in many ways, have the same objectives, it is just that each participant needs different kinds of benefits from a project. Reaching that understanding must come first. If we can agree on that, then we have the genesis of a successful collaboration.
You now have a golden opportunity to sweep all of the baggage out of the way and move quickly towards accomplishing your goal.
The first step in that process would be to accept the Judge's challenge, delay the legal proceedings and immediately set up a series of meetings with representatives of the community and the City. Explore a variety of ideas and processes to determine what is going to get the best results. With so many 'architects' at the table, it will not be easy. Designing the largest infill project in San Diego history is blazing new ground, so it is reasonable to expect it will require patience and perseverance.
Just like you have always said that 'there will never be a golf course on the property again,' the voters have said there will never be a massive, high density housing tract on the property either.
The goal is to find community equilibrium.
At this juncture, the future of this property is entirely up to you. Michael, if you can get out of your own way, the shape and dimension of this project will start to evolve, giving life to a really awesome new and totally original design concept and execution.
I believe this could be the beginning of a repurposing project both you and the community will be proud to put your brand on. Let's get started!
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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