The ECC Days of Our Lives drama has quieted down since the developer decided to try to erase the decision by the Escondido City Council by putting his own initiative on the November ballot.
The ECCHO homeowners group has stepped aside because the legal battle is now focused on the City and a few secondary suits against golf course frontage homeowners who are accused of encroaching on the developer's property.
Unfortunately, the environment is taking a beating. Rome burns while the Aristocrats sip wine...Will there ever be a resolution?
Which begs the question, if the City should prevail, what then?
Here is an idea (I just keep dreaming them up because nobody else is...):
...Our country faces all kinds of environmental challenges, especially in the San Diego area because we have built a large urban community in what is basically a desert environment. Escondido has traditionally been known for grapes, oranges and avocados. All of which are too thirsty for current economics and have basically disappeared from the scene. Instead, those farms are now housing developments. The desire to live here has superseded the need for local agricultural goods and services. The land has become worth more than the food. Food requires something very costly, whereas homes pay for themselves. So the entire reason many people moved here, to escape urban creep, has now been undermined by the economics of water.
In other words, we need an inordinate amount of water to maintain our lifestyle; water we have to take from some where else. This dilemma puts everything we do under intense scrutiny and financial pressure.
Who needs another golf course, or greenbelt, for that matter, that will soak up water, require massive amounts of weed abatement and chemical control of insects and fungus, and other maintenance costs that would otherwise be handled by individual homeowners in a new housing tract?
Why should the City, or some other entity be involved in exacerbating our already dire environmental challenges?
So I suggest we turn the 110 acre open space into a agricultural college specializing in golf course and recreational open space agrobiological research! That way we can actually do something positive while also preserving the asset the community has vehemently expressed an interest in preserving! A world-class fully functioning research facility to apply all aspects of golf course vegetation development and preservation including decease control and water and soil preservation that coexists with a public access golf course and other recreational and service facilities ( meeting rooms, food service, swimming pool, etc.).
There are studies going on all the time trying to understand and develop better ways to grow grass that isn't so thirsty. Learning how to match turf with the indigenous soil and do so with less water and chemicals. The Northwest area of Escondido is representative of many similar climates where golf and recreational facilities exist, simply because the weather allows. All of which could benefit from further research.
We have the weather, but we don't have the water. We have the desire to maintain our semi-rural lifestyle, but we are under economic pressure to cement it over. We have built a paradise but are struggling to defend it from an industry designed to consume open space purely for profit. So the obvious answer is...serve the greater need by using the open space to find ways to return open space to its proper place in our world. A place where it can coexist with, and service the needs of the community!
Got a better idea?