When the City of Escondido reached a legal agreement many months ago with “Stuck in the Rough” developer Michael Schlesinger, owner of the Escondido Country Club property, part of that arrangement was that a development would be proposed by New Urban West Inc.(NUWI)
By the terms of the agreement Schlesinger was not supposed to be involved in any part of the development’s planning or in further negotiations with the city.
The Escondido Country Club Home Owners’ group (ECCHO) is calling foul on NUWI for allegedly involving himself. ECCHO’s past president, Jerry Swadley recently read in an area daily newspaper this sentence: “Michael Schlesinger is … asking the Escondido City Council to allow him to build 392 homes on the 109-acre course in Escondido, which he shuttered in 2013.” Swadley declared, “Isn’t this in direct violation of his agreement with the City of Escondido to drop his ‘takings’ lawsuit and stay out of negotiations between the City and the developer if the City would consider the developer’s specific development plan. Mr. Schlesinger cannot be trusted.”
The Times-Advocate asked NUWI for a comment on this accusation. Johnathan Frankel, project manager commented, “Per the binding settlement agreement reached with the City, Michael Schlesinger has had no involvement in creating or designing the Villages plan. Unfortunately, a small group that opposes any development on the site has tried to create a false narrative that the property owner is ‘back.’ He is not. After meeting with more than 1,900 residents in the neighborhood, we know that a growing majority understands that the Villages plan is the only way to ensure that the property owner remains out of the picture forever. Otherwise, he is right back in the driver’s seat.”
The Villages – Escondido Country Club Project proposal consists of a General Plan Amendment to the Land Use Element, Zone Change, a Specific Plan, and Tentative Map for a 392-single-family dwelling unit development project. The Project site is in the northwest portion of the City of Escondido, along both sides of W. Country Club Lane west of Nutmeg Street, at 1800 W. Country Club Lane.
The proposed project is located on a golf-course that no longer is in operation. The existing zoning for the 109-acres allows for single-family development, with a minimum lot size of 7,000 square feet. A General Plan amendment and Zone change request has been made to create a Specific Plan for this area, which will bring together detailed policies and tailored regulations for a focused development proposal.
The new land uses proposed for the Villages Specific Plan Area include three single-family residential villages; an open space system; and a clubhouse area with recreational, social and farm amenities.