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ECCHO members outline strategy for fighting NUWI proposal

At their most recent meeting on Wednesday, members of Escondido Country Club Home Owners mapped out their strategy going forward for fighting the proposal by New Urban West Inc. (NUWI) to build a 392-unit development on property owned by the owner of the former golf course and surrounding property, Michael Schlesinger of Stuck in the Rough LLC.

About 300 plus people filled the Life Church for this meeting.

One of their key strategies will be to resist any changes to the zoning overlap that Judge Maas’s ruling implied still pertains to the fairways. That is R1-7 or seven residences per acre (or about 7,000 square feet per lot).

Since the property is about 110 acres, Schlesinger has said he is compromising by asking for only 392 houses instead of 700. However, the ECCHO residents argue that  392 is about maximum after allowing for streets, drainage, easements and  other items like playgrounds and dog parks or other open space.

New Urban West, in order to meet Schlesinger’s per lot price requirements, says it needs that number to make the costs pencil out. So NUWI is asking for a General Plan Amendment to reduce the minimum sized lots to 2500 – 3000 SF and up.

ECCHO is pressuring the City Council to reject ‘The Villages’ plan that stands before the planning commission, and force Schlesinger to reduce his density requirements.

“He has a lot of room to move,” one residents told the Times-Advocate, “but will he?”

Meanwhile ECCHO announced at the meeting that it has hired a new attorney, the land use law firm Delano & Delano. Attorney Ken Lounsbery resigned over conflict issues within his firm. The new firm will also look at other strategies too.

The meeting updated the community and advised them to attend all city hall meetings, to speak, to write and to lobby for maintaining the R1-7 zoning. They also announced that they think they will need to raise about $80,000 to put up a good fight against someone, “who stands to reap a $45 million profit from just flipping the property once he wins entitlements,” according to one speaker.

For more information about ECCHO visit  www.EscondidoHomeowners.org.

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