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ECCHO submits alternate Country Club plan to city

The Escondido Country Club Homeowners Organization (ECCHO last week submitted a conceptual map to the City of Escondido Planning Department proposing to build 158 houses at the former Escondido Country Club as an alternative to the 392 unit plan “The Villages”which has been submitted by New Urban West Inc. (NUWI.)

The reaction by NUWI was largely a big yawn. A spokesman for the company, asked whether they had seen the new proposal told The Times-Advocate:  “Not only have we seen it, it was analyzed months ago as part of our EIR. It’s old news masquerading as something new.”

In a letter dated Oct. 4, 2017, ECCHO’s legal team of DeLano & DeLano addressed “The Villages” project and its draft environmental impact report (DEIR) currently being weighed by the city proposing a rezoning of the former Escondido Country Club land to increase density thereby permitting the building of 392 units.

ECCHO’s 158-alternate plan does not require a rezoning under the current 2012 General Plan and would yield 63 percent less traffic – or 2,969 fewer daily vehicle trips – according to the developer New Urban West Inc.’s ‘The Villages’ Draft EIR, Chapter 4, Page 13 and Chapter 2, Pages 7 to 16.

“In an August 18th letter, I noted, among other things, that the DEIR claims the reduced density alternatives would not have several features, but there is no legitimate basis to reject the alternatives on these grounds, particularly since it is the City that decided what features would be included,” Everett DeLano of DeLano & DeLano wrote to the City of Escondido contract planner Kristin Blackson.

“Enclosed with this letter is a draft conceptual master plan for 158 units,” the letter continues. “This conceptual plan demonstrates that many of the features the DEIR claims the reduced density alternative lack can, in fact, be constructed with a reduced density alternative.”

Based on the lower density and amenities demonstrated in the 158-unit draft plan, ECCHO has requested the City of Escondido reject “The Villages” project and revise the DEIR to demonstrate that a reduced density alternative is practical.

The non-profit ECCHO  is currently gathering petition signatures supporting the 158-unit plan on its website, www.escondidohomeowners.org, and planned a community meeting beginning at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, October 11 at the Life Church, 1001 W. Country Club Lane in Escondido.

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