The Escondido Country Club Homeowners Organization (ECCHO) has announced that it is fighting on against The Villages development in the old Country Club property, despite what could be considered a devastating court ruling.
Arguing that the 20 year old Escondido Growth Management and Neighborhood Protection Act initiative (Proposition S) passed by the voters was ignored by the judge who ruled against them last month, the board of ECCHO announced this week that it will continue on with its fight against the development by NUWI (New Urban West Inc.) that was approved in 2017 by the city council.
According to a statement put out by ECCHO: “Incorporated in the 1998 Escondido General Plan update, Prop S requires a citywide vote whenever a proposed project would increase residential density zoning restrictions. Similar community protection laws are in place in nearby cities like San Marcos, Encinitas and Poway.”
The ECCHO statement continues: “The recent approval of a 380 unit development plan called ‘The Villages’, to be built on the Escondido Country Club golf course property, would alter the character of the 50 year old neighborhood and increase the current density limits. It proposes lots that are much smaller than the current code allows and it introduces attached condominiums where they otherwise would not be allowed.
ECCHO sued the city to overturn the approval. Last month Superior Court Judge Frazier ruled that Prop. S was not applicable to this case. He called ECCHO’s claims “nonsensical.” According to ECCHO, “In effect, he has ruled that Proposition S does not exist.”
According to the release: “The ECCHO Board has elected to appeal Judge Frazier’s failure to enforce Proposition S. Ignoring the intent and application of Prop S is a serious threat to all of us who want to protect our communities from over-development and exploitation.”
ECCHO is collecting donations to fund its legal strategy. It invites donors to visit www.escondidohomeowners.org or mail checks to:
1026 W. El Norte Pkwy
P.O. Box 222
Escondido, CA. 92026