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Letter to the Editor: THE DARK SIDE OF THE COUNTY’S VIEWS OF LAND USE

Editor, Times-Advocate:
Re: “County readies to disrespect the voters—big time”
It’s not often I’m on the same page as David Ross on issues about land use, but this is one of them. I am impressed and grateful how Ross’s opinion column (May 1, 2018) accurately frames the dark side of Wardlaw’s view on legal authority for “bundling GPA’s,” to expedite the approval process (they hope), before the November general election cycle, when new Supervisors will be chosen by voters in San Diego county.
I like how Ross described how this bundling process signals County of San Diego’s disrespect of voters, who overwhelmingly rejected Lilac Hills Ranch in 2016, by defeat of Measure B by margin of 66% of all registered voters in San Diego.
Most “informed voters” were not stupid then in 2016, and are not as stupid now either as the group of developers, owners, investors, real estate and development business consultants hope we are.
By the way, this “new” Lilac Hills reboot project still proposes the same/similar “footprint,” and same number of units. The newest Lilac Hills Ranch Specific Plan proposes superficial minor changes, and a lot new marketing narrative was added, but project impacts were not reduced.
In fact, in some EIR topics like traffic, GHG greenhouse gas, climate change mitigation proposed using purchase of carbon credits far from Escondido, far from San Diego region have already been identified as being far from resolved, and multiple court cases are already pending. Lilac Hills Ranch project will still have extreme public infrastructure deficiencies that new owner/developer does not propose to mitigate or offset through project redesign, and deficiencies will be worsened (fire response, substandard roads, absence of secondary access), inability to evacuate or even shelter in place create extreme public liability.
Based on newest project plan for Lilac Hills Ranch, it is obvious extreme project impacts will not be mitigated by current owner/developers, and expensive infrastructure upgrades, and perepetual staffing/maintenance costs of expanded public service demand will be imposed on existing taxpayers. In 2016, “informed voters” didn’t buy it, and won’t buy it in 2018 either.
Compliments, and many thanks to David Ross for “telling it like it is” in the Opinion column in the Escondido Times Advocate.
PATRICIA BORCHMANN, Escondido
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*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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