The San Diego County Board of Supervisors this week voted to put the “No on Newland Sierra” referendum on the March 2020 ballot, giving San Diego voters the final say on whether to amend the County’s General Plan to allow the Newland Sierra project that the board previously approved.
Supervisors had the option of rescinding the General Plan Amendment which allows for the project, but voted 4-0, with Supervisor Ron Roberts absent, to put the General Plan Amendment on the ballot for a public vote at the next regular scheduled election in March 2020.
“This is a win for San Diego County voters,” said Tony Eason, a community leader and resident of Deer Springs Oaks. “San Diegans know bad development when we see it, and now it will be up to voters to make a choice on how San Diego will grow.”
Easton added, “When the Board of Supervisors approved a General Plan Amendment in September 2018 to allow the Newland Sierra project, a coalition of County residents and public interest groups gathered more than 117,000 signatures on a petition to refer that action to a vote of the people. Last month the Registrar of Voters validated the petition signatures and confirmed that enough voters signed the referendum to qualify it for the ballot.”
The Newland Sierra project is located in a very high fire danger zone as designated by the County. This drew opposition from the Twin Oaks Valley Sponsor Group, Bonsall Sponsor Group, Hidden Meadows Sponsor Group, Endangered Habitats League, California Native Plant Society, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, and numerous community leaders and organizations. Similar projects in the same location were rejected on two previous attempts.
Rita Brandin, Vice President, Newland Communities, commented on the board’s action and the upcoming campaign over the next two years. “We are looking forward to engaging the voters leading up to the 2020 election and sharing with them the facts about Newland Sierra.
“They will be presented with a very clear choice: Do they prefer Sierra, a thoughtfully-planned residential community with attainably-priced homes and an open space preserve the size of Balboa Park? Or would they rather back the County’s outdated General Plan, which calls for a massive big box commercial and office development the size of nearly two Westfield North County shopping malls, as well as 99 large estate homes that only the very wealthy can afford?”
Brandin concluded, “When given the facts, we believe they will choose homes and open space over a massive big box development, which would bring more peak time traffic to the I-15 corridor than Sierra.”