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Safari Highlands benefits our community


This past week, I helped to form the Friends of Eagle Crest, a coalition of Escondido residents in support of the proposed Safari Highlands Ranch community in the San Pasqual Valley. My husband and I are long-time residents of the Rancho San Pasqual neighborhood, which is located right next to where Safari Highlands Ranch would be built.
We support Safari Highlands Ranch because of the incredible benefits it would provide for the Eagle Crest neighborhoods, San Pasqual Valley and all of Escondido. But these benefits can only be realized if Safari Highlands Ranch is approved by the City of Escondido later this year.
We work in Escondido in real estate, part time. My husband, Scot and I have a combined 60 years in San Diego County as real estate agents. I initially sold many of Catavina’s high end homes in Rancho San Pasqual neighborhood. We both know from this experience that a thriving Eagle Crest golf course has a significant positive impact on surrounding property values! If Safari Highlands Ranch is approved, Eagle Crest would receive needed course improvements. A new signature hole and money for additional improvements will be a huge boost to our course, and, by extension, our community’s home values. There is no other way for RSP and Eagle Crest to get these benefits without Safari Highlands Ranch!
A new clubhouse, restaurant and bar at Eagle Crest are amazing benefits as well. I am the social chair of the Rancho San Pasqual HOA and I strongly believe in creating a sense of community through neighborhood events. The new clubhouse opens up opportunities to bring neighbors together and the restaurant and bar will be a way to attract non-golfers to our beloved course.
Safari Highlands Ranch would also help improve the safety of our neighborhoods, especially in the case of wildfires. The project proposes to build and equip a new fire station and create a new emergency access road. These would help improve emergency response times for nearby residents and schools. Even better, it would be done at no cost to the City. We believe this would have a direct, positive impact on the insurance premiums we pay as homeowners.
Lastly, local schools would benefit greatly from Safari Highlands Ranch. The proposed community would contribute $7.8 million to local schools for capital improvements. Safari Highlands Ranch would include funding for new pick-up and drop-off improvements and a new crosswalk on Rockwood Road for San Pasqual Union School. This would help our students get to and from school safely and efficiently at no cost to the City or school district. By adding new students from Safari Highlands Ranch incrementally over the time the community is built, “our little school” will be able maintain its desired enrollment of students.
The Friends of Eagle Crest is open to all our community to join. Supporting Safari Highlands Ranch means supporting our neighborhoods! I invite you to sign up on the website (www.friendsofeaglecrest.com) to stay informed on this important project.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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