I understand freedom of speech, but the blatant lies spread by the opposition to the Newland Sierra project did not leave the signers a choice. I cannot sit back and rest until the public knows the TRUTH about what you signed to rescind. Sierra is nothing like Golden Door’s signature gatherers were told to share with you. As a matter of fact, they were more closely describing what the current San Diego County General Plan allows; “McMansions” and 2.1 million square feet of general commercial and office professional.
I have worked on this project with the community for the past six years, attending every monthly sponsor group meeting, holding community meetings and making presentations to groups, as well as individuals at their homes.
In reality, Sierra will deliver $175,000,000 in infrastructure improvements and public benefits, including the construction of a new interchange at I-15 at Deer Springs Road and the widening of a very dangerous Deer Springs Road from the interchange all the way into the City of San Marcos.
It will also provide $10 million to San Marcos and Escondido schools, as well as a site for a future school within the community, and significant upfront funding to the Deer Springs Fire Protection District ($2 million more than required), and onsite and offsite improvements for sewer and water to support the project and future Vallecitos Water District capital needs – all of this to be funded by the project – not you the taxpayer.
Newland Sierra is 1,985 acres with 1,209 (61%) of those acres to be left in permanent open space for public use. In addition, there will be 36 acres of parks, 19 miles of trails available for horses, non-motorized bikes, and hikers and 81,000 square feet of neighborhood serving commercial uses.
We did extensive market research in order to provide homes that could start in the high $300,000’s in today’s dollars. The project offers seven separate neighborhoods with 15 different home types for first time buyers, young families and even a 55+ age-qualified neighborhood. These are homes for our workforce – firefighters, police officers, teachers and nurses who spend hours on the road commuting from places like Riverside County to where they serve, because they can’t find housing they can afford in the North County.
Don’t our families — our kids and grandkids who grew up here — deserve the chance to have dinner with their children, go to soccer games, dance classes and reading to their kids instead of just kissing them good night after an excruciatingly-long commute?
Those paid out-of-town signature gatherers conned you at $8 a signature if you signed that petition – from Lemon Grove to El Cajon, to Poway, to Rancho Bernardo and Oceanside, and everywhere in between – they hawked the scare tactic of the hour to get your signature. Unfortunately, the “No on Newland Sierra” campaign, which is 100-percent funded by the Golden Door spa, celebrated the turn in of the signatures to the Registrar of Voters last week, claiming that those (fraudulently) obtained signatures show that “voters want a say in how the region grows.”
What we should be celebrating is Newland Sierra and its enormous benefits to the region —crucial infrastructure improvements, public parks, significant dedicated open space, and most importantly, much-needed housing for our workforce.
We all have a stake in our region’s future. Our long-term economic health demands that we care about our next generation of citizens and leaders by allowing them to remain in the county where they were raised and where they continue to work.
If you feel you were misled into signing the Golden Door’s petition, please let the Registrar of Voters know by email at email@example.com. You can also contact your Board of Supervisors representative and tell them you were lied to.
The bottom line is, we need housing for our families. They deserve the same opportunity to achieve the American Dream of homeownership as those of us who have been so fortunate.
For more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* * *
Linda Bailey is President of Community Strategies Group, Inc.