Escondido, CA
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Were you misled into signing the Golden Door’s petition?

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 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

* * *

Linda Bailey is President of Community Strategies Group, Inc.

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

9 responses to “Were you misled into signing the Golden Door’s petition?”

  1. Mike Robles says:

    Linda – You are a paid consultant for 6 years with direct economic interests in the Project.

    You and Rita Brandin have NO credibility in the Community because of your constant misrepresentation of facts. And tortured ethics.

    The hiring of red shirted goons to disrupt a lawful democratic process has united and galvanized the Community to oppose the Newland Sierra project.

    We understand you are retiring. The Community hopes you move far away.

    • Kirk Effinger says:

      Your attacks against Ms. Bailey and Ms. Brandin are sadly typical of the vitriol and lies promulgated by opponents to Newland Sierra. It’s sad that personal attacks are seen as a tool to discredit a development proposal. It’s abundantly clear these types of attacks and lies are the last refuge of those whose arguments are so easily discredited by the facts.

  2. Cameron Curry says:

    Thank you Linda for your thoughtful review of the issue with those that attack and malign this housing project to secure and promote the interests of a luxury business. Truth be told, the greater good of North County has to be the focus and well-vetted housing projects have to succeed. We cannot allow special corporate interests to dictate our future and nor can we stand back and be silent. A vote against Newland Sierra is a vote against our collectively bright future in North County.

    • Lori says:

      I am not a luxury business, I am a senior citizen that’s back yard is 25 ft from Deer Springs Rd. With the widening of that road and creating the ability to pass other vehicles vertically making it like a freeway is frightening to me.

  3. Poway Home Owner says:

    There was a time about 20 years ago I was a NIMBY. Didn’t want new housing development built on open land behind our homes in Poway. Became bitter about it and did everything we could as a neighborhood to stop it.

    Here we are 20 years later and realize how myopic out thinking was. They built the homes anyway and we had some wonderful neighbors behind us. Today as our children are trying to buy homes and make a living like many of us and there aren’t the homes to buy. There was no planning for the future and today we are in this housing predicament because of it.

    Newland is building a community that is diverse and has something for all levels of home buyers and ages. Kudos to a well thought out project, your planning for a community of the future is to be commended.

  4. Carl Skaja says:

    Mike Robles- you know nothing about Linda Bailey and Rita Brandin. They are great people who do a lot for the community. Who are you? You seem like you live in your mom’s basement and pick on women from behind a keyboard. You should get involved in the community and do something positive rather than send out personal attacks against people who are doing good things.

  5. SoCal Baker says:

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I really don’t think the County should be changing the zoning for these areas to build homes. The General plan was drawn up to accommodate growth and homes, so why can’t developers just build were it is zoned for housing, because they make more money buying farm land and up zoning it. I would be fine if the county just got rid of all this zoning and allow farmers to sell to builders, but that would make land more expensive, but at least the farmers would get the money and not the builders. Why develop a General plan if you can change it anytime, and with all the signature gatherers it seems like any project can be passed or stoped if you have enough money, seems kind of dumb. Builders will always lie about the traffic impact and the amount of real open space and the price of homes, but at least we should act like adults and admit we need houses, they will impact our lives and we should encourage those houses to be built as close to the cities as possible.

  6. It comes as no surprise that Linda Bailey would be attacking the opponents of Newland Sierra given that she is on Newland Sierra developer’s payroll.

    It is Bailey who misleads by half –truths. She selectively quotes the a phrase in the general plan, “McMansions and 2.1 million square feet of general commercial and office professional” are allowed , but fails to mention that according to the SD County General Plan only 99 homes are zoned for the area.

    How can Bailey ignore the estimated 28,862 new trips on I-15, and claim that families will be spared an “excruciatingly-long commute”. The traffic on I-15 is already grid-locked during commute hours. Pray tell, how is Newland Sierra going to ease the situation?

    Bailey complains that paid signature gatherers were used to gather petition signatures; the reality is that because of the short window of time to gather the signatures, many concerned members of the public donated money to non-profits to help pay for the signature gathering.
    No, Ms. Bailey, there is no cause for celebrating Newland Sierra. There are just too many negatives related to Newland Sierra: water supply, fire hazard, environmental consequences to wildlife and vegetation, etc., that are detrimental to our area.

  7. Native San Diegan says:

    You don’t give local residents nearly enough credit. Many of us know what Newland Sierra is planning. We’ve been against the development for far longer than this recent petition drive. The development is just a money grab. Newland Sierra bought land not slated for development under the General Plan at low cost and worked to get around the plan so they could make huge profits. There is no added benefit to the community to develop in regions outside of those described in the General Plan, this is all about maximizing Newland Sierra’s profits.

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