A group of Escondido residents launched a campaign Monday in hopes of swaying voters against a new housing development.
Members of the Escondido Country Club Homeowners Association believe they were retaliated against in April. They claim the developer who purchased the old Escondido Golf Course used potent chicken manure on the property to prove a point.
“There's no excuse [for the chicken manure] other than harassment and being a bully, said longtime Escondido resident Paul DeLaurentis.
“We tried to stop the developer from building a housing development, and it all comes back to that,” he added.
DeLaurentis suffers from mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer. He says the smell of chicken manure made it hard to breathe, especially because he was undergoing chemotherapy during April.
On Monday, San Diego County officials told NBC 7 they are continuing to review three citations the county issued to developer Michael Schlesinger and his company Stuck in the Rough LLC.
Beth Binger, a spokeswoman for the developer, says they have complied with the county since they were notified back in April. She says the homeowner's association is trying to exploit the manure situation so voters will take their side and vote against the proposal to build 430 homes on the old golf course property.
“It’s a lot of contention from a small group of individuals,” Binger said.
“We sent a letter out to all of the homeowners apologizing for this smell, assuring them that that product would never be used again and letting them know that we apologize,” Binger said.
The company also says that it offered to compensate anyone who had to leave their home during that period.
Meanwhile, county continues to investigate. Jon Adams, Assistant Director for the San Diego County Air Quality Control Department, says based on the information they have so far, the developer will most likely face a fine.