Escondido Community Group Hopes to Stop Proposed Country Club Plan

People in Country Club community in Escondido reject new proposal to redevelop golf course.

Around 250 people flooded an Escondido church Wednesday to weigh in on the future of the Escondido Country Club Golf Course.

For a little less than four years, the 110-acre property has sat empty.

But a proposed plan to redevelop the land into a complex of 392 homes is now being met by a pushback.

Neighbors who live in the Country Club community say the battle over the property's redevelopment is far from over.

Mike Slater, the president of the Escondido Country Club Homeowners Organization (ECCHO), is against the plan.

"They don't want, as they call them, condos or six packs, stacked up two-story high with zero lot lines. They don't want all of that crammed into the neighborhood,” said Slater, explaining why some members of the community are against the project.

The owner of the former golf course shut down the property back in 2013.

The country club property owner chose "New Urban West" as the developer. The vision is to have 392 homes, as well as other amenities including four community parks, walking trails, a clubhouse, a pool, and a gym.

But ECCHO has also proposed a plan of its own--they want to cut back more than half of the number of homes, down to 158, instead of the proposed 392. The scaled-back version, they say, follows current zoning laws.

It will have several walking and biking trails along with open spaces for community members.

Slater said the community would face several issues if more than 200 homes would be added to the area.

"You would run into all sorts of problems," he said. "Environmental issues-- there's jurisdictional, wetlands that they are not taking into account which are flood planes."

But not everyone agrees the development should be scaled back.

Miles Grimes represents Renewal of the Country Club and is in full support of the redevelopment plan, as is.

"It's not just about the homes, it's about the quality of life around the area," said Grimes. "It's about the walking trails; it's about the big clubhouse that they're going to be building, this swimming pool, for the parks for my daughter and family."

New Urban West sent the following statement, which read, in part:

"Given that the city's General Plan allows for up to 600 homes to be built on the site, we believe that 392 homes represents a good compromise. We will also set aside 45 percent of the property as open space, with four new community parks, miles of walking trails and deliver a new $10 million clubhouse with a restaurant, bar, pool and gym, all at no cost to current residents or taxpayers."

The planning commission will address the project on Oct. 24.

ECCHO is urging the commission to reject this project and keep the zoning laws the way they are.

If approved, the redevelopment plan will be recommended to the city council and can be voted on as early Nov. 15.

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