San Diego

Controversial North County Housing Proposal Approved by Board of Supervisors

The board must approve any amendments to the general plan and has the final say whether the Harmony Grove Village South development can move forward

The county Board of Supervisors approved a controversial housing project on an undeveloped plot of land near the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve in the San Diego's North County Wednesday. 

The Harmony Grove Village South proposal will redesignate a plot of land near the intersection of Harmony Grove Road and Country Club Drive, west of Escondido and south of San Marcos, into a residential village that would add well over the 453-home maximum currently allowed by the county's General Plan.

Residents who live near the proposed Harmony Grove Village South site, being developed by RCS Harmony Partners just outside Escondido, say the proposal is an example of poor planning.

Opponents to the proposal, one of three the county board considered Wednesday, are concerned that the plan calls for hundreds more homes in the area where another housing project, Harmony Grove Village, has already been completed. 

They are concerned that a windy two-lane road will be the only way in and out of the area with proposals for two new developments in the works -- Valiano and Harmony Grove Village South. 

Both would require an amendment to the county's general plan because they call for more homes than current zoning allows.

The San Dieguito Planning Group has already voted against recommending the development to the board of supervisors. 

Fire agencies have reviewed the development plans for Harmony Grove Village South and have deemed it safe, but residents are concerned the area sits in a burn zone. 

The Cocos Fire ripped through the area in 2014, burning several homes.

Kevin Barnard says in addition to being in a burn zone, the property also sits right next to protected open space.

"You don’t build this kind of density right next to reserves that taxpayer dollars have paid for to preserve. That’s actually going to degrade the value of that habitat significantly, Barnard said.

The board must approve any amendments to the general plan.

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