A group of Poway residents is fighting against a housing project that seeks to rezone a grassy hillside in their neighborhood for more homes.
A housing developer is gathering petition signatures to rezone a 7.6-acre plot of land near Montauk Street and Metate Lane, south of Poway Creek, into a development property that will contain 50 single-family homes, but residents say the development would affect their way of life.
"Our view would be completely gone," Kamian Jensen said. " We already have a lot of traffic on this road, and so bringing in 50 homes with more cars and more families would really overpopulate this neighborhood I think was meant to stay small."
Poway resident Liz Derr is also against the project.
"There isn't a lot of open space left in south Poway. and the hiking trails around Poway are getting more and more crowded,” Derr said.
The open area is currently zoned for residential use, which is intended to protect residential properties from noise and traffic congestion and prevent overbuilding, according to Poway’s municipal code. The open space is full of hills, hiking pathways and grassy areas.
"From my heart and soul, this is our Poway hill," Marianna Bacilla said. "We have so many people walking their dogs, riding their bikes, walking with children growing up on this hill.
"This is part of the beauty of Poway."
The developer says the project is a reasonable proposal that would blend with the community.
"This wouldn't affect the hillside at all. It's a modest- sized parcel. We're not talking about 1,000 homes, we're talking about up to 50 on this corner lot,” Brian Pepin said.
Pepin is working with the land's owner on the housing development initiative. He also lives in Poway.
"Right now, someone could come in here and build a very large project here. We think the proposal that we're bringing to the voters allows people to have a say in what happens here."
If the petition gathers enough signatures, it can be approved to be placed on the ballot in November and it will be up to Poway residents to approve the rezoning, and in effect allow the development.
"If the measure is approved by the voters in November, the property owner will be working with the community throughout the entire process and I’m confident this is a great project that blends in with the community, keeps community character."