Accretive Investments LLC last month may have turned in enough signatures for their ballot initiative to qualify it for the November election.
If voters approve, Accretive will be allowed to build Lilac Hills Ranch (LHR), an abomination of 1,746-home, 90,000-square-feet of commercial space, and an assisted living facility, in what is now pristine farm land and natural habitat, far from any existing infrastructure
San Diego County’s current General Plan would allow 110 homes on this site 17 miles from the nearest employment center or public transportation, and 30 minutes from any medical care. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/jun/03/lilac-hills-signatures-ballot-initiative/
They gathered signatures here in coastal North County, there, in South County, but mostly everywhere except within a fifty mile radius of the land on which this proposed mess is to be built. The petition gatherers promised the project would provide affordable housing for seniors, veterans, and the handicapped. Nothing in the 600-plus page initiative requires Accretive to provide housing at any specific price range or for any income level. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCht9f-d-2ODV7x_Ud12WFtg
This ballot initiative ploy is a new way that developers can get around the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), as courts have found that such measures are exempt from the act.
You have to hand it to Randy Goodson, CEO of Accretive, he doesn’t quit. After a decade of controversy, he got approval for LHR from the San Diego County Planning Commission in September, 2015.
In October, the California Fair Political Practices Commission advised Fifth District Supervisor Bill Horn (a fan of LHR) that he should not vote on LHR, because the value of his home which is close to the project would be affected. In January, 2016, the California Supreme Court found the huge Newhall project’s environmental impact report (EIR) did not accurately report the effect it would have on greenhouse gas emissions.
Goodson knew his project’s EIR would have a similar problem. So, Goodson asked that the County indefinitely delay the Board of Supervisors’ (BOS) vote on LHR. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/jan/06/lilac-ruling-construction-greenhouse/
Goodson’s next tactic? The 600-plus page ballot initiative. If the Registrar of Voters verifies the signatures, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors can either approve the project, or allow voters to decide in November.
Not just the voters like me in the Deer Springs Fire Protection District. The County standard for fire response time in the area is five minutes. The initiative would allow a 9-minute response time for this development. The developer proposes funding some capital improvement to fire facilities and equipment, but not maintain them, and property tax revenue from future residents of LHR won’t cover the cost to maintain any new facilities.
So, to maintain the current level of fire protection, existing residents like me will need (once again!) to vote to increase their property taxes to pay for the added protection the LHR will require. http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/corrections/developer-wont-take-no-for-an-answer-on-massive-lilac-hills-ranch-project/
Nor just the voters in the Bonsall and Valley Center–Pauma Unified School Districts, where again, the new property taxes and developer impact fees won’t begin to cover the cost of providing facilities and teachers for hundreds of new students.
Nor just the voters who live in the area of narrow two-lane curvy roads that will have 15,000 additional daily car trips to contend with and make evacuation from fire much more difficult.
No, all of the voters in the County can vote on this.
By this ploy, an out of state hedge fund (Accretive) is able to spend $2-3 million gathering signatures, and more millions in advertising (with more dubious promises) to get the votes that will totally emasculate all local and state land-use governance.
Both the Valley Center Community Planning Group (an elected body) and the Bonsall Community Sponsor Group have voted against LHR. Their voices would be nullified. The San Diego County BOS will not have a say in the approval. It allows the developer to ignore the state’s environmental requirements, requirements passed by your elected representatives.
If LHR is approved by the voters, it will set a precedent for other developers. What’s to stop an amusement park in the San Pasqual Valley, or an industrial park Rancho Santa Fe?
Don’t be fooled by this ploy. Protect you neighborhood. Vote no on this initiative. For more information go to: http:\\saveoursdcountryside.org
(Margaret McCown Liles started blogging about the Escondido City Council following the demise of the North County Times as a public resource. Her blog is at http://ablueviewescondido.com.)