The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has voted to have staff study a proposed November ballot measure on the controversial Lilac Hills Ranch development, which recently qualified for the ballot following an initiative petition drive by supporters.
County officials said staff is expected to complete a report by July 29. Supervisors will then vote on Aug. 2 to either approve the development or place the measure on the Nov. 8 countywide ballot.
At their July 19 meeting, supervisors had three options – to approve the North County project, place it on the ballot, or seek an independent staff analysis of the measure that would take no more than 30 days.
“We support the Board’s action and are confident the report will confirm what we’ve been saying about the benefits of this project,” said a statement from San Diego-based developer Accretive Investments Inc., led by CEO Randy Goodson. “We are looking forward to giving San Diego voters a chance to support badly-needed housing in a well-planned, eco-friendly village.”
The county registrar said petition gatherers surpassed the minimum requirement of 68,000 valid signatures of registered county voters – with more than 84,000 validated -- after submitting approximately 110,000 signatures last month in a bid to put the North County project on the fall ballot.
The mixed-use Lilac Hills Ranch is proposed for 608 unincorporated acres east of Interstate 15, spanning portions of the county’s Bonsall and Valley Center planning areas. The multi-phase project calls for more than 1,700 homes, 90,000 square feet of office and retail space, a 50-room hotel and various open spaces, parks and other civic amenities.
The project has received preliminary approvals from county planners, but supervisors have been considering issues including those raised by neighbors of the project site, over the development’s size and potential long-term impacts.
County Supervisor Bill Horn has recused himself from voting on the project, after the California Fair Political Practices Commission ruled he had a potential conflict of interest and could not vote because he owns property about three miles from the planned community.