Plans for a North County project that would include 2,135 homes are proceeding following its approval by the Board of Supervisors Sept. 26.
“We are moving forward with final engineering and all of the activities that are necessary to get us to permits over the next two years,” said Rita Brandin, senior vice president and development director of Newland, which has proposed the 1,985-acred Newland Sierra project.
Opponents of the development along Interstate 15 are starting a petition drive to put the project up for a public vote on the March 2020 election ballot, said Cliff Williams, a land-use analyst with the law firm Latham & Watkins.
The Board of Supervisors approved the project on a 4-0 vote with Supervisor Dianne Jacob absent.
“If there is a signature-gathering effort to overturn the Board of Supervisors’ unanimous approval, we will be ready to defend our project so that much-needed housing can be provided for San Diego families,” Brandin said.
Opponents are challenging the project on environmental grounds, said Williams, who is an advisor to Golden Door spa, Hidden Valley Zen Center and Friends of Spring Oaks – a mobile home park across the street from the Newland property on Deer Springs Road.
“It’s really going to change the way of life for these folks,” Williams said.
Widening Deer Springs Road to four lanes as required as a condition for project approval would put the road through a portion of the mobile home park, Williams said.
Newland Sierra would include 1,140 single-family homes, 995 multi-family units, 81,000 square feet of commercial space, a six-acre school site, nearly 35.9 acres of public and private parks, 19.2 miles of community trails, an equestrian staging area and 1,209 acres of open space.
The site is west of Interstate 15 within a mile of San Marcos and Escondido to the south and three miles from Vista to the west.