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Escondido building plan expected to go to ballot

The Escondido City Council is expected Wednesday to approve placing a measure on the November ballot to build homes on the former Escondido Country Club land.

The project known as "The Lakes at Escondido" calls for 430 single-family residences, 5.7 acres of parks, buffer areas, trails, a swimming pool and a community center on the golf course property.

While about 9,000 signatures were collected on behalf of Beverly Hills developer Stuck in the Rough (headed by Michael Schlesinger) to qualify the measure, the city expressed concerns about traffic, open space and blocked views from the two-story homes.

The developer sued the city in Superior Court after the City Council declared the property permanent open space in August 2013; the lawsuit is ongoing.

The lawsuit argues that because development is allowed under existing zoning, disallowing the project amounts to taking the property without due process.

In a lengthy report, Stuck in the Rough also argued there would be substantial financial benefits from the project.

A Keyser Marston report concluded the project is expected to generate $83 million in economic benefit, including $17 million in payroll. The work is expected to employ 155 workers during the projected two-year construction period.

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