Ecke Ranch proposes division of parcel

ENCINITAS — Paul Ecke III led a neighborhood meeting Aug. 15 with about 25 to 30 residents living near the Paul Ecke Ranch on Saxony Road to discuss a proposition to divide roughly 36 acres into three lots.The proposed project involves drawing two lines on a map, with no development on the site, no new structures to be built and no change in the use of the site.

“What we’re trying to do is take one of our larger parcels and divide it into three parcels,” Ecke said. “The parcel we’re trying to divide is about 36 acres and we’re trying to divide it into three lots, instead of one big lot.”

The current parcel would be divided into lots consisting of 13 acres, 12.1 acres and 10.6 acres.

“The reason we are trying to split it up is because…it gives it more flexibility in financing the property,” Ecke said. “Right now I’ve got to pledge my entire 68 acres as collateral for bank loans, and as I pay down that debt, I want to have smaller chunks; I want to release a parcel or two.

“The second reason to do it is, as I said last time I went through some sort of process with the city, with Prop. A, I told the community then that I had unused greenhouse space, and I needed to do something different to raise capital. As I’ve said then, it’s true now, we have unused greenhouse space, so…I’d like to have the ability to lease out discreet parcels to people rather than having them part of my operations,” he said.

Cindy Tigh, HOA board president of Saxony at Encinitas Ranch, attended the meeting and expressed concerns that Ecke might want to try to sell those divided parcels in the future.

Tigh and the board were extremely active in battling Prop. A, she said, adding that they donated personal funds to hire an attorney at that time.

Ecke used the meeting to ensure everybody that this land cannot be rezoned, he said. “Tried that, it didn’t work,” he said. “I simply want to draw two more lines on a map…to keep me in business here.”

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