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The North Ash Street property where a 20-lot residential subdivision will be constructed over the next several years in Escondido. Photo by Samantha Nelson
The North Ash Street property where a 20-lot residential subdivision will be constructed over the next several years in Escondido. Photo by Samantha Nelson
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City annexing parcel for 20-unit subdivision in North Escondido

ESCONDIDO — The city is annexing a property in North Escondido where a 20-unit residential subdivision will take over a vacant lot along North Ash Street between Stanley and Lehner avenues.

The Escondido City Council approved the 20-lot subdivision located at 0 Ash Street, which will be annexed into the city along with an existing property located at 508 Stanley Avenue. The homes will include 19 market rate and one affordable home for a very low-income household constructed with similar quality materials as the market rate homes by Habitat for Humanity.

The project applicant, Escondido North, LLC, also applied for the nearby Conway subdivision project earlier this year, which will also include affordable housing constructed by Habitat for Humanity.

Through the state’s density bonus law, the project is entitled to up to 21 units, which is four more than the 17 base units allowed under local ordinances, plus waivers and concessions to make the project more affordable for the developer. The applicant is proposing to build 20 units with several waivers reducing lot size, setbacks and yard space, plus the elimination of an underground utility requirement.

Prior to the council’s approval, the Planning Commission approved the subdivision in late May with a few conditions, including requiring the developer to pay $12,500 per lot in fair share costs to the neighborhood’s North Broadway Deficiency Area, created in 1994 to facilitate development in an area lacking necessary infrastructure for development and address its drainage and street issues.

Ivan Flores, associate planner with the city, noted the collected deficiency area fees paid for the sidewalks and streetlights at the intersection of Vista Avenue and Ash Street.

Dave Ferguson, an attorney representing the developer, questioned the validity of the deficiency area fee and requested that condition be removed. However, the condition remained in the council’s final, unanimous vote of approval.

City Attorney Michael McGuinness explained that the city is annexing the property into the city, not into the deficient area.

“You’re being asked to annex the project into the city, and part of that is asking them to pay their fair share contribution,” McGuinness said.

The city attorney also noted that staff believes the $12,500 value per lot is undervalued in regard to the costs associated with the existing deficiencies associated with the project.

Resident Maria Escobedo, whose property backs up against the west side of the project area, wants to see the density reduced back to its 17 base units and have Lehner Avenue opened up for through traffic.

“It would help with traffic calming,” Escobedo said.

The project proposes to place its entrance on Lehner Avenue and end in a cul-de-sac.

It will take approximately four or five years before the final buildout of the project is complete.

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