The Coast News Group
The Board of Supervisors gave its full support to a pair of projects near San Marcos and Escondido, including Harmony Grove, above. Courtesy photo
CommunityCommunityEscondidoSan Marcos

Harmony Grove, Eden Valley plans headed to supervisors

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on July 25 will decide the fate of a pair of projects near Harmony Grove and Eden Valley that residents say will irreparably alter the rural character of both communities.

The Valiano and Harmony Grove Village South projects will come before the board July 25 as part of a package of projects the board is approving simultaneously as one large amendment to its general plan.

A third project, Otay 250, will also be voted on that day.

Developers are hoping to build 453 units of new housing on 111 acres with the Harmony Grove Village South project, which is billed as an extension to the 742-home Harmony Grove Village Development approved 11 years ago by the board.

Integral Communities is seeking county approval for the 326-home Valiano project that would be built on 238 acres in Eden Valley and Harmony Grove.

The two communities, generally south of San Marcos and West of Escondido, lie in a rural enclave of the county not far from Lake Poway.

Residents have protested the projects on a number of fronts, including concerns about the increased density in the rural area, the lack of adequate infrastructure to support an evacuation during wildfires in a historically fire prone area, and the introduction of apartments into a landscape dominated by rural estates and single family homes.

Supporters of the project argue that these developments, along with several others in the planning pipeline, are sorely needed to help the county emerge from its housing crisis, arguing that opponents simply don’t want the housing in their backyard.

Both projects received the near unanimous blessing from the Planning Commission, despite large crowds of opponents at both hearings.

The hearing begins at 9 a.m. at the Board Chambers on July 25 at the County Administration Center at 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego.

1 comment

Mid Hoppenrath July 20, 2018 at 1:51 pm

The article neglected to mention that the rural community presented (and supported) alternative residential projects that met the General Plan density requirements. So there is no evidence to support the proponents’ claim that the neighbors just don’t want housing in their backyards! Residents were genuinely concerned that the additional 1,000 or more people would clog traffic on the narrow local roads and trap them in case of wildfire; there is only one safe evacuation route, Country Club Drive, which is a 2-lane road. The Planning Commission gave only a conditional approval to the Valiano project, requiring an extra 12 feet (6 foot each side) of shoulder on Country Club Drive to provide better evacuation capability. But the County is only recommending a single 6 foot shoulder on the west side, so that approval is questionable. Lastly, the other expected relief for traffic congestion during evacuations, the extension of Citracado Parkway, is also in jeopardy, because its funding is tied to the gas tax bill, which may be repealed in the November ballot.

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