By Billie Jo Jannen, Chairman, Campo Lake Morena Community Planning Group
October 27, 2016 (Campo) -- The Campo Lake Morena Community Planning Group has voted unanimously to formally oppose Proposition B – a developer-proposed initiative that would allow over 1,700 homes to be built on what is currently farmland, and does so in opposition to both the county general plan and the wishes of community planners and residents.
We believe that the developer, Accretive Investments, hopes that urban voters will believe that the Lilac Hills development is necessary to their well-being. In fact, though, it isn’t. Prop B causes immediate harm to rural communities and future harm to the county as a whole.
The county has a general plan that provides protections to dwindling farmland and open space – elements that benefit everyone in the county, whether urban or rural. These lands provide affordable, locally grown food and opportunities for recreation -- both factors in the long-term health and welfare of San Diego families. They offer living space with cleaner air to people with health challenges and hold increased pollution releases at bay.
For these reasons the general plan specifically forbids leapfrog development: the creation of new high-density enclaves plopped down in the middle of rural communities miles from existing roads and services. Proposition B asks voters to dump these protections and bypass portions of state environmental laws for the benefit of a single development corporation.
Proposition B also asks voters to overrule the desires of local planners. Imagine if your city council – after multiple hearings and consideration of public input -- voted on an issue of great importance to you. Then imagine that a well-heeled corporation who didn’t like that decision simply went over your council’s head to lure thousands of people who know little or nothing of your city to overrule that decision.
You would feel bullied and disenfranchised – and that’s exactly what you would be. All local determination would be beaten to insignificance by the power of money and the voters it can persuade.
That’s how we feel when our voices and the voices of our rural communities are buried under the resources brought to bear by wealthy interests that would forever re-make our towns into their own images. You who live in incorporated cities are protected from ballot box bullying. We who live in unincorporated communities are not.
Allowing cash to overrule the general plan, environmental protections and the wishes of the communities most affected sets a terrible precedent, and one that is almost guaranteed to come back and bite you later. Please don’t let that happen -- to you or to us. Vote “no” on Prop. B.
The opinions in this editorial reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.