Hidden Meadows Communty Concerns About the Newland Sierra Proposals


The Nextdoor Hidden Meadows site has carried an interesting discussion thread recently about an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune which described a 2,135 home development the Newland Sierra Group is trying to get approved in the area north of Deer Springs Rd and west of I-15.

There was an earlier attempt at building a development in that area going back at least as far as 2004. At that time they were proposing 3,391 dwellings with 12.9 acres devoted to commercial use. It came close to being approved before by the San Diego County Supervisors. I do not recall the details of how that worked but I do recall there was a lot of infighting among the Supervisors and that the outcome was very much in question for a long time. Eventually it was defeated, sometime in 2010 I believe, but we always expected that piece of property would attract the attention of another developer, and of course it has.

Newland Sierra has been briefing several City Planning Groups and Community Sponsor Groups in our area about this project for at least a year. I believe the the proposed development area falls primarily within the Twin Oaks Valley and Fallbrook, and possibly Bonsall Sponsor Group areas. Your Hidden Meadows Sponsor Group has and will again be asked to comment on this project, but since it falls outside of our area of responsibility we will not be asked for a formal recommendation.

Newland Sierra still has a lot of work to do before they can actual seek County approval for changes to the San Diego County Specific Plan that was completed in 2010 and set limits for dwelling density, commercial, and other land use. They will also have to certify sufficient supply and complience with water, waste water, and other utilities will be available, and that envieronmental requirements are complied with.

Since the recommendations and comments have been generally negative with specific objections to a number of features Newland Sierra we expect to see another round of briefings to the affected areas Sponsor and Planning Groups. When we know they will be here or at the Twin  Oaks Valley Sponsor Group meeting we will publish whatever information we have about that in this newspaper and on the newspaper’s web site.

The following are some excerpts of comments submitted to the County Planning Group following the Newland Sierra briefing we received in May.

“The first concern is that this project in not in compliance with the General Plan, and as such, if it is allowed to go forward, would be a precedent and indicator of the county’s  intent or willingness to disregard the guidance and provisions of  the General Plan.”

“project area is basically the beginning of the first significant pristine wild area travelers encounter as they drive north from the heavily populated city areas. The rural character of this area, and the expectation that it would remain so as county policy was a major consideration of many of the local residents when they chose to purchase their property and settle here.”

“The effects of the noise and dust which would be produced by this project fall hardest on the Lawrence Welk community and resort and the Rim Rock community which are downwind of the site during the prevailing coastal breezes. Newland Sierra speakers described a rock crushing facility which would be on site and active during the construction period. This raises the question of both short and long term health effects on the communities downwind of the site. The Lawrence Welk villages, the Rim Rock area, Hidden Meadows and, to at least some extent, the Jesmond Dene area would be directly downwind of this activity during much of the time.”

“Although Newland Sierra is apparently reserving land for a charter school they are apparently providing no funding support for said school. This brought questions about concerns for loading the neighboring school districts until a school actually comes on line in the community.”

“. . . Newland Sierra’s apparent intent to leave an essential section of Deer Springs Road as basically a two lane road with the center turn lane met with almost unanimous opposition. It was considered to be no significant improvement to a road already unable carry the load effectively in either direction during some parts of the day. This was compounded by allowing up to 500 of the housing units to be occupied prior to completion of the Deer Springs road project, potentially adding nearly twenty-five percent of the projected traffic from the development to an already overcrowded road project.”

“There is also the concern that CalTrans has not revealed any detailed plans for the adjacent I-15 interchange, although we heard that its footprint may include the Mesa Rock/Deer Springs road intersection on the west side and the Deer Springs/Mountain Meadow Rd/Old 395 Hwy intersection and the Park and Ride lot on the east side.”

As I recall there were about twenty people in the audience at the Newland briefing. Of that group about fifteen people took advantage of the question and comment period that followed. One person was moderately in favor of allowing the project to go forward. The rest were questions about details that had been briefed or statesments in opposition to the project, some both.

I hope this sheds some light on the comments and questions that have appeared on the Hidden Meadows NextDoor site, and perhaps encourages a few more of our nieghbors to join the site. It has become a useful and informative asset in our community.

For instance, that is where I learned why the traffic lights at the bottom of Mountain Meadow Rd and Center City Parkway are working the way they are now, what is needed to make them work the way they used to, and when we might expect that to happen. If you don’t know that and would like to, think about joining the NextDoor site.