Write LAFCO and Oppose ‘Special Study’ status for Harvest Hills
The LAFCO public review period for the Escondido municipal services review (MSR) is now open. The staff is proposing to give the project a ‘special study’ designation. Harvest Hills is a dangerous sprawl project and will increase fire risks and negative impacts on Escondido, the Safari Park, and local residents and sensitive habitat included in habitat conservation areas. It will worsen the climate crisis and drain resources away from Escondido’s urban center. The likelihood of fire evacuation failure has been repeatedly found by fire experts. Special study status will allow the project to have the option to be, effectively, fast-tracked out of synch with the normal MSR review. It means the project could be evaluated prior to the next comprehensive update and without the benefit of a comprehensive sphere-of-influence and services review. This special consideration is inappropriate. LAFCO legal guiding principles require it to ensure ‘orderly’ development of cities and ‘prevent urban sprawl’. Harvest Hills is ‘disorderly urban sprawl’.
Please tell the Commissioners that Harvest Hills should not get special status.
Please file a comment by Friday, October 21, 2022 or Oct 30 at the latest.
Let the LAFCO Commissioners know that you:
- Oppose Harvest Hills as being too dangerous for our city, the region, neighbors, and the Safari Park.
- Oppose the inclusion of condition #9.B- designation of a special study area for Harvest Hills.
What is happening.
Every 5 years the city is supposed to undergo a municipal services review (MSR) by LAFCO. LAFCO is the agency that organizes governmental services boundaries like city, water, fire, school districts and service areas. The Escondido has been drafted and is out for public comment. It includes the ability to designate Harvest Hills land as a ‘special study area’. It reads, “Notwithstanding other determinations, San Diego LAFCO should proceed to establish one or more special study areas for the City of Escondido sphere of influence as part of a limited update and provide the affected areas eligibility to proceed in the next five years with an actual amendment without necessitating a new municipal service review. This includes a special study area for the Harvest Hills (previously Safari Highlands) project site.”
SUBJECT: Comment on draft Escondido MSR review, request for amendment
I’m writing to object to the recommendation for ‘special study’ status for Harvest Hills project in the draft Escondido MSR action. Harvest Hills is a dangerous project that threatens all of us who live in the region. The issues of fire risk and evacuation alone make this project untenable. At a minimum, it should not be given accommodation to be evaluated out of synch with the normal LAFCO process.
Please remove condition #9-B special study status for Harvest Hills.