San Diego voters might have thought they had heard the end of the Lilac Hills Ranch development when they defeated the plan in 2016.
But now an updated version of the project is back.
Lilac Hills Ranch still calls for more than 1,700 new homes in an area near Valley Center zoned for 100. But developers say this proposal incorporates all the conditions county planners originally requested and will help ease San Diego’s critical housing shortage.
Jon Rilling, project manager with Ranch Capital and part of the new development team behind the project, and resident Steve Hutchinson, who opposes the proposal, discuss the latest version of the controversial development Monday on Midday Edition.
By Neiko Will, KPBS
Smart Asset looked at how long a million dollars would last a retiree in various cities around the country, and ranked them accordingly. San Diego was not at the top of those rankings.
Researchers came up with an average cost of living for each city by adding up how much someone would need for housing, food, healthcare, utility and transportation expenses for a year.
Based on those numbers, McAllen, Texas was at the top of the list. The study found that a retiree there with a million dollars saved up can enjoy 42 work-free years. In San Diego, a million dollars will last you less than twenty years.
By Alison St John, KPBS
The Lilac Hills Ranch development that San Diego County voters defeated two years ago is back on the agenda. The County Planning Department is recirculating an Environmental Impact Report and the public has 45 days to comment.
The plan has the same number of homes — just over 1700 houses — in an area near Valley Center zoned for about 100.
But project manager John Rilling said a critical shortage of affordable housing in the region may have shifted public opinion.
“Under the current zoning you could build 100 five acre mac-mansions that only one percent of the population could buy,” Rilling said. “Lilac Hills Ranch, the majority of the homes will be between $300,000 and $600,000. That’s the critical price point for entry-level buyers, for young families.”
News Desk, Valley Roadrunner
Lilac Hills Ranch has been revamped and unveiled as the county’s “first carbon-neutral” development.
The development’s number of units remains the same as the project that voters defeated by a margin of two to one in November 2016. It has a different developer, however, Ranch Capital, rather than the Accretive Group, although Ranch Capital was always a backer of Accretive. Project Manager is now Valley Center resident Jon Rilling.
As before, the density is 1,746 and that includes 468 for 55 plus residents/age restricted. The new plan includes numerous housing types including homes, townhomes, mixed-use, etc. “The majority of the homes will range from the $300,000s to the $600,000s for working families,” said a spokesman.
The project would still require a general plan amendment from the Board of Supervisors. Although the voters rejected the project in 2016, nothing prevents the developer from resubmitting it in a different form.
By J. Harry Jones, The San Diego Union-Tribune
Lilac Hills Ranch, a proposed housing development in Valley Center that voters overwhelming rejected just 15 months ago, is back.
And a key element of the project remains unchanged: it still calls for 1,746 homes and condos on 608 acres of farmland.
The updated development plans are now being reviewed by county planners, who will be posting new environmental documents Thursday, beginning a 45-day public comment period.
Backers say even though the density remains the same, the plans have been revised and improved and will be presented to the county’s Board of Supervisors for approval, possibly before the end of this year but more likely in early 2019, a county official said.
By David Ross, Valley Roadrunner
Alert readers might have noticed the news release that Lilac Hills Ranch is back as a proposed General Plan Amendment, with the same density of 1,746 units.
What has changed is that, unlike the old project that County residents roundly rejected by a margin of two-to-one (much higher than that in Valley Center) the developer has included all of the amenities, such as a school and fire station, that the Planning Commission had required, and which the developer tried to skip around by proposing Measure B to the voters—which did not include those requirements.
The developer also claims that the project is carbon neutral, i.e. that it doesn’t generate more carbon than it consumes, through the employment of extensive solar panels and multiple-electric car charging stations. Also water use neutral.
Another thing that has changed is that Larry Hershfield, CEO of Ranch Capital, whom I wrote a series of articles about as “The Man Behind the Curtain,” has now stepped out from behind the curtain, and is now the public face of the project.
By Gary Christensen, Melissa Stern & Tyler Sandstrom, The San Diego Union-Tribune
For those of us lucky enough to call this place home, we are well aware that San Diego is pretty near to being paradise. The last time you had visitors from out of town, how proudly did you parade them around boasting about our weather, lifestyle, history and recreational offerings? We’re guilty. Frankly, it’s hard not to.
The question is, who deserves to enjoy our little corner of heaven, and will a blow to our economic future make this place less than paradise?
By U-T Letter writers, The San Diego Union-Tribune
We are responding to a letter printed under the heading “Is growth out of control in county?” (Jan. 31): The undersigned recently addressed our steadily worsening housing-cost picture at a public forum in Carlsbad hosted by Sen. Pat Bates. The region is suffering from an acute shortage of housing, which highly impacts our work force and middle-income population. Housing growth is certainly not out of control. Our region’s challenge is solving the stagnation in housing production, which occurs in tandem with low inventories of affordably priced resale and rental options. This circumstance has the young leaving San Diego, has its seniors with no place to go and our work force scrambling to pay ever-higher rental costs. The answer is to build more housing, where it belongs, at a price most people can afford. This requires an honest look at what created the challenge and burdens we face.