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Controversial housing project in Harmony Grove advances

ESCONDIDO — A project that would build 453 units of housing on 111 acres in Harmony Grove received a divided OK from the County’s Planning Commission, paving the way for the Board of Supervisors to weigh in on the project.

The six-member Planning Commission voted 4-2 in favor of the proposed 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 of Supervisors.

Residents have protested the project 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.

The project was opposed by both the San Dieguito Community Planning Group and the Elfin Forest Harmony Grove Town Council, which panned the project as inconsistent with the existing community.

Commissioners Michael Beck and Michael Seiler voted against the project.

“This thing is not ready for prime time,” Seiler said. “I cannot support the motion.”

The balance of the commission said they felt that staff — including sheriff’s and fire department officials — adequately addressed their concerns about evacuations, both human and animal.

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1 comment

JP Theberge June 4, 2018 at 10:51 pm

Next time, Aaron from The Coast News​, why don’t you come talk to the community whose lives are being jeopardized with a 1600% in density without increasing the ability to evacuate people down a two lane road. The fire department did not analyze the fire evacuation of the entire community and no study was done to show how upwards of 6000 people would be able to evacuate down a two lane road that even with no houses, was congested during Coco’s Fire where we lost 30 houses. Please, take the time to meet with the Elfin Forest Harmony Grove Town Council​.

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