Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Poway, don't be fooled!

Very insightful article opposing Measure A in the Union Tribune.   Article by Brian Edmonston, a long-time Poway resident.

For those who do not have an on-line account for the UT, here is the full text of the article:

Don’t be fooled Poway.  Measure A proponents are using scare tactics and misleading marketing materials to rush you into passing a poorly drafted and poorly thought out zoning change to StoneRidge Golf Course.  Vote No on Measure A because the measure is all give-away and no give-back for Poway and its residents.

Let’s look at the facts.

Measure A proponents have threatened that if Measure A fails StoneRidge will turn into Escondido Country Club, which is being developed into at least two-hundred homes.  This is false. 

Escondido Country Club was already zoned residential when purchased by the developer. StoneRidge, on the other hand, is zoned “open space recreational” (OS-R). StoneRidge has been zoned OS-R for decades.  The owner of StoneRidge cannot build a single home the property -- not now, not next year and not even after 2020.

The OS-R zoning gives Poway much more control over StoneRidge.  We should use this control to more carefully consider what, if any, changes are necessary for it to be utilized by Poway.

Measure A proponents have also promised to provide a shortened golf facility (without a driving range) and a new clubhouse and restaurant if Measure A passes.  These promises are illusory.  These promises are not part of Measure A -- just read it. There is nothing about a golf course or a clubhouse in the measure.

Anyone telling you otherwise is referring to a side agreement that is not part of Measure A.  This side agreement was negotiated by a few golfers against a highly litigious Beverly Hills developer who does these deals all the time.

Which side do you think got the better bargain?

This flimsy three-page agreement has massive legal holes in it.  It cannot be enforced by the city of Poway or its residents.  The private company that signed it is a small limited liability corporation that has neither the wherewithal or financial resources to enforce the agreement, assuming it would even try.  The company also appears to be beholden to the developer who has financed the entire campaign behind Measure A.

So, there is no guarantee that these improvements will be built.   Nor is there anything to prevent the owner from closing the golf facilities five, seven or ten years after the one hundred and eighty condos have been completed.

If the refurbished course is closed Poway will be back in the same situation, except we will have lost twenty-five acres of land, a full-length golf course, practice range, tennis courts and swimming pool. Poway will also have one hundred and eighty condominiums already built and the entire southern two-thirds of the course will be zoned residential condominium.

In other words, Poway will have been fleeced by this aggressive developer who used a few panicked golfers to sell us a false bill of goods.

Measure A proponents also claim that Poway property values will go down if Measure A fails.  There is no evidence to back this up and one could easily argue the opposite, as one-hundred and eighty high density condos will certainly have a negative impact on the value of the houses near StoneRidge.

If we are going to fix StoneRidge (assuming it needs fixing) we should fix it correctly, permanently and in a legally binding fashion.  The final agreement has to be properly negotiated and put on the ballot in a way that holds the developer accountable.

Poway should also consider less drastic options for StoneRidge.  Such options include use as a park, public golf course or recreational facility via eminent domain or to rezone the property single-family residential, which is more in line with traditional Poway development.

Poway voters have already rejected less radical zoning changes such as a two hundred-room hotel on Maderas Golf Course.  A two hundred-room hotel is less than one-third of the size of the one hundred and eighty condominiums authorized by Measure A.

So, I urge you to vote NO on A.  Don’t let this out of town developer and a few country club golfers bully Poway into bypassing the normal development process. Don’t be fooled by unenforceable promises of a new golf course or clubhouse.  These things are not in Measure A.  Measure A does nothing but destroy open space and give away control of this useful piece of property.  


  1. The Poway Chieftain has endorsed Yes on A!

    “Measure A supporters say it’s a good use of the land and note that Schlesinger has signed a legally binding agreement with Poway Open Space, a group of golfers and some surrounding property owners, promising a refurbished golf course and a new clubhouse that would be open to the public."

    “Also remember that the council has the authority to attach conditions to any approval, such as those included in the private agreement between Schlesinger and Poway Open Space.”

    “Voters, we think, should take Schlesinger’s threat to close StoneRidge seriously. That would result in 117 acres of dead grass and weeds. The alternative is for voters to vote “yes” on Measure A, then carefully follow the development process and trust their elected City Council in its ability pass judgement. That is the course we recommend.”

    You can read the full endorsement here->

  2. Please have someone call me as soon as possible. I am filming a TV show tomorrow morning and had hoped to have a neutral guest from the City speak to both sides of this debate to help educate voters. Without naming them, all the city council members I spoke to, GVCA President, and the City Attorney declined the offer due to concerns that they would be deemed to be for or against. I have now decided to change the segment to include one person for and one person against and let them discuss pros and cons and dispel rumors and myths. My # is 858-405-0063

  3. After speaking to the City Attorney, GVCA, and multiple members of the City Council I was unable to secure a neutral guest for this morning. After some discussion with both sides, I chose to bring on Kevin McNamara and Brian Edmonston to have an open discussion regarding Measure A.


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