SAVE FELITICA PARK Urgent Action Needed

 Dear Friends who care about Felitica Park. 

 Our Park is under threat again.  Now, the city of Escondido is pursuing a condemnation action of parkland in order to install drainage pipes that will greatly increase (60%) drainage from road and Oak Creek in the northeast corner of the park.

Escondido Neighbors United, Environmental Center of San Diego, and the Sierra Club North County Group has long-standing opposition to this project. Many other groups have joined in opposition.

The County has made reasonable requests of the Oak Creek Developer (KB Home) which they have obstinately refused.  KB Home may be familiar to readers as the company building the project and seriously violated storm water regulations in 2019-2020.

The County has asked that three studies be done to evaluate scouring and Impacts to cultural and biological resources AND for a mitigation plan to avoid any impacts be done prior to putting our Park at risk. These actions are essential to protecting the Park!

ENU members are further concerns that the amount of new drainage and scouring could dig deeper into the plum of contamination from Chatham Barrel Yard which continue to underlay the Park where contamination daylights (goes into the air) in the creek in the park.

Massive concentration of drainage going into a small section of the creek and into the main channel could threaten the water quality, cultural, recreational, and biological resources of the Park.

This is an Environmental Justice issue!  Local indigenous people still use this area for gatherings. A large number of park users are Latino families and use Felicita Park often. This Park is a precious asset to our local region and deserves our respect and protection.  We must stand against this action!

WE MUST OPPOSE THIS PROJECT UNTIL IT HAS BEEN ADEQUATELY ASSESSED AND IMPACTS FULLY MITIGATED. 

Please join our action alert list.  Please email conservation@sierraclubncg.org to receive future updates. 

We believe, should this go to Court, a judge cannot credibly make the findings that this is in the public interest, that it has been planned appropriately, or that the downstream implications are known. Since we may have to take legal action against this, please let us know if you can donate to a legal fund.

Here is a link to background letters.  

ENU’s letter  

Sierra Club NCG

As we all know, but KB Home appears not to know, Felicita Park is not just any park! 

Felicita County Park is one of the oldest parks in the San Diego County park system. The area has been a popular gathering place for many centuries. This history has landed this park on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Felicita County Park has an ancient and historic history. With its abundance of water, oaks and boulders, the land was the site of a large Kumeyaay Indian village. Because of its cultural background, the park is named after Felicita LaChappa, a Native American who lived in the San Pasqual Valley.

Below is from this park brochure:  

 

 

 

Support Community Energy at Esco City Council on Oct 27, 5 PM

 The largest and most important action to reduce GHG in Escondido will be decided this Wednesday.  The Council will be deciding if it will participate in the Clean Energy Alliance.  Please see this action alert from our allies at Sierra Club North County Group.

A series of very important decisions will be made in the next few weeks about the North County’s energy future.  Even if you have been sitting on the sidelines till now, please get involved.  Sierra Club and our allies are advocating for the North County cities to join the Clean Energy Alliance, a community choice energy program that already includes Carlsbad, Del Mar, and Solana Beach.

The time for a clean energy future is here.  Please support this action.  Comment here and/or attend the meeting on October 27, at 5 PM when Escondido will decide its energy future.  Please communicate your support to the Mayor and City Council

Sierra Club comment letter is here.

October 20, 2021

Honorable Mayor McNamara and City Councilmembers, City of Escondido

RE:     Sierra Club NCG SUPPORT Escondido participation in Clean Energy Alliance

Dear Mayor and City Council:

Sierra Club North County Group (NCG) is in strong support of the city’s participation in the Clean Energy Alliance which we understand will be heard at the October 27, 2021 meeting.  This action will enable Escondido to begin to enjoy all the benefits of a CCA in 2023.

The Clean Energy Alliance (CEA) serves the residents of Carlsbad, Del Mar and Solana Beach and is the North County CCA. The feasibility study says that joining an existing CCA will save Escondido time, money, and valuable staff resources. A partnership with other North County cities will increase the economies of scale and benefit all of the cities.

There are several compelling reasons to move forward with this decision.

  • Residents and businesses of Escondido would get more renewable energy, at less cost than SDGE, through a CCA.
  • SDGE announced in 2019 that it is moving out of the power buying and selling that sector of its business.
  • A CCA is the most cost-effective way for Escondido to reach its major CAP goal for renewable, clean energy and GHG reductions.

Some of the other benefits of a CCA are:

  • Local Control– Unlike SDGE’s decisions, the CCA’s decisions are made in public meetings by local elected representatives that we can hold accountable.
  • Local Reinvestment – CCAs reinvest customer revenue into local clean, renewable energy projects. CEA, like many CCAs, offers rooftop solar customers better terms. This leads to more solar jobs, fewer greenhouse gases, and customer savings—all at the local level.
  • Local Jobs – More rooftop solar and large renewableprojects in our backyard lead to more good paying, local jobs for installation and construction.
  • Real Choice –A CCA is the only way to give rate-payers a real choice. If someone doesn’t like the CCA they can stick with SDGE.

The City of Escondido should move forward on a CCA now. The benefits are significant, local control, local jobs, local investment and more renewables. And, it will save Escondido residents and businesses money at the same time. It’s time for a real choice for where our electricity is coming from instead of the current monopoly.

We are in the midst of a climate crisis and we need to do everything we can to reduce GHGs. We can’t afford to keep putting off action. We should pursue more renewable energy now at less cost.

Sierra Club NCG urges the Escondido City Council to join the Clean Energy Alliance on October 27, 2021.

 

Earth Day Actions at the County- Support Sustainability and Native Plants on May 5th

Escondido Neighbors United is happy to support the following actions by our new Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer,

Check out these MAJOR POSITIVE actions that are being proposed for the County. 

In honor of Earth Day, we are doing
more than celebrating our planet, in partnership with Supervisor Fletcher and
Supervisor Vargas respectively, I’m bringing forward three policies that will
bring major changes to how the county operates:  

  • ALL County departments will create and implement
    Sustainability Plans, to advance  sustainability in all aspects of
    how we work
  • Explore how to restructure the County from top to
    bottom to center sustainability in all our operations 
  • Launch a Native Plants Landscaping Policy, the first of
    its kind in the country, to safeguard our precious local
    biodiversity 

These would be major shifts in how the County operates so we
need a big grassroots push to try to rally the votes to get these policies
passed. We need your help to get these policies across the finish line.

 For the ENU Felicita Park gardening team, item 7 is a match made in heaven.  This will put us on an even stronger track to increase supply and use of native plants in our beloved park.

Please submit an e-comment today or speak in support of these
policies
at the virtual meeting on
Wednesday, May 5th.

These actions to increase
sustainability, equity, environmental justice, habitat protection and native
plant landscaping will be heard by the Supervisors on May 5th where the Board
will consider moving forward with these actions.

PLEASE help us make this a
reality.  Please be sure you read these the staff reports and file a Board
comment of support for the May 5th meeting.

Staff reports start on Page 19

Agenda item 6, 7, and 8 – Here is where to make your comments.

 

 

Growing Coalition Opposes Sprawl Development Harvest Hills

Over
40 local community, climate, labor, environmental justice, and conservation
organizations sent a letter today to the Escondido City Council recommending milestones to be achieved prior to the
city moving forward with any consideration of Harvest Hills.

The
letter outlines significant policy conflicts between the proposed project,
San Diego County, and Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCO) policies, fire
disaster prevention, and formalized and proposed habitat plans. 

The best overview can be seen on this
2-minute video 
https://fb.watch/3Fnt49v6uX/ and
petition to sign to join the opposition.

Harvest Hills proposes to radically expand the wildland/urban
interface and, if constructed, would threaten local and on-site residents and
the world-famous Safari Park in the event of fire.

In
the three years since the DEIR comment period was closed, several important
actions have not been taken and new policies and more visible realities have
worsened the prospects of this project. 

Locating
sprawl development in a Very High Fire Severity Zone is increasingly being
opposed by
 our
organizations,
 local
residents, and the California Attorney General. 

The organizations urge the City to require the following actions prior to
advancing the CEQA review and rendering a decision on the project at the City:

1.      The Annexation
Agreement needed to proceed with LAFCO Sphere of Influence and annexation
decisions is fully executed;

2.      A favorable
position for the project has been adopted by the County of San Diego
demonstrating that incompatibilities are resolved;

3.      A full and
detailed economic impact analysis is completed which makes transparent to
existing residents and taxpayers the unfunded costs of this project, including
an analysis of fiscal impact of a partially completed project; and,

4. The new City Manager is installed at the City. 

Support a ‘Gold-Standard’ Escondido Climate Action Plan February 10

 This is it!  The final workshop about the Escondido Climate Action Plan Update will be held on Feb. 10 at 5 PM at the City Council meeting.  

This is such an important action.  It will guide city planning and actions for the next 14 years.  We must take strong climate action if we are to arrest the worst impacts of the climate crisis.

Please contact the Mayor and City Council about this issue.

If you need inspiration watch Amanda Gorman EarthRise a beautiful expression of the challenge we face and the need for action now. 

The Escondido Community Advisory Group for Environmental and Climate Action has made important comments and can be reviewed here 

Please file your comments to the Mayor and City Council her

Or, you can email them collectively or individually at 

pmcnamara@escondido.org

Jgarcia@escondido.org

cmartinez@escondido.org

Tinscoe@escondido.org 

mmorasco@escondido.org 

We are running out of time.  Please join us in taking action.

Climate Kids has great resources for kids- Check it out

 The local Climate Alliance is a great resource to our region.  If you child needs some meaningful activities to do during the pandemic, you might want to check out Climate Kids and resources there.

 Colors of Conservation  a fantastic coloring book

Climate Kids resources   all kinds of fun things to do.  Climate bingo, scavenger hunt.

All in Spanish too! 

Check it out 

Watch Sierra Club video: Stop Harvest Hills Sprawl Development, Sign Petition

Sierra Club North County Group has released social media video to educate the public about the sprawl development Harvest Hills and to ask the public to sign its petition to stop the project.   

The video can be viewed on the Sierra Club NCG Stop
Harvest Hills Facebook Page
or the San Diego Sierra
Club YouTube channel

They ask everyone who cares about the environment, fighting climate change, and reducing fire risks to Sign this Petition and help stop this ill-advised project. 

Please read full report in the Escondido Grapevine 

 


Register for 4th Environmental Leadership Summit Sept. 19 on Zoom

The 4th Environmental Leadership Summit of the Environmental Center of San Diego will be held virtually this year on Saturday, September 19th, 9 AM – 2PM. There is no charge.

Learn more here.        REGISTER HERE

This will be amazing event and will focus on the intersection of social justice and environmental activism.
Keynote speaker will be Ms. Sonja Robinson, Chair of the Environmental and Climate Justice
Committee for the NAACP San Diego Branch and then panels on Intersectional
environmentalism: Equity and Inclusivity. The Summit will conclude with statements from candidates running
for election in 2020 about their positions on social and environmental justice. 

NEW Food to Soil Composting Services now available in Escondido

There is a now a great option for people in inland North County to live more sustainably by having their food scraps composted. 

One of the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to stop wasting food and to compost our scraps.  Food to Soil is an innovative program that is now available in Escondido!

Many people wish they had time, space, and knowledge to successfully compost their food waste.  Now, you have someone to do it for you.  Here is the link 

Soil Farmer Chris will do your composting of food scraps for you.  You just drop your bucket off when it is full.  You can pay a reasonable monthly fee or per bucket.  Learn more here.  

Contact Chris for more information.

More Bad Behavior by KB Home at Oak Creek

Things with the Oak Creek development near Felicita Park have gone from bad to worse.  Late last year, massive failure of the Oak Creek stormwater measures resulted in pollution and erosion in Felicita Creek.  The city issued a Stop Work order and significant violations were found.

Escondido Neighbors United (ENU) first reported these failures and has asked again and again for Administrative fines due to these failures.

Now, instead of developing the drainage and other actions required as part of the project, KB Home sued the city for not giving them an exemption to environmental conditions. 

ENU opposes this litigation and the remedies it requests and has alerted the Regional Board to this litigation.