Escondido Neighbors United – Community Update: July 2014

Dear Friend and Neighbor:

We are excited to bring you our first Escondido Neighbors United (ENU) Community Update. 

Who we are.  Escondido Neighbors United is a group of residents, friends, and park users living in and near Escondido.  We love our area and we are concerned about area issues and decided to work together to take action and solve problems.

What are we trying to accomplish?  We have several priorities on which we are currently working:

  1. Cleanup of Chatham Brothers Barrel Yard, a State Superfund site that has contaminated the groundwater under Felicita Park and in Felicita Creek with industrial wastes.
  2. Clean up contamination, protect habitat and open space, and reduce development impacts from the proposed Homeland/OakCreek gated housing development.
  3. Improve public outreach and community involvement actions on the part of the Escondido City Council and San Diego County.
  4. Oppose City annexations if they negatively impact current county residents, water quality, or the environment, including Oak Creek and Safari Highlands Ranch.

What is the current status of these projects?

  1. Chatham Barrel Yard  ENU has formally requested that the Five Year Remedy Review not be finalized or approved until a community meeting is held and additional actions required to remediate pollution in groundwater and in Felicita Creek. We are hoping there will be a community meeting in late July or August at Felicita Park. We will keep you posted.
  2. Homeland/Oak Creek Development  The City of Escondido is developing a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the 65-home development on the Homeland site. The state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has directed a site assessment be completed to determine what contamination is on the site and whether or not it needs to be remediated.  There is pollution present from the groundwater plumes from the Chatham Barrel Yard and from previous decades of agricultural activity. ENUhas requested the EIR be postponed until the DTSC has completed its review and determination.
  3. Improve Public Participation.  ENU has written a letter to the City making recommendations for improving outreach and public involvement in City decisions.

How can you learn more?    Review the linked documents:

  1. Letter from the State Water Quality Board supporting our request for a community meeting about the Chatham Barrel Yard Waste Site. [link]
  2. Letter from Delano and Delano, ENUs legal representative requesting that the Oak Creek EIR process be postponed until health regulators have completed their assessment of contamination on the Oak Creek residential development site. [link]
  3. Take a look at the following data bases related to contamination in the area.
    1. Department of Toxic Substances Control records related to Chatham
    2. Regional Water Quality Control Board records related to Chatham

 How can you take action?

  1. Contact the Escondido Mayor and City Council and let them know you support delay of the Oak Creek Environmental Impact Report until all information is available for review by the public.  Let them know you do not want the City to annex contaminated land.  Call (760) 839-4880 or email:

Mayor Sam Abed,

Deputy Mayor Olga Diaz,

Councilmember Ed Gallo,

Councilmember Mike Morasco,

Councilmember John Masson,

    2. Sign our petition and ask your neighbors to sign it.   Help us connect with residents who share our goals and mission. [link] Return the signed petitions to


    3. Stay in touch. Let us know what you think and how you would like to help.  Please email   


Other Information/resources/events to know about.

  1. Help Improve Water Quality in the San Dieguito River Watershed
    Thursday, July 24th. 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
    City of Poway Council Chambers, 13325 Civic Center Drive, Poway, CA 92064
    Let the City and County know that you support a strong Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP) that will improve water quality and require action to clean up the Chatham contamination in Felicita Creek.
  2. Join the blog Escondido 2014. A daily blog that will give you helpful information about what is happening in our city. Sign up at
  3. Read Escondido Alliance/Allianza Escondido. A new monthly newspaper that is free and discusses many Escondido issues.

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