Major new sewer line Project along Felicita Road, Park Drive, and Via Rancho Pkwy. COMMENTS DUE APRIL 1

There is a new major project in public review right now that many people may not know about but will impact all of us in SW Escondido.  The City is planning to lay new sewer lines and replace some old lines in under 3.4 miles of existing local roads.  This includes all of Felicita Road from Hamilton to Via Rancho and much of Park Drive.  The project will last 9 months.

The noticing was very limited and the comments on this project are due on April 1st.  Here is the notice Sewer Project Notice

And here is the  Draft Envl Document SW Sewer Replacement Mitigated Negative Declaration

This matters on several levels because these new sewer lines will set the stage for future annexations and will be dug into areas where the Chatham contaminated plume is present.

While it is good news that sewage lift stations that are currently at/over capacity will be shut down,  it is unclear from the document how much more capacity (read development) this action will allow.

It is of major concern to us that the trenching and excavation will happen in areas where the Chatham industrial waste plumes have been or are currently located.  The trenching will go at least 14 feet deep.  The city does not plan to develop the response plans for contaminated groundwater or vapors that might be released into the air until the project is underway– a significant failing of the draft document.   This could expose workers and nearby residents if not handled well.

We are also concerned this project is also a precursor to annexation of more areas.  A surprise revelation for many of us living in Southwest Escondido was that the Escondido General Plan includes many current county neighborhoods in Escondido ‘Sphere of Influence’ for the purposes of ultimately annexing us.   This was a shock for many county residents who thought our Escondido address was merely a convenient designation for mail etc…

Escondido Neighbors United will publish our comments once they are completed.  But, EVERYONE is encouraged to read and comment on this as well.  Bottom-line, there is not enough information in the draft Mitigated Negative Declaration to ensure that human health and the environment will be adequately protected.  More sampling and analysis needs to be done, response plans need to be developed and disclosed, and the document should be recirculated.

More soon.

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