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. 

Yes on Measure A comments by Mayor Paul McNamara and Vista Councilmember Corinna Contreras

North County Officials support Yes on Measure A.

Don’t miss this great news conference held today in Escondido.  The video is here.  Please watch the comments of these leaders in the North County who support Yes on Measure A.

The press release is here 
North County Elected Officials Urge Support for Measure A to
Give Voters a Voice in Land Use Decisions
Escondido, Calif. – Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara and Vista City Councilmember Corinna Contreras today urged San Diego County voters to vote Yes on Measure A, the Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside (SOS) Citizens’ Initiative. At a press conference in Escondido, the two elected officials highlighted the benefits of voter involvement in approving General Plan Amendments and spoke about the history of Proposition S, an Escondido land use rule comparable to the countywide Measure A.
“In Escondido, the passage of Proposition S encouraged development where it was needed most,” said Mayor McNamara. “Prop S has not impeded economic development or housing development in Escondido, and there is every reason to believe that Measure A will similarly guide developers to build housing closer to jobs and infrastructure.”
Under today’s system, developers have repeatedly proposed large luxury developments in fire-prone areas of unincorporated San Diego County. Measure A gives voters a voice in deciding whether zoning changes for large housing developments in rural and semi-rural areas of San Diego’s backcountry should be allowed.
“Measure A encourages following the County’s smart growth general plan, which is the key to meeting our greenhouse gas emissions targets and creating a more sustainable region,” said Vista City Councilmember Corinna Contreras. “When the County does not follow its smart growth general plan, it destroys habitat while creating more congestion in our region and making housing less affordable. Sprawl is bad for the cities and bad for the countryside. Vote Yes on Measure A to limit sprawl.”
San Diego County’s General Plan concentrates new housing in areas where roads, public safety, schools and other services are already available. These locations are easier to defend from wildfire and have a lower taxpayer burden because they don’t require new infrastructure. The General Plan also zones for housing in areas that would limit traffic impacts.
San Marcos Councilmember Randy Walton, who was unable to attend, released the following statement, “San Marcos and other North County cities are working hard to build the right kinds of housing in the right kinds of places. If the County continues to approve sprawl projects requiring amendments to their smart-growth general plan, it undermines smart regional planning for our entire county. A vote of Yes on Measure A will help limit congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and habitat destruction while contributing to a vibrant, livable North County with housing and job opportunities for all.”
“Measure A will give voters a say in San Diego’s land use decisions and will reduce the outsized influence of political contributions from developers; it will be a game changer,” said JP Theberge of Grow the San Diego Way and the Yes on A Campaign. “The General Plan has areas zoned for 60,000 more housing units in the county. Measure A will encourage us to build where we smartly planned for development rather than inefficiently and in a haphazard manner in our fire-prone backcountry. This approach has worked in Escondido and in many other jurisdictions, and it will work in the unincorporated San Diego County too.”
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Paid for by Yes on A, Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside 2020, Sponsored by environmental and land use organizations, Committee major funding from Endangered Habitats League. | State ID # 1418132