Developer delays vote on downsized home plans


Last updated 7/31/2008 at Noon

The Fallbrook Community Planning Group’s (FCPG) vote in regards to the plans of KB Home’s development strategy to downsize home models in the Shady Grove development was continued until next month at the request of the developer on July 21.

The FCPG was going to vote on whether or not they would have approved a modification to the Major Use Permit that KB Homes has on the area. The approval would have allowed the developers to downsize models in the development, much to the disapproval of the area’s existing residents.

The original plans for the development were to place 101 homes in the area ranging from 2,600 to 3,500 square feet.

Thirty-six of the homes in the community were built according to these plans.

But at a meeting on March 20, KB Homes Project Manager Eric Scheck informed the Shady Grove residents that the remaining homes would be modified in size, ranging from 1,600 to 2,200 square feet, which would directly lower the selling price of the homes to between $300,000 and $500,000.

The price for the proposed homes is much lower than the cost of the existing homes. According to KB Homes, the sizes and prices of the homes that are to be built are in response to the poor economy and the lack of a demand for higher-end homes.

This would seem a wise decision for the developing company, as recent newspaper articles on foreclosures and dropped real estate prices stated that prices on homes across the county have been sharply falling and bank-owned properties on the market in neighborhoods with numerous foreclosures signal dreams gone bust.

These bank-owned homes are a threat to neighborhoods, as they pull down values in the area for other homeowners, who must compete with the distressed properties if they hope to sell.

However, Shady Grove residents felt that the homes in Shady Grove should be built according to the original plans because they saw a high interest in the community. They expressed concern that the smaller homes would decrease the value of the existing homes and alter the demographics of the neighborhood.

A Shady Grove resident notified the Department of Planning and Land Use (DPLU) of the situation on April 1 and expressed the worries of the residents and requested an opportunity to meet with the DPLU, which has more control over this development than a regular subdivision because it is a planned development with a major use permit. Therefore, the DPLU would be able to make a recommendation to the county in regard to the housing plans.

Representatives for KB Homes were unavailable for comment, but corporate spokesperson Lindsay Stephenson stated in past interviews that the company leaders are well aware of the homeowners’ concerns and have every intention of reaching a workable plan, one that is likely to entail the development being split into two different communities.

The plans are in the process of approval, Stephenson said, but it could be several more months before San Diego County approves them and the plans are finalized.

The developers are looking at creating homes with a separate marketing plan with a different entrance for the remainder of the homes, and according to Stephenson, this is a sign that KB Homes is looking for an alternative that would be more financially sound for the company and simultaneously keep the existing homeowners happy.

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