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FCPG chairman calls Pardee's latest plan 'ghetto'

At the regular meeting of the Fallbrook Community Planning Group (FCPG) on September 15, Pardee Homes’ request for a General Plan amendment to subdivide the 390 acres located east of Interstate 15 and north of State Route 76, between the Passarelle and Pappus projects, to their specifications was unanimously denied by the FCPG board.

Plans for the Pardee project have been denied previously at several FCPG meetings over the past few years, including in March 2004, December 2005 and June 2007. Each time the board rejected Pardee’s plans, they expressed several concerns: too high of density with dwellings, too vague of plans, too small of lots, too much traffic for the infrastructure and no source of water or wastewater treatment facilities.

Jimmy Ayala, the representative from Pardee Homes, stood before the board. Every time that the board has denied the project, he said, Pardee “has been listening” and has been trying to work on creating a solution that will be beneficial to both Pardee and the community of Fallbrook.

At this meeting, Ayala presented a plan designed to address the FCPG board’s concerns by reducing the amount of homes per acre, strategically mapping out the lots and mapping out road construction in collaboration with the Pappus and Passarelle projects, adding 40 acres of parking, 10 acres of neighborhood parks and 167 acres of open space as well as increasing the size of the single-family lots from 3,000 square feet to 6,000 square feet.

The new proposed plan also included having the homes built along contour grading along the hillside, which would follow the natural contours in “clear, planted slopes,” allowing for better erosion control and “architecturally diverse, earth-toned development.”

The FCPG commended Pardee developers for making numerous changes to the development plan but still expressed grave concern over the fact that no jobs would be created in the midst of all this development. In addition, board members were worried about the infrastructure available at the site, as there is no source of water or plans for a sewer system laid out.

While Pardee had addressed some road development items, the FCPG felt that the roadways going northeast were “inconvenient” and needed more intersections in order to make traveling throughout the development easier.

FCPG Chair Jim Russell said he was “disheartened and disappointed” at Pardee’s renovations to the plan, noting that the area had the potential to be an asset to Fallbrook.

Russell went so far as to say that Pardee was “building ghettos” because the roadways, parking and amount of homes were more than should be on the property and “didn’t fit” on the topographical map correctly.

FCPG board member Harry Christiansen agreed with Russell, saying that even though the development plan had surpassed the amount of parking space required by the county, the development needed at least “a guest parking [spot] for every five units for livability” as well as larger garages to keep cars off of driveways and the sides of roads.

Christiansen felt that asking for adequate parking was “reasonable” and stated that the parking spots that were available for guest parking on the development plans would end up turning into “overflow parking” for residents who had more than two cars.

Christiansen accused the developers of having put forth “minimal effort” to resolve the problems and concerns brought up by the FCPG and felt that Pardee “could do better.” It was stated that the developer had several problems to address before the board would review any more proposals.

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