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Campus project called 'still ghetto and bad for Fallbrook'

After reviewing the environmental impact report (EIR) draft for the proposed Campus Park site during their October 19 board meeting, the Fallbrook Community Planning Group (FCPG) sent a note to the San Diego County Department of Planning and Land Use stating the project was “still ghetto and bad for Fallbrook.”

Representatives of the Campus project, which would be located on the northeast corner of the Interstate 15 and State Route 76 intersection, presented a draft of the EIR in order to receive comments and feedback from the FCPG and community members.

After its mandatory 45-day comment period, the EIR will be sent to the county to be reviewed. All comments made on the draft will then be responded to by the developers. Chris Brown, spokesperson for the Campus project, elaborated on the plan for the proposed development, explaining the distribution of 1,076 various housing units on the parcel.

Four pocket parks, a sports complex and a homeowner’s association site are also planned, in addition to professional office and retail areas.

Based on what part of the development children live in, they would be assigned to either Fallbrook Union Elementary School District or Bonsall Union School District. For high school, they would all be in the Fallbrook Union High School District.

Brown explained that the development was split “nearly down the middle” by the elementary school districts. The development would pay nearly $7.2 million in school fees to the three districts.

After hearing the report details, FCPG members had several concerns to voice.

“When looking at the individual projects, it’s hard to accumulate the impact they will have,” said board member Bill Bopf. “There are going to be 70,000 car trips per day coming from this area, and that’s a conservative number.”

Bopf was also concerned about the slope grading that would have to take place in order to construct the large amount homes in the area.

“This will become a sea of houses,” he said.

Board member Harry Christiansen believes the traffic coming from the area will have a cumulatively negative effect.

“We have asked the developers to put all of their projects together, but instead they come one at a time, saying, ‘We’re just the little guy; we won’t do much,’” said Christiansen. “We still need a new interchange in the area, but there isn’t going to be much infrastructure added.”

Board member Anne Burdick brought up the fact that several of these homes would be built in the floodplain.

“We would need to see the pads used to get these houses out of the floodplain by making a raised embankment.” said Burdick. “If the homes planned to be built on the floodplain were eliminated, that would reduce the environmental impact.”

Burdick told Brown that the water supply plan for the development needed to use more current data, as well as a plan that did not rely solely on desalination for supplies.

“The date used for water supply to this area is outdated, coming from either 2005 or 2002,” said Burdick. “We want to see the most current data used. We also want to see other plans besides relying on the desalination plant, especially since we have just seen there may be concerns with the desalination process.”

In emergency situations that would involve fire or law enforcement response, the public facilities board found that it would take five minutes for the fire department to respond, with law enforcement taking up to eight minutes for priority calls and 20 minutes for non-priority calls.

“While this is a countywide problem, developers should still figure out how that is going to be addressed,” said Burdick.

Overall, it was clear FCPG members were unhappy with the plans brought before them.

“This is a high density, urban project that ignores the Fallbrook community,” said FCPG member Eileen Delaney. “The uniqueness of the community has been ignored by the developers. This development is out of character with the rest of Fallbrook and should incorporate more of the rural look of Fallbrook’s community.”

“You’re still proposing to build ghettos,” said FCPG chair Jim Russell. “The unit size is less than standard. If you were developing this plan for East L.A., this plan would be fine, but for Fallbrook, this plan sucks. You’ve thrown out a plan that no one would approve.”

After discussion, the FCPG unanimously voted to send their notes and discussion to the county for review.

“If these comments are beneficial, we will try to implement them,” said Brown.


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