San Marcos housing development on hold, more environmental studies planned

Plans for a new housing development in San Marcos are on hold for now. Dozens of residents were set to pack a Planning Commission meeting Monday evening, but the hearing was canceled while additional environmental studies are conducted. 
The Highlands Development calls for nearly 200 homes to be built on 262 acres of land near North Las Posas Road south of Buena Creek Road in the Santa Fe Hills area of San Marcos. 
Kevin Wang is one of nearly 1,000 residents who signed a petition against the project.  "My greatest concern is that it kind of kills the life of San Marcos," said Wang. 
Wang told 10 News he moved to San Marcos to escape the urban sprawl in Orange County.
"San Marcos, when we moved here, was sort of a semi rural place, you have rural and you have town, but with this project, it seems to extend sprawl away from existing city centers and opens the door to just tons more sprawl," said Wang. 
Kevin Mecum is worried about congestion on Las Posas Road.
"Most people that live in this area are opposed to this project because it would turn Las Posas, which is currently a relatively quiet street, with an elementary school right there on the corner, into a major thoroughfare," said Mecum.
75-year-old Farouk Kubba, of Orange County, purchased the land thirty-two years ago. He told 10 News he's spent decades working to ease the concern of residents. The current project is a much smaller version than the original. Kubba said it preserves seventy-five percent of open space. 
"There's a lot of people that use this property and they think it's open space for them, as if it's their park, and I don't think that is right and I feel I've waited long enough. I'm developing a property that is basically trying to take care of the environment as much as we can. There are some people that no matter what we do, they don't want anything there," said Kubba.
A new hearing will be held once the new environmental studies are complete. That process is expected to take six months to a year. 
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