SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The public now has a chance to chime in on a controversial housing project proposed for the old golf course at Carmel Mountain Ranch.
Developer New Urban West is trying to build 1,200 homes on the property. They also plan to develop parks, open space, trails, and community gathering areas.
The City of San Diego just released the Environmental Impact Review of the project.
New Urban West says 70% of the land will be preserved as open space. Opponents say that kind of dense development doesn't fit the neighborhood.
"It's a development that's in the wrong place at the wrong time," says Troy Daum, the Founder of Carmel Mountain United, a non-profit that opposes the development.
"They're taking old data and ideas that frankly didn't work (in LA), and they're trying to pave over our precious open space," Daum says.
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New Urban West says their project will feature eight acres of public parks, 30 acres of open space, and six miles of pedestrian and bicycle trails.
The developer also says it will help alleviate some of the housing crisis in the region.
In a statement to ABC 10News, New Urban West's Jonathan Frankel says, "The plan features affordable and market-rate housing for young families and working professionals in very close proximity to 46,000 jobs and a major transit center."
Supporters say that area needs more housing.
"We absolutely have to take advantage of opportunities like this one," says Molly Beane from YIMBY Democrats of SD County. "It's essentially just a fenced-off plot of dirt. So neighbors could look at that, or we could use that land to create more homiddle-classddle class San Diego families."
"This helps create opportunities for people to live closer to where they're going to be employed," says Erik Bruvold, the San Diego North Economic Development Council's CEO.
"It's far better for school teachers and firefighters and policemen and the people that make our communities whole and vibrant, for them to live where they're doing work as opposed to Marietta or Temecula or Menifee or someplace far-flung on the I-15."
Daum agrees that the region needs more housing. But he says it would be better for the neighborhood to redevelop abandoned retail or office space into housing, especially since more stores and businesses are closing during the coronavirus pandemic.
"All the infrastructure is already there," Daum says. "You can build up much more affordably. You can make walkable communities. It would be a very desirable place to live."
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The Carmel Mountain Ranch Sabre Springs Community Council has already suggested alternatives to the development. They'd like to see a smaller version put on the golf course.
"This is a real draconian kind of infill project," says CMRSSCC Chair Eric Edelman. "It's seeking to just stuff a lot more housing in areas that weren't designed for it."
"We don't want to come across as a bunch of people who are NIMBYs and don't want anything in their backyard at all," Edelman adds. "But we would like this project to at least attempt to retain the character of what Carmel Mountain Ranch is."
The public can view the Environmental Impact report on this website. The public comment period is open until February 8th. After that, the project will still need approval from the Planning Commission and the City Council before construction begins.