NewsLocal NewsSan Diego News


Poll: Developers could be facing pair of defeats in March

Posted at 5:34 PM, Jan 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 14:22:08-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego County developers could be in for a pair of stinging defeats this March, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The 10News/Union-Tribune Scientific poll shows Measure A passing and Measure B failing, though many voters remain undecided.

Measure A, called Save our San Diego Countryside, would trigger a countywide vote when the County Board of Supervisors alters its already approved general plan to allow for more dense development in an unincorporated area.

Proponents say it's in response to housing proposals too large for the backcountry, leading to concerns over traffic, pollution and fire safety.

RELATED: Voters could have final say over massive (and not so massive) backcountry developments

The scientific poll of 517 likely primary voters shows 33 percent in favor, 11 percent opposed, with 55 percent undecided on Measure A.

In statement, the campaign for Measure A said developers have too much influence over politicians.

"Millions of dollars and fancy lobbyists cannot erase the truth: the people are tired of politicians doing the bidding for special interests instead of listening to the people. A vote of Yes on Measure A will put an end to the status quo of bought off politicians and give the power back to the people," the statement said.

But the No on Measure A campaign warned that this measure, if passed, would greatly increase San Diego County's supply crunch. Spokeswoman Tanya Castaneda said in a statement its big campaign push would begin next week through mailers.

“When voters learn about Measure A’s loopholes and exemptions, and the fact that it would trigger a countywide vote of 1.6 million people anytime anyone wanted to add as few as six homes to the General Plan, they oppose it,” she said. “Voters also oppose it when they learn the wealthy, out-of-state backers of Measure A wrote it to protect the Golden Door Spa, which campaign finance records show has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Measure A."

In response, a spokesman for the Yes on Measure A campaign said the Golden Door helped financially with its signature drive, but has not contributed to its actual campaign and did not write the measure. He added that there would only be a countywide vote if there are general plan amendments in rural or semi-rural areas.

Measure B would authorize a development called Newland Sierra in an unincorporated area north of Escondido. It would allow for about 2,100 new homes, pitched as affordable for middle income earners such as first responders and teachers.

RELATED: Voters to decide on North County's controversial Newland Sierra housing development

In 2018, the County Board of Supervisors approved amending the general plan to allow for the development, but a referendum led by residents and the adjacent Golden Door secured enough signatures to send it to the ballot.

The scientific poll of 517 likely primary voters shows 34 percent opposed, 22 percent in favor, with 45 percent still undecided on Measure B.

In a statement, the No on Newland Sierra campaign took aim at the project.

"Newland Sierra is a badly flawed project with luxury housing that San Diegans understand won’t solve our housing affordability crisis," the statement said. "The more voters hear about this project, the less they like it.

But the campaign in favor of the development said the measure is getting a wide variety of support from firefighters to affordable housing advocates.

"The poll results released today are different from our internal polling, which shows Yes on B resonating strongly with voters when they understand this is a choice between providing housing affordable for working families versus just another shopping mall and high-end estate homes as currently permitted on this property by the County General Plan.”

Voters will decide on the measures in March. The poll's margin of error was 5 percent.

Read the entire poll here.