Poway neighbors divided over housing proposal

Posted at 6:08 AM, Jun 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-12 14:45:46-04

POWAY, Calif. (KGTV) - A group of Poway homeowners continues to gather petition signatures for a plan to bring luxury condominiums to the StoneRidge Country Club.

The group says it's a compromise made with the country club owner to keep the course open for years to come.

"We have a terrific golf course," said Mitch Steller, CEO of the nonprofit Poway Open Space. "I've been here for 30 years playing golf and living on the golf course, and we wanted to keep that going."

Steller said the course hasn't been profitable, and many feared it would close down. The owner, Michael Schlesinger, has closed down other courses in the past.

The neighbors formed Poway Open Space and began negotiations with the golf course that lasted for months. The final proposal includes up to 180 condominiums for people aged 55 and older, and the units would take up no more than 15 acres.

However, some neighbors say they don't want more housing in their backyards.

"Our biggest concern is we moved here to the city of Poway to live with open space," said Heather Jalisi. "Not too many homes and too much traffic and to really live in this environment."

She and others have been taking to Nextdoor to express their frustrations. Some believe a petition for the project is deceiving and that they didn't realize the proposal takes away open space.

Currently, the land is zoned open space, and the proposal would change it to residential.

"Throughout this, nobody has come by and shared the plans," said Jalisi. "The first time we saw the plans was when they had an open house at the golf course."

Jalisi is concerned over added noise and traffic. She would prefer to keep the open space, even if that means shutting the golf course down.

Members of Poway Open Space believe they negotiated the best deal possible for the community. If they're able to gather nearly 5,000 signatures, the issue will go on November's ballot.