Santee residents unhappy about new housing development

Posted at 9:40 PM, Jul 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 00:40:22-04

Construction is underway on a controversial housing development in Santee.

Bulldozers are grading the hillside just north of Mast Boulevard off State Route 52. Pardee Homes' Castlerock community will include 415 new single family and detached condos. The project also includes a multi-acre park and an improved two-mile public trail near Mission Trails Regional Park. 

Dan and Peggy Robinson's backyard view is now a massive construction site.

"It's been kind of tough. The noise is a little rough, like I said before, I honestly believe they've watered it pretty well, we haven't seen a bunch of dirt in my pool," said Robinson.

Robinson and dozens of other neighbors who live on Medina Road have long opposed the project, but Robinson said he's learning to live with it.

"I'm not happy about it, but I understand. I do get the fact, this aging community, they need to put some new homes up here," said Robinson. "Supply and demand in San Diego. If the demand is high, they're going to come up with the supply and here it is right in our backyard."

Tuesday night Pardee Homes held an informational open house for residents who have concerns. The biggest complaint is traffic along the already congested Mast Boulevard. The entrance to the new development will be directly across from West Hills High School.

"The amount of traffic that's going to be put through these streets is going to be phenomenal. You're going to run, probably 3, 4 thousand more cars on Mast Blvd out to the 52, that's going to be tough," said Robinson.

Last year, West Hills High Junior, Ryan Willweber was killed in a car crash in front of the school. Pardee Homes was already planning to put in a traffic signal to try to ease congestion, but it was installed earlier following the student's death.

Ben Cravey said the signal did nothing to help traffic. 

"It took me forty-five minutes one morning to go from my house to get on 52 and that's maybe a half a mile."  There will only be one entrance into the new development.

"All I see is problems, more accidents," said Cravey.

Others see the project as progress.

Connie Williams is looking to buy a home in the new development.

"It really is nice to know that they're coming to the east county because we've lived here over 10 years and we want to stay out here and it's hard to find a house," said Williams.

Pricing is expected to be released in early 2018 when the first homes are complete.

The Castlerock community is currently located in the City of San Diego, but the land will be annexed to Santee; a decision approved by both cities in 2013.