The Better Choice Measure provides San Diego County voters with a better choice for the development of 1,985 acres of privately-owned land in North San Diego County. Currently, the San Diego County General Plan allows for the development of a massive 2 million square foot commercial, office and retail development with 99 estate-style homes. The Better Choice Measure will instead permit the creation of 2,135 critically-needed homes with 62% of the homes affordably-priced for working families, including 10% of the homes for low and very low income residents. The Better Choice Measure also permanently protects more than 1,200 acres of open space, incorporates shuttles that connect residents to transit centers, creates 36 acres of parks and generates $3.4 million annually in local tax revenue.
The Better Choice Measure has gained widespread support from a diverse, bipartisan coalition of business and labor groups, fire safety experts, housing advocates, civic organizations and elected officials from across San Diego County. From The Chicano Federation to Cal FIRE Firefighters Local #2881 and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce – all endorse the Better Choice Measure. For a list of all endorsements, please visit betterchoicesd.org/endorse.
The property is currently designated by the County’s General Plan to allow up to 2 million square feet of commercial and retail space in addition to 99 estate-style homes. This would result in zero affordably-priced homes and would require up to 6,000 parking spaces to accommodate the large commercial and office buildings. The Better Choice Measure instead creates a much needed alternative of new housing for working families, while protecting open space and incorporating the latest sustainable and fire safe design features.
The property is ideally located right alongside the Interstate-15 transportation corridor and less than 2 miles from the cities of Escondido, San Marcos and Vista. The community is in a developed area surrounded by more than 33,000 homes with a 3-mile radius and 283,000 North County jobs, and will provide much needed housing for those jobs.
The Better Choice Measure will provide 2,135 homes and numerous other benefits for San Diego County. Of these homes, 1,331, or 62%, will be affordably-priced for working families. Specifically, the measure will provide 1,121 homes that will be affordable to families earning between 60% and 120% of the area median income in San Diego County, or earning between $64,200 and $128,400 for a family of four. Ten percent of the homes will be affordable for families earning below the area median income or less than $64,200 per year.
A legally binding covenant placed on the property guarantees that approximately 62% of the homes will be affordably-priced for San Diego’s working families. Specifically, the covenant guarantees that these homes that will be for families earning between 60% and 120% of the area median income in San Diego County, or earning between $64,200 and $128,400 for a family of four. It also guarantees that 10% of the homes will be traditional affordable housing, priced for families earning below the area median income or less than $64,200 per year.
Yes. Approximately 1,209 acres, more than 60 percent of the property, will be dedicated open space that is preserved forever. This is the same size as Balboa Park. In addition to open space, the Better Choice Measure also creates 36 acres of parks and 19 miles of trails.
In 2018, this project was unanimously approved by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and also by the Planning Commission. Unfortunately, the well-funded billionaire owners of the Golden Door Spa spent more than $3 million dollars to referend the Board of Supervisors’ decision and halt this housing project from moving forward. Luckily, in March 2020 voters will have the option to approve the Better Choice Measure which will provide 2,135 homes and more than 1,200 acres of open space, among other benefits instead of the current general designation, which permits up to 2 million square of commercial space and 99 luxury homes.
The Better Choice Measure is supported by local firefighters for its state-of-the-art fire protection plan, which goes well beyond the County’s requirements. The County’s Fire Marshall, the Deer Springs Fire Protection District and CAL Fire Firefighters Local #2881 are among many that have approved the Better Choice Measure’s Fire Protection Plan. The project’s extensive fire protection measures and project-specific evacuation plan are designed to meet and exceed building and fire code requirements, including a 250-foot wide Fuel Modification Zone surrounding the entire community for strict control of adjacent landscape, and the project will provide $4.4 million to the fire district for funding of equipment and fire station improvements, more than double what is required.
The Better Choice Measure will offer options to residents for access to connect to public transit systems. A community shuttle system will be accessible throughout the project and will connect residents internally to the various parks and amenities, and to the town center area, as well as externally to nearby Escondido and San Marcos transit centers. The measure also creates an electric bike-share program to link the seven neighborhoods and town center and reduce internal vehicle trips. The project will include 3.7 miles of internal bike lanes and 19 miles of trails.
The Better Choice Measure sets the standard for smart-planned and sustainable neighborhoods. It incorporates the latest in sustainable design and features, while preserving more than 1,200 acres of open space. The community will be one of the first carbon neutral housing communities in San Diego County and will feature solar panels on every roof and electric vehicle charging stations in every garage. In addition, a new shuttle system will connect residents to nearby transit centers in Escondido and San Marcos.