More than 100,000 signatures were collected and submitted to the San Diego Registrar of Voters for the Lilac Hills Ranch ballot initiative to be placed on the November 2016 county-wide ballot. SOSDC has received reports that some people were misled by signature gatherers who suggested Lilac Hills Ranch will offer affordable housing for seniors and veterans – it will not. Unfortunately, with the use of professional signature gatherers in a crowded field of other initiatives collecting signatures for the upcoming November ballot, it is easy for misinformation to be spread and difficult to correct.
With 70,000 signatures needed, it appears the initiative will be placed on the November 2016 ballot. This is a DANGEROUS trend that not only allows decisions about development in one area to be decided by the entire County that is not familiar with area-specific issues (such as fire danger in rural parts of the County) but also because this process allows the project to be approved with no environmental protections or mitigations enforced. The other unintended consequence of approval through ballot initiative is that infrastructure and other expenses normally attributed to a developer in exchange for approval of their project no longer becomes the developer’s problem. That can leave the taxpayers of a given city to pick up that tab for many of those items. Lilac Hills Ranch failed through the proper channels so the developer is making use of the ballot initiative angle. SPVPA urges everyone to stay informed on this issue as it sets a dangerous precedence for urban development efforts in environmentally fragile areas being “voted” through with virtually no protections.
For further information, go to San Diegans Against Lilac Hills Ranch Facebook page, Save Our San Diego Countryside website and on social media using #NoMoreLieLac.