(760) 741-1200


104 W. Grand Avenue, Suite A
Escondido, California 92025

< Back to News

Lawsuit challenging Escondido Country Club project will continue

By J. Harry Jones - June 11, 2018

Development of the former Escondido Country Club property remains in limbo following a court ruling that allows the continuation of a lawsuit challenging the Escondido City Council’s approval of the 380-home project.

City officials had hoped its motion to dismiss the lawsuit, based on a paperwork-filing technicality, would end the legal battle and bring to a conclusion the six-year saga over the future of the long-since shuttered golf course.

But Vista Superior Court Judge Ronald F. Frazier on Friday sided with the Escondido Country Club Homeowners Organization (ECCHO), saying in a written ruling that the city’s argument that the nonprofit was not in good standing with the state shouldn’t matter.

“This is a good thing,” said plaintiff attorney Everett DeLano. “ECCHO deserves it’s day in court.”

The case will proceed to trial, something that won’t happen until November, if then.

The city had argued that because ECCHO had inadvertently let its registration as a nonprofit expire with the state, it should not have been allowed to file the lawsuit.

DeLano argued that the group had thought it was in good standing and has since renewed its nonprofit status.

“It was just a clerical error,” he said.

The judge ruled that at this stage in the case he was required to liberally construe the allegations “with a view to substantial justice between the parties.”

He said the city’s position that the case should be dismissed failed for two reasons, one of which being that the status of the nonprofit has been restored.

The lawsuit challenges the council’s 3-2 vote in November 2017 to approve the project on the grounds that an environmental report was inadequate and that the approval violates Proposition S, the "Growth Management and Neighborhood Protection Act" adopted by Escondido voters in 1998.

The act requires a citywide vote of residents for certain zoning density increases.

The 110-acre country club property is zoned for housing, but the lawsuit contends certain provisions concerning the clustering of buildings should force a Prop. S vote.

Country Club owner Michael Schlesinger has an agreement with developer New Urban West to sell the property on the conditions that the council approves a development plan and that all legal hurdles have been overcome.

The council approved the project, but the legal hurdles continue.


Home | Practice Areas | Firm Background | FAQ’s | News | Resources | Attorneys | Contact | About Your Case
Law Offices of DeLano & DeLano ©2018 All Rights Reserved. Site by Sterling Productions