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In the run-up to the November general election, the developer of Lilac Hills took opponents to court over statements made in the arguments section of the ballot.

The Lilac Hills development was on the ballot as Measure B, and opponents of the measure aired their objections in the section of the ballot materials reserved for arguments for and against each proposal.

A judge partially agreed with developer Accretive Investments, and ordered 18 revisions to the statement and rebuttal, leaving many other statements intact.

At the time, both sides declared a victory, but as the Union-Tribune reports, Accretive is looking to recoup its legal costs for the ballot statement fight.

The opposition says this latest move is an attempt to punish citizens who were able to defeat the project.

“Trying to intimidate and punish voters who share an opposing view is outrageous and is an attack on the foundation of our constitutional system,” James Gordon, a leader of the group against Measure B, told the U-T.

A hearing is set for February, and among the defendants is former County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, who was also part of the Committee Opposing Encinitas Measure T. Voice found that group also made misleading statements when it was trying to fight a proposed zoning change that would have resulted in denser development in Encinitas.

It’s Not Veterans – It’s Any Poor Person

After reports came out about the Poway City Council’s rejection of an affordable housing for veterans, residents who spoke out against the project were accused online of being “anti-veteran.”

Make no mistake: Their objections weren’t over veterans buying the homes. They were about any poor people living there – and that sentiment is not particular to Poway.

“There was never ever anything said that veterans would bring crime,” resident Linda Laurie said. “No one said veterans didn’t deserve a place to live. No one said that veterans were going to cause more parking and cause an inconvenience to our neighborhood. There were comments to that respect when we only heard the words low-income housing, but we were not even talking about veterans at that time.”

In her dissection of Poway residents’ objections to the project, Maya Srikrishnan notes that many of the gripes have been seen before in other affluent communities in North County.

“The opposition in Poway listed concerns over crime, density, funding, parking and traffic – issues that quell low-income housing developments throughout the region,” Srikrishnan writes. “But in all the battles over affordable housing that I’ve witnessed, residents have never so clearly articulated their fear of low-income housing.”

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus took to Twitter to defend his vote against the Poway project, in response to a tweet by former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher chiding residents and leaders over the decision.

“Poway rejection of vets housing not $ or traffic. Race & class. But am sure those who killed it wear flag lapel pins,” Fletcher wrote.

“If the project was guaranteed exclusive for vets you MIGHT have a point. It wasn’t. You don’t.” Vaus replied.

Srikrishnan vetted Vaus’ claim in a follow-up post. Her verdict: While there was no veterans-only policy in place, the developer, Habitat San Diego, first prioritize veterans to purchase the homes, and over 100 veterans had expressed interest for the 22 homes.

North County Economy Bounces Back

Though the Great Recession put a hold on some projects, and tanked others, industrial, commercial and retail development is back in full force across North County.

The Coast News’ Steve Puterski reports that the developments come in response to a push to lure industries to the region, largely through the availability of land.

“There’s no land really left in central San Diego,” Adam Robinson, a principal with RAF Pacifica, told Puterski. “Because there’s higher paying jobs … that’s why we decided to do these developments there. A lot of land was available because it was finished in 2005, ‘06, ‘07 and just sat because of the downturn. Now, almost all that land has been absorbed.”

Tri-City Abandons Eminent Domain. Developer: Not So Fast

The latest in the ongoing battle between Tri-City Medical Center and Medical Acquisition Company of Carlsbad is Medical Acquisition’s request to block the hospital’s move to abandon its eminent domain claim over an office building, and take back a $4.7 million deposit.

Attorneys for Medical Acquisition, which was constructing the building and had it partially completed before Tri-City took ownership, say years of litigation over its value have poisoned the well, and prevented the original deal for the hospital to lease the space from ever happening.

“Too much has changed. We can’t go back to where we were as if eminent domain had never started. We can’t put this relationship back together again. It’s just not viable,” attorney Duane Horning told the U-T.

Also in the News

 A lot is at stake for North County residents in the ongoing feud between the agency that supplies water to the county, and the agency that sells it to the cities. (The Coast News)

Rep. Duncan Hunter paid $600 in airline fees to fly a rabbit around – and no witticism of mine could top the humor in that. (Union-Tribune)

Vista’s new councilman steps into the job. (Union-Tribune)

A vacant lot and a Denny’s in Carlsbad may soon be replaced by a four-story building housing apartments and retail space. (Union-Tribune)

Despite rising revenue, Oceanside ain’t clear of its financial woes just yet. (Union-Tribune)

Ruarri Serpa

Ruarri Serpa is a freelance writer in Oceanside. Email him at ruarris@gmail.com and find him on Twitter at @RuarriS.

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