EHL filed comments exposing many flaws in a project that would set back a regional conservation effort.

The proposed Safari Highlands Ranch development is located in rugged terrain above the San Pasqual Valley near the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Such a remote location would require annexation by the City of Escondido beyond its current annexation limits. Zoned for very low-density rural uses, the project proposes over 500 high-end homes, whose residents will have to commute long distances.

The site is a core biological area for the North County Multiple Species Conservation Program, now under development. The Safari project would fragment the habitat and leave only the steepest slopes for wildlife. Instead, prime coastal sage scrub, streams, and chaparral are needed for the reserve system.

Most worrisome is the extreme fire danger of this location. The draft EIR did not fully disclose the fact that if a wind-driven fire begins as close as 13 miles to the project, it cannot be evacuated in time. Tragedy is predictable.

EHL and its ally, the San Pasqual Valley Preservation Alliance, retained numerous experts and a legal team to exhaustively review the draft EIR. Numerous deficiencies including slope encroachment, visual impacts, traffic, greenhouse gases, and biology were identified. See <> . EHL is represented by Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger and the Alliance by DeLano and DeLano.

We ask that Escondido realize that this is the wrong development in the wrong place.