The media turned to EHL for comment on highly controversial housing developments.

Two projects in the North County of San Diego saw coverage by the San Diego Union-Tribune (“Newland Sierra housing project nearing decision time in North County,” March 18, 2018 and “Proposed housing project near Pala casino faces stiff opposition from tribe,” April 1, 2018).

EHL criticized these projects on habitat and planning grounds.
Dan Silver, chief executive officer of the Endangered Habitats League, said Newland Sierra “takes this very large and important block of habitat and carves it up into pieces that remove its ecological integrity and cuts off connectivity to other habitat areas.”

Silver calls the project sprawl. “It’s totally dependent on automobiles,” he said. “It involves long commutes. It takes us backwards in terms of land-use planning. If people want San Diego County to be a mirror image of Riverside County in terms of sprawl at every freeway interchange, then I guess you like that. But this is a very bad model and it will make traffic much, much worse.”

Dan Silver, executive director of the Endangered Habitat’s League, says Warner Ranch is the worst of the big developments planned for the rural and semi-rural parts of the county, including Lilac Hills Ranch and Newland Sierra.

“The project would be the death knell of that part of the backcountry in my view over the long term,” Silver said. “It has no merit from a planning perspective.”

Silver said Warner Ranch is the “most remote in a series of remote general plan amendment” applications and “would sooner or later necessitate improvements on Highway 76 to widen that road. That would be hugely growth-inducing and would open up the whole Pauma Valley to sprawl.”