Fanita Ranch

SANTEE COUNCIL SETS FANITA RANCH ELECTION FOR NOV. 2022, ALSO APPROVES DIVERSITY PROGRAM

By Mike Allen

January 15, 2021 (Santee) -- Santee residents will get a chance to vote on the Fanita Ranch project, but will have to wait until November 2022 to do so.

At its Jan. 13 meeting, the Santee City Council voted 4-0, with Mayor John Minto absent, to place the controversial 3,000-unit residential development on the next regularly scheduled city election rather than rescinding its earlier approval vote for the project or setting a special election. According to the county Registrar of Voters, a special election would cost the city about $850,000.

This wasn’t what the Council originally intended. In September the board approved a slew of amendments to the Fanita Ranch Specific Plan and approved the project in a 4-1 vote, with former Councilman Stephen Houlahan opposed.

PRESERVE WILD SANTEE TURNS IN 6,300 SIGNATURES TO PUT FANITA RANCH ON BALLOT

By Mike Allen
 
Photos courtesy of Van Collinsworth, Preserve Wild Santee
 
Photo:  Van Collinsworth,  Preserve Wild Santee, left, gives a thumbs up to supporters of the signature gathering drive
 
October 30, 2020 (Santee) -- The campaign to allow Santee voters to weigh in on the Fanita Ranch project turned in 6,300 signatures to the Santee City Clerk’s office Oct. 29, nearly double the minimum number required to force the City Council to either rescind its approval or put the issue to a public vote.

ENVIRONMENTALISTS SUE TO BLOCK FANITA RANCH IN SANTEE

East County News Service
 
File photo: the devastating 2003 Cedar Fire, which caused traffic gridlock on local freeways, scorched an estimated 95% of the site where Fanita Ranch would be built.
 
October 25, 2020 (Santee) – Four environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the city of Santee and councilmembers. The groups contend that the city council ignored fire dangers, habitat impacts and cultural resources in approving Fanita Ranch, a major housing development.

HOMEFED GIVES NEARLY $300,000 TO DEFEAT MEASURE N, BUT FANITA RANCH OPPONENTS START PETITION TO OVERTURN COUNCIL APPROVAL

By Mike Allen
 
October 7, 2020 (Santee) -- Despite a 4-1 approval of the Fanita Ranch housing development last month by the Santee City Council, the builders are trying to ensure nothing holds up the project.

SANTEE COUNCIL APPROVES FANITA RANCH BEFORE VOTERS CAN WEIGH IN ON NOVEMBER BALLOT

By Mike Allen
 
September 24, 2020 (Sante) -- By a 4-1 majority, the Santee City Council approved the controversial Fanita Ranch development that will add nearly 3,000 homes and about 8,000 residents to a city that has been fighting over the project for most of its 40-year history.

FANITA RANCH VOTE, HELP FOR HOMELESS TOP AGENDAS IN SANTEE AND LA MESA THIS WEEK

By Miriam Raftery

September 20, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Will Santee Councilmembers keep campaign promises made to voters when the controversial Fanita Ranch development comes up for a vote this week?  

What actions will La Mesa’s City Council take to address housing and homelessness?

These are the hottest issues on agendas in East County this week. Scroll down for details

HOMEFED YANKS FANITA RANCH PLAN BEFORE COUNCIL VOTE

 

By Mike Allen

 

Cancelling Magnolia extension, as proposed, would remove key evacuation route for wildfires, critic says

August 30, 2020 (Santee) -- Fanita Ranch, the 3,000 unit residential project planned for Santee’s northwest quadrant, is being delayed by developer HomeFed Corp. to make some significant changes, including removing an extension of a key arterial serving the project.

In a letter posted on the Fanita Ranch Facebook page last week, Jeff O’Connor, the company’s vice president, said HomeFed requested the delay “to remove the extension of Magnolia Avenue from the project in order to direct those funds towards the improvements to SR-52.”

FANITA RANCH GENERATES WORRIES ABOUT WILDFIRES

By Mike Allen
 
Photo: Theresa McCarthy, speaking against Fanita Ranch
 
February 15, 2020 (Santee) -- In a third public workshop Feb. 12 about Fanita Ranch, the 3,000 unit residential project proposed in northwestern Santee, developer HomeFed Corp. presented an extensive fire prevention plan--including construction of a new fire station and three roadway extensions from the site to main city thoroughfares in case of an emergency evacuation.
 
While the plans looked nice to some, others remained skeptical that the addition of all those houses will make the city safer during a wildfire.
 

FANITA RANCH WOOS COUNCIL AND PUBLIC WITH PROMISES OF PUBLIC TRAILS, OPEN SPACE, A FARM, VINEYARD AND 3,000 HOUSES

By Mike Allen
 
Photo:  SR 125 heading northward toward Santee
 
October 28, 2019 (Santee) -- The developer of Fanita Ranch, the planned community of 2,949 houses in Santee’s northwest quadrant, are trying hard to convince Santee that its project will enhance the city rather than detract from it.
 
Last week, the development firm, HomeFed Corp., wooed councilmembers and the public with new details on the amount of open space and other features on the 2,600 acre site in the third public workshop during a Oct. 23 City Council meeting and public workshop.

FANITA RANCH POP-UP INTERNET ADS STRIVE TO DRUM UP SUPPORT FOR MASSIVE PROJECT

By Miriam Raftery

July 15, 2019 (Santee) – Fanita Ranch, the controversial master-planned development proposed in Santee, is seeking to drum up community support through pop-up ads targeting East County residents on the Internet.  This reporter had one of the ads pop up while paying an online solitaire game.

The ad claims that Fanita Ranch can “improve traffic” including adding westbound and eastbound lanes as well as a high-capacity onramp at Mast Blvd.  The ad clicks open to the website https://fanitaranch.com/improvingtraffic. But project opponents take issue with the advertising’s claims.  

SANTEE COUNCIL TO HOLD WORKSHOP ON MASSIVE FANITA RANCH PROPOSED PROJECT MAY 8

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 3, 2019 (Santee) -- A workshop describing the controversial Fanita Ranch proposed master-planned community will be held during a regularly scheduled City Council meeting on Wednesday, May 8th. The workshop is designed to provide information to the public about the project. No actions on the project will be taken at this meeting.

SANTEE COUNCIL JANUARY 9 AGENDA INCLUDES CLIMATE ACTION PLAN, COMMUNITYCHOICE ENERGY AND FANITA RANCH-RELATED ISSUES

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 6, 2019 (Santee) – Santee City Council has several important items on its agenda for the next meeting on Wednesday, January 9 in Council Chamber (10601 Magnolia Ave., Santee).  These include the city’s climate action plan, a proposal for more developer funding of the city’s subarea plan, and a presentation on a community choice option for Santee residents to purchase power from the city instead of SDG&E.

THREE CANDIDATES VIE FOR OPEN SEAT IN SANTEE DISTRICT 3: HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Zack Gianino, Laura Koval, and Lynda Marrokal

November 4, 2018 (Santee) – There will be at least one new face on Santee’s City Council soon, since District 3 is an open seat with no incumbent.

Three candidates are running in a race where development issues, traffic, and the city’s looming deficit are key issues.  They are Zack Gianino, a community college district liaison, Laura Koval, parks and recreation director at Santee Lakes, and Lynda Marrokal, a retired manager. 

Hear our in-depth interviews with all three candidates by clicking the audio links (Gianino, Koval, Marrokal) and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

Zack Gianino interview
Laura Koval interview
Lynda Marrokal interview

FANITA RANCH DEVELOPERS REACH OUT TO TELL THEIR STORY AS SLOW-GROWTH INITIATIVE BACKERS TURN IN SIGNATURES

 

By Mike Allen

July 5, 2018 (Santee) -- The developers of the Fanita Ranch residential project mailed out a slick brochure last week describing their plan for the 2,600- acre site and inviting residents to tell them what they think of the project that would add about 2,900 new houses to the city of Santee.

FANITA RANCH DEVELOPERS REVAMP DESIGN TO BUILD MORE HOUSES AND OPEN SPACE

 

Traffic impacts remain key concerns

By Mike Allen

January 20, 2018 (Santee) -- HomeFed Corp., the developer of Fanita Ranch in north Santee, says its plan will preserve about three quarters of the 2,600-acre parcel as open space, while nearly doubling the number of houses it seeks to build on the site.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: WILE.E COYOTE IN EAST COUNTY

 

January 29, 2013 (Santee)--Van Collingsworth, Executive Director of Preserve Wild Santee, snapped this portrait of a coyote this week.

“The Coyote had just finished drinking from Sycamore Creek near the boundary of Fanita Ranch, MCAS- Miramar, and a Mission Trails Expansion Area parcel of East Elliot,” he states. “Sycamore Creek is an important wildlife corridor and is the last clean running creek in Santee because there is no urban development in the watershed that feeds it on MCAS-Miramar and Fanita Ranch.” 

Learn more about Preserve Wild Santee at  facebook.com/PreserveWildSantee

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

October 25, 2012  --  (San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL/REGIONAL

  • Scout files show abuse in county (U-T San Diego)
  • La Mesa ready to allow beer and wine-making (U-T San Diego)
  • U.S. to study cancer risk near San Onofre nuclear plant (KPBS)
  • Appeals court deals another blow to sprawling Fanita Ranch project (Santee Patch)
  • DeMaio once attacked tax hike he now champions (Voice of San Diego)
  • U-T San Diego publishes questionable poll in mayoral race (LGTB Times/Free Press)
  • California woman survives car bombing, husband’s double life (ABC)
  • Another DeMaio scandal: U.S. attorney Laura Duffy (LGTB Weekly)
  • San Vicente Dam reaches full height (FoxCT)

STATE

  • California has lowered number of uninsured children (Sacramento Bee)
  • Jerry Brown accuses anti-tax group of illegal money laundering (Sacramento Bee)
  • Medical pot growers ravage state forest habitat (Sacramento Bee)

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.