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THE FORUM: Is growth and residential development good for Valley Center?


September 17, 2013
The Forum is dedicated to your opinions on the topics that affect us all. Our nation is facing trying times, making it all the more important that we maintain an open dialogue within the community. We hope you will send in your views on the key topic of the week.

Comments do not require that you post your name, but we would certainly appreciate it.

Please keep your comments respectful and use appropriate language. Keep in mind that The Roadrunner has readers of all ages.

Last week's topic:

Valley Center is in for many changes in the next few years. With new commercial developments on Valley Center and Lilac Roads, the sewer expansion project, and the Lilac Hills Accretive project, our town may be getting bigger very soon. Do you think the changes will be for the better or the worse?

1. Nancy Layne:

I grew up in San Diego, and my family has lived here since the 1800s. I spent nearly every summer of my childhood in Pauma Valley riding horses down the middle of Highway 76 to the store, and remember when we only had to dial 4 numbers to call someone. I remember when Corral Liquor was the magical "halfway to the ranch" stop for a soda and Genie Cheney's place in Pauma had a grocery store, a bar with juke box, and a gas station out front. Heck, I used to live in the original school house in Pauma Valley. Valley Center was a sleepy town then, and most of the people who live here now are "newcomers" by that standard. I chose to raise my children here, they've attended every school in Valley Center, and I would like to think they might want to come back some day. But not if the "I got mine so bar the door" mentality holds sway.

In this very paper there have been articles about the Parks and Recreation department closing facilities — and potentially selling — because they can't afford to run them. The sports teams, band, scout troops, charities and school foundation can all tell you how difficult it is to raise funds in the current economy, as well as the difficulty in finding venues for events, tournaments, and now sometimes even fielding a team is a challenge. We've all seen kids with talent who go "down the hill" to work with bigger name travel teams. All of this is simply a symptom of a community, as you put it, "facing a defining moment". If we stop growing, we die. Expensive water, gas, utilities, and the price of just about everything contribute to a shrinking infrastructure and shrinking town.

Are we going to take this opportunity to help guide the future of Valley Center growth so that it most beneficially impacts our community? Are we going to have a result like San Marcos, where a development on the outskirts of the community has such a large and positive impact on the schools, roads, tax base and prices of our properties? Or are we going to pretend that we can buy a piece of property in a community and demand that nothing around us ever change? Can we really force every owner to use their land the way we want? Because if that's the case, I want it to look like it did when I was a child, and a LOT of you have to move. Or better yet, ask a member of one of our local tribes.

I am personally looking forward to having a choice in housing, so I can stay in this community as my husband and I get older, without our large parcel of land and its upkeep. I'm looking forward to walking to the store in my neighborhood, and having the option of scaling back on yard work.

I think it's smart to put development closer to the freeway rather than 12 miles inland, not the least because I have seen my share of fires surround Valley Center, and I know a simple change of wind direction can be deadly — currently there are no alternate roads out of town, and no plans to build any. And I have always believed it made more sense to put houses within easy access to the freeway rather than locating hundreds of homes and condos miles away behind the post office with no road improvements. Talk about lights and gridlock!

I think there is a lot to like about Lilac Hills Ranch, especially if you've seen the plans. They're thoughtful and interesting — and I believe, would be a great addition and benefit to our community.

2. Morgan Rogers

I believe the changes will be for the better of Valley Center. The new commercial developments will bring more vitality and jobs to the community and the sewer expansion is an upgrade in services that will enable smart growth and new business opportunities. The Lilac Hills Ranch project will be an exciting showcase of a new sustainable community of which will add valuable new site amenities available to all of Valley Center.

This week's topic:

The Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District will be implementing the Common Core State Standards in the coming year. Some claim that the standards will allow for more flexibility in the classroom while others suggest they will be an unnecessary and harmful imposition. What have you heard about Common Core? Do you think it will help or hinder education in this school district?

Please send your responses to editor@valleycenter.com.

  1. print email
    Residential development
    September 28, 2013 | 06:52 AM

    My wife and I saved and sacrificed for over 10 years in order to buy a house out of the city. I do not want urban sprawl and all the other issues that the city brings with it thus the purchase in a rural area. If you want to live in a city then please save your money and move there do not bring the city here and ruin our oasis and refuge.

    Steve Taylor
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