Golf Course Redevelopment (Escondido Country Club Homeowners Organization v. City of Escondido)

GDB assisted its real estate development client with preparation of a defensible EIR for the redevelopment of a defunct golf course in northwest Escondido as a 380-home residential community. After the project obtained the City Council’s hard-won approval, GDB continued to represent its client in a lawsuit brought by neighborhood opponents. The opponents challenged the redevelopment project’s approvals as in violation of CEQA and the City’s General Plan policies, including those adopted by a prior voter initiative. GDB obtained a judgment in its client’s favor, with the trial court holding that substantial evidence supported the City’s General Plan and CEQA determinations. After nearly seven years embroiled in controversy, the project broke ground in 2019.