In about a month, plans for a 225-room resort and 203 homes near the top of a mountain ridge just east of Escondido’s Daley Ranch will be submitted to the city for review and approval.
The developer of Daley Ranch Resort will ask the city to consider annexing nearly 1,800 acres of land between Daley Ranch and Lake Wohlford, bisected by Valley Center Road as it ascends along a steep section known as the Valley Center grade. Development rights for 97 percent of the land would be purchased and transferred to 60 acres owned by a family trust where the resort and housing would be constructed.
The project is bound to meet with resistance because, among other things, it wil require a four-lane road to be built two miles north of Lake Wohlford Road with its entrance directly off Valley Center Road. A traffic light would be required right in the middle of the Valley Center grade.
Valley Center Road at that point descends quickly into Escondido and motorists routinely exceed the 60 mph speed limit as they head into town. (One motorcyclist was famously ticketed for going 140 mph at the bottom of the grade by Escondido police a few years ago).
Each workday, traffic bottlenecks at the bottom of the hill where the road narrows to two lanes as it enters Escondido and passes over a small bridge over Escondido Creek. That will change in a couple years with a road widening project expected to begin soon. But, Valley Center residents say, just as that problem is alleviated, an even worse one — a traffic light in the middle of the grade — could replace it.
Jim Whalen, a development consultant with J. Whalen Associates, Inc., represents the…
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