The bankrupt Escondido Country Club property's new owners, Stuck in the Rough (a West Hollywood-based company), filed a lawsuit against the Escondido Country Club Homeowners Organization (ECCHO) and the City of Escondido on June 27.
The lawsuit follows a recent announcement by the homeowners’ association that their petition drive to stop development of the golf course was coming to a successful completion. There are three “causes of action” in the lawsuit:
- Stuck in the Rough states that the initiative is not legal and requests the City of Escondido not certify the signatures or take any action to approve or place the initiative on the ballot.
- Requests that the Superior Court of California (where the petition was filed) declare that the petition is illegal and that no election should take place with regard to it.
- Requests that the court declare that if the initiative is adopted, the City of Escondido will owe Stuck in the Rough “just compensation for the taking of the property.” Stuck in the Rough also asked for court costs to be paid for their legal action.
In a statement, Jerry Swadley, president the homeowners’ association, wrote, “This lawsuit is just the latest in a long string of actions by SITR designed to intimidate ECCHO into submission. SITR’s PR team works hard to maintain a public image of being reasonable and cooperative, but behind the scenes it is trying to bully and financially drain ECCHO.
“SITR says it wants a project that is sensitive to the community and that will improve our neighborhood, but the only project it has ever shown us or the City consisted of 450 houses on postage stamp lots.
“It says it wants to work amicably, but in the last two months it has threatened to sue us four times. It says it is interested in a compromise, but it has filed CC&R’s on the property prohibiting any use except houses.
“It says it is reasonable, but is has told us and the City that if it doesn’t get what it wants, it will fence the property and let it deteriorate for 10 years.
“It is a shame that SITR is wasting taxpayers’ money by suing the city, but at least the truth will finally come out and the City Council will have a chance to defend Escondido.”