Council approves The Farm in Poway for November ballot

June 17, 2020

The fate of “The Farm in Poway” housing development is now in the hands of voters after the Poway City Council approved it for the November ballot on Tuesday night.

The Farm in Poway is a proposed 117-acre housing development from Poway resident Kevin McNamara for the former StoneRidge Country Club property. It has remained closed and unmaintained since November 2017, when current owner Michael Schlesinger’s Measure A ballot initiative for development was rejected by 63 percent of voters.

The property is fenced in, with the clubhouse left to decay and is overgrown with weeds and unmaintained trees. It has received weed abatement to create defensible space around the clubhouse for fire safety, but much of the former golf course is unmaintained. Vandals have damaged the clubhouse and pool and there are reports of rats, according to the council.

McNamara’s plans for the property include 160 homes spread over five neighborhoods, 70 acres of preserved open space — around 56 acres of conservation open space and 15 acres of recreational open space, including public trails and multiple amenities open to the public.

These include a 4,246 square-foot event barn for community events and social activities, a cafe, a butterfly vivarium, a classroom for educational activities, a greenhouse and a fitness club with a swimming pool and recreational courts. There will also be a three-acre park with a grass amphitheater and dog park.

The residential portion includes up to 22 attached single-family homes and up to 138 detached single-family homes of varying size.

The council unanimously approved the project’s specific plan, zone change and environmental assessment. Because it requires a zoning change, the project is subject to Proposition FF and needs to be approved by voters. Rather than gather signatures from Powegians to qualify for the ballot, McNamara and his team under The Farm in Poway LLC spent two years preparing a thorough plan for the council to approve.

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