Editors note: Pinnacle Peak and Omelette Factory are still open. I've heard that some people have misconstrued what city council has decided about a housing project being planned for the land Pinnacle Peak and Omelette Factory are on. Such plans are early in the works, but city council hasn't approved the project. From the mouths of two councilmembers, they say it will be at least six months before the issue is brought before city council again. If the restaurants will ever be closing, the public will be given plenty of warning. Read coverage of the council meeting last week for more on this topic.
Letter from a Santee resident:
I can't believe you are going to tear down two popular restaurants in Santee to build APARTMENTS! Way to bring down the property values!
It's obvious all the Mayor cares about are taxes, by his own admission, so I don't expect him to be any help. But, the City Council MUST see the insanity of this development.
Santee is a residential community of families, not transient apartment dwellers with low incomes. This is an absolutely outrageous mismanagement of Santee's development funds. This will also just add to an already terrible traffic problem on Mission Gorge, potentially leading to more accidents.
At least build HOMES on that lot, not apartments. For incentive, read some reports on what happens when you start plopping apartments in the middle of family communities - the drug problems and crime it brings for starters. Please reconsider this decision!
Reply from Mayor Randy Voepel:
Please let me communicate my reasons for voting to give permission to staff, to work with the property owner to develop this underutilized site.
1. The property owner requested the re-development. The City has a duty to consider all reasonable development proposals.
2. No re-development City money will be used.
3. Santee NEEDS nice new apartments as we are the second lowest apartment City (Poway is the lowest) in the County.
4. The State of California and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) have various requirements and guidelines for rental and affordable living developments, this helps Santee's compliance.
5. Provides an upscale apartment experience for young people/others that is more affordable than buying a home.
6. The current buildings are old and run down, plus the property tax base is very low and does not reflect the highest and best use of the land.
7. These apartments will be very similar to the upscale condo's across the street on Mission Gorge and West Hills Parkway. They will look very nice and fit right in.
8. The new tax base will help a City of Santee that is struggling to balance the budget after the State of California stripped other revenues from it.
9. With the completion of Highway 52 the traffic count has dropped dramatically (about 28 percent) more in this area of town, Mission Gorge and West Hills parkway can easily handle the traffic.
10. Santee must have a balanced housing mix. We need and do provide; Low Income Housing, Apartments, Condo's, Mobile Home Parks, smaller older Homes, newer Homes, new Homes and "move up" (upscale again) Homes like Sky Ranch.
Your last point that the Mayor only cares about taxes is partly true. Every City Council since 1980 has had to worry about taxes and paying the Cities bills, even more so in these economic times. Look around you at the progress Santee has made in recent years.
EVERY project the City Council approves, generates the most money and the highest quality possible. We are the La Jolla of east County and I am confident this project will be a benefit to a large majority of Santee citizens. 79% of the voters approve of most of what I do and 21% dislike most of what I do (2012 election), Thats Santee in a nutshell.
Mayor, City of Santee
Send your questions or comments on any topic, preferably a local issue, to firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave it as a comment below, and we'll pass it onto Mayor Voepel.