Santee residents fight for say in future housing developments

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SANTEE, Calif. -- Wednesday night's Santee City Council meeting was a win for residents who want a say in future developments in their community.

Dozens have spoken out in the past, opposing large housing developments in the city, namely Fanita Ranch. Fanita Ranch is the proposed development with nearly 3,000 homes set to be built on about 2,600 acres.

Councilmembers chose to spend $40,000 on an economic impact study to gauge just how much the city needed future housing, commercial, and industrial development. While the independent study did say Santee will see plenty of future growth and need homes to accommodate that growth, the study looked at a long-term time frame between now and 2050.

"Unless I'm missing something, we’ve got 30 years to build 6,000 houses. What's the rush?" said one man during the public comment period.

Nearly 4,000 citizens signed a petition to have the ability to vote on any major developments in Santee. That citizen's initiative either could have been approved and adopted by council Wednesday night or put on the November 2020 ballot, and councilmembers voted to put it on the ballot. The initiative now leaves any current or upcoming development for the city of Santee hanging in the balance.

City leaders say it leaves a big question mark on what can be developed between now and 2020, and they'll be working with city lawyers to find answers.

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