Santee holds first workshop on new Fanita Ranch development plans

SANTEE, Calif. -- Santee residents and city council members Wednesday night heard about the newest plans for the Fanita Ranch development that has been talked about in some form for at least the last decade.

There was no action required by the city council at the meeting, instead it was held workshop-style so people could hear a presentation and then offer public comment.

"We think it’s pretty clear ... that people don’t want this project. Other than a Facebook post, I didn’t even advertise this meeting and as you can see it’s full," said Santee resident Van Collinsworth.

The topic of Fanita Ranch never fails to pack meetings with concerned residents. Typically, meetings have been full of people speaking out against the project, but this meeting it was a mix of people both for and against it.

"I am in support of Fanita Ranch because I think that growth in Santee is going to happen and we can’t just say no to growth," another resident said.

The proposed mixed-use development would include several different types of residential options, commercial space, open space, a K through 8 elementary school and a fire station.

Main concerns from those against the project include increased traffic and fire danger.

"If I was going to buy a home in Fanita Ranch, I would want a list of who are the pre-approved insurance companies that are going to write that new policy," Karen Schroder said.

The developer has proposed putting $30 to 40 million in improvements into state Route 52, promising to finish the improvements before a single home is finished being built.

Developers plan to hold more public workshops in the coming months.

There is also a general plan initiative on the ballot in 2020 and, if it passes, there may be different rules in place for development. At this point, this developer is moving forward with Fanita Ranch at their at own risk.

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