Escondido homeowner calls out developer’s actions

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. – A man battling cancer told Fox5 a Beverly Hills developer almost killed him when he spread chicken manure over an Escondido golf course.

“The odor was just beyond belief. It just brought tears to your eyes,” said Paul DeLaurentis, who suffers from Mesothelioma. “It would take your breath away, it was unbelievable how bad it was.”

DeLaurentis claimed Michael Schlesinger forced him from his home for a week during the chicken manure “stunt.”

DeLaurentis told his story Monday as part of a new campaign effort by the Escondido Country Club Homeowners Association. Residents of ECCHO are banding together and elevating the fight against Schlesinger.

“We have won from the beginning. We won the battle and stopped them from building their houses. Then, they started doing these personal bullying tactics,” said DeLaurentis.

“We’ve got 2 ½ months. I feel confident the no votes will win,” said Suzanne Hall, campaign manager.

Volunteers and residents will be going door to door until Election Day, handing out flyers, and educate the voters on “Keep it Green, Escondido.”

“We have to try and dispel some of the lies the other side is telling, because they are telling lies,” said Hall.

“We’re very concerned about the homeowners,” said Beth Binger, a spokeswoman for the developer Michael Schlesinger. “We’re super disappointed that the stench got so obnoxious that they did need to relocate to other areas.”

She attempted to attend Delaurentis’ news conference Monday, but was turned away. Binger said chicken manure is a common landscaping application.

“For golf courses to fertilize trees and grass it’s a very common fertilizer product, it’s used all over the country,” said Binger.

She said the developer is doing his best to work with residents to find a compromise.

“We know change is difficult, but in the end they will love the new parks, trails and a huge community swimming pool,” said Binger.

Homeowner Crispin Barraza confronted Binger about the chicken manure incident outside of the DeLaurentis home.

“We asked her a question. ‘Why would you do that to us? If this is a good faith effort and you are truly a developer, why would you use these tactics?’” the homeowner said.

Binger said the developer is doing his best to work with residents.

“No, it’s not. It’s an accepted practice to spread manure that is processed with water, not fresh. It is just not,” said DeLaurentis.

“There’s no compromise now, any compromise he threw out the window with his attack,” said Barraza.

Schlesinger was cited by for his actions by the Air Quality Control Board, however any fines he faces have yet to be determined.

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