Escondido Nation Membership proprietor hit with legal expenses


A 12-rely misdemeanor legal grievance has been filed towards the proprietor of the deserted Escondido Nation Membership property. It accuses Michael Schlesinger of not correctly sustaining the buildings on the land, the most important of which burned to the bottom in November.

Filed in Vista Superior Courtroom by the Metropolis of Escondido, the grievance cites violations of varied municipal codes on Dec. 7 and once more on Jan. 10.

Schlesinger’s lawyer, Ronald Richards, stated the fees are a waste of the courtroom’s time and an “utter shame.”

“It’s frankly appalling and an abuse of discretion as (the Metropolis Lawyer’s workplace) is conscious that the entity is managed by skilled managers (Caught within the Tough, LLC) and that Mr. Schlesinger’s addition as a co-defendant with the entity is nothing greater than a crude publicity stunt,” Richards stated.

It was within the early morning hours of Nov. 22 when a fireplace swept via the primary clubhouse, which had been shuttered, together with the golf course, in 2013. Since then, the constructing had develop into a spot the place transients and vandals collect.

The reason for the hearth has not been decided; nevertheless, officers consider it should have been began by an individual as a result of all of the electrical energy within the constructing had been turned off and there have been no different apparent sources of ignition.

Whether or not the hearth was deliberately set or was by accident began, maybe by a transient making an attempt to remain heat, continues to be being investigated. Officers say the trigger might by no means be recognized. The hearth division had been referred to as a number of occasions to the clubhouse prior to now few years for small fires that had been principally contained to an space round a hearth and have been began by transients.

“These are a collection of municipal code violations related to permitting the constructing to face in its dilapidated state: particles, damaged home windows, dangerousness,” Escondido Metropolis Lawyer Michael McGuinness stated. “They’re chargeable for taking good care of their property. It’s a totally justified grievance and we’re hoping it solves the issues on the market.”

Whereas the reason for the hearth is unknown, McGuinness stated it’s logical to imagine that the best way the property had been maintained earlier than the blaze might have contributed to it.

“It was a constructing that was left there unattended and whoever began the hearth was capable of get into the constructing,” he stated. “It was an unsecured constructing. To the extent that any person was allowed to get right into a constructing that was deserted, I assume that may be a part of it, however we don’t know what triggered the hearth.”

Not one of the legal expenses carry the specter of jail time. Solely fines could possibly be assessed. McGuinness stated the town did obtain a name from Richards asking why the violations weren’t dealt with administratively.

McGuinness stated the fees have been filed “to get their consideration, which it clearly has.”

Schlesinger didn’t reply to a request for remark Friday however Richards had many issues to say.

He stated the grievance lists allegations which are “opaque, obscure, and duplicative” and will have been dealt with administratively.

“It’s frankly unprecedented within the absence of even an administrative quotation from code enforcement or a number of unpaid administrative fines that a Deputy Metropolis Lawyer would file an ordinance violation losing the misdemeanor courtroom’s time,” Richards stated.

“In addition to missing any felony intent in any way, Mr. Schlesinger was by no means placed on discover that this matter was remotely near escalating to this degree,” the lawyer stated. He stated the grievance is a poor use of metropolis assets and “is the epitome of a prosecutorial overreach merely designed to additional a private agenda on the expense of my shopper and its supervisor.

“My shopper has resolved all previous violation letters which were issued on this massive vacant property for a few years,” he stated. “None have ever been unresolved. This grievance is an entire and utter shame.”

McGuinness, nevertheless, offered The San Diego Union-Tribune with two notices despatched to Schlesinger’s firm notifying them of the necessity to abate a public nuisance. One was dated every week after the hearth, the opposite almost two months earlier than the blaze. That discover particularly talked about the insecure circumstances of the buildings, graffiti, and different points.

Particularly, there are six costs stemming from Dec. 7 and 6 similar fees stemming from the identical persevering with violations on Jan. 10.

Some cope with permitting garbage and particles from hearth-broken and collapsed buildings on the property, together with damaged home windows and/or doorways. Others concern violations previous to the hearth, resembling not correctly “sustaining constructing exteriors, partitions, fences, patios, driveways or walkways that are cracked, damaged, faulty, deteriorated or in disrepair.”

Different expenses cite Schlesinger for not taking good care of graffiti on the property and for not securing the world across the clubhouse’s swimming pool.

What is going to turn into of the Nation Membership land has been hotly debated since Schlesinger purchased the property in 2012 and shuttered the enterprise a number of months later. The property was fenced off as Schlesinger pursued improvement rights.

Neighbors within the lengthy-established group surrounding the golf course fought all plans for years. In November, the Escondido Metropolis Council voted three-2 to permit for the development of 380 houses on the property by New City West, the event firm chosen by Schlesinger to pursue housing plans.

Not longer after the vote, a lawsuit was filed by the group group difficult the town’s approval. New City West gained’t buy the property from Schlesinger and start constructing till all authorized hurdles have been cleared and the corporate might pull out of the deal, as might Schlesinger, ought to issues drag on too lengthy.

jharry.jones@sduniontribune.com; 760/529-4931; Twitter: @jharryjones



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