A recent article in the San Diego Union Tribune , “Big plans (again) in Borrego Springs” (Business16 Dec. 06) on the Rams Hill/Montesoro development in Borrego Springs raises a couple of interesting points.
First, the comment by David Cragoe, a real estate agent who purchased a home in Rams Hill, that GH Capital’s plans for the development “if they pull it off” could turn Borrego Springs into a “resort town rather than a sleepy little place where people go to retire,” misses the point. The majority of Borrego’s population is here by choice, precisely because it is the latter and not the former. If Gregory Perlman, principal of GH Capital, gets his way, Borrego will no longer be “an alternative to Palm Springs;” it will be Palm Springs with all the attendant horrors that conjures up.
Second, Perlman’s claim that “Montesoro has water rights to supply all the development it plans,” is dubious at best. If it was true, then why would Montesoro contrive with the Borrego Water District to appropriate water from a “contiguous” aquifer despite the strenuous objections of overlying land owners who, by law, have rights to the water under their property (“Dispute springs up in desert.” San Diego Union Tribune, North County, 12 Nov. 06)?
Even if Perlman has the “water rights” he claims to have, the real question is whether the Borrego Valley aquifer – our sole water source already in a state of critical overdraft – still contains sufficient water to sustain the expansive rights Perlman lays claim to. Increasingly, informed and educated opinion is that it does not. 12/20/2006