A hearing by county supervisors for a sizeable residential development project north of Escondido that is set for Wednesday was requested to be delayed until the county’s blueprint for improving regional fire safety is complete.

According to a piece from the North County Times, attorneys for a business opposed to the 2,630-home Merriam Mountains development sent a letter asking supervisors to wait for the results of a fire safety plan the county commissioned in April 2009.

The article reported that consultant Citygate Associates, LLC is studying fire service levels in different areas around the county, predicting future service needs and devising a plan to govern regional fire safety.

While supporters claim the project will bring housing and jobs to the county, opponents believe fire safety in the area is a chief concern. According to the North County Times article, the plan is to build the homes on 538 of 2,327 acres of rugged, mountainous terrain across an interstate from the Lawrence Welk Resort.