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Controversial Redevelopment Approved in Coastal Agricultural Area

A city on the northern edge of San Diego County has approved a controversial redevelopment. Supporters tout that agricultural components of the project. Opponents of the project say developers shouldn't be breaking ground in an agricultural area.
November 18, 2019, 10am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Agricultural Land
John Andrus

"The Oceanside City Council Wednesday approved a major development project in the city’s northeast -- a plan that has some residents up in arms," reports Anthony Pura.

The North River Farm project, as it's called, would add housing, retail, and open space uses in an agricultural area in Oceanside. Supporters note that agricultural components of the project as groundbreaking. Opponents of the project say developers shouldn't be breaking ground in an agricultural area.

"More than 100 people signed up to speak, and a majority of them were against the project, citing concerns of increased traffic and insufficient emergency evacuation routes," according to Pura. Supporters of the project cited the city's housing shortage and the need for economic development.

Developers scaled down the project to help win political support. More details on the changes made to the project as it proceeded through the approvals process are available in a separate article by Phil Diehl, written before the vote: "In addition to reducing the overall number of homes by 40 percent, Hammond said, the revisions have added 37.5 more acres to be preserved for agriculture. In all, a total of 86 of the 215 acres in the project will be set aside for farming and open space."

The project also inspired a failed SOAR (Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources) initiative in 2018.

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Published on Thursday, November 7, 2019 in ABC 10 News San Diego
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