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Needed review stalls decision

OCEANSIDE — A group of concerned citizens showed up at the May 10 Planning Commission meeting ready to oppose the amendment of the Reclamation Plan for 104 acres west of College Boulevard that includes El Salto Falls.
When they arrived, they found out that the item was postponed.
The plan was postponed because it must first be reviewed by the Department of Conservation’s Office of Mine Reclamation and be in compliance with the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act before the Planning Commission can make a decision.
City staff expressed surprise that the step had been missed.
Amendment of the Reclamation Plan may allow development to further encroach on El Salto Falls, which is sandwiched between a shopping complex and a housing development.
Residents who want to protect the falls said they know from experience they need to keep their eye on the city and make sure all the details are covered in the final legal documents. A previous decision was made to keep construction away from the falls, but wording in the final paperwork allowed development to creep closer and potentially impede the natural waterway.
The Office of Mine Reclamation review will be completed before the Planning Commission hears the item on July 26.