The Coast News Group

Nonprofit champions South Vista residents

VISTA — Local nonprofit group South Vista Communities aims to shed light on issues that impact South Vista residents. The advocacy organization, which was founded in 2006, works to improve the quality of life and to preserve the area south of I-78. 

President Stephanie Jackel said the mission of the organization is all about collaboration.

“If a resident sees a problem or an issue and brings it to SVC, we can work together — collaboratively with the city — to find the best solution,” she said. “Working together and communicating makes us more familiar with each other and finding a beneficial solution becomes easier and quicker.”

According to Jackel, one of the group’s most significant victories was when it defeated the proposal of two electronic billboards off the I-78 in 2013.

Issues championed by South Vista Communities are measured by how they effect a resident’s quality of life.

Currently, a few issues are at the top of the group’s agenda.

“We continue to be concerned about the low, loud airplane flights over our neighborhoods,” Jackel said. “And we’re concerned about the lack of enforcement by the FAA for violations, the lack of interest by the FAA in how these flights are negatively affecting our quality of life and how all of this may be greatly increased if the proposed expansion of McClellan-Palomar Airport goes ahead. We are working with the Citizens for a Friendly Airport in Carlsbad on this mutual concern.”

Another item of concern is the link between a lack of sufficient parking and the proposed condos and apartment houses in South Vista. Jackel said that architectural design and landscaping are also related to this issue.

“We understand the need for housing but do not think existing neighborhoods should be negatively impacted by these new projects,” she said.

Another worry is vehicles traveling over the speed limit on Melrose Drive and Shadowridge Drive. Jackel noted the growing number of accidents, describing it as “numerous” in recent months.

“We are encouraging Sheriff’s deputies to increase traffic control,” Jackel said.

Val Brown, a board member of South Vista Communities, shared how the organization has made an impact.

“As Vista continues to grow, SVC is a great way to stay connected to your community and meet your neighbors and work collectively to maintain the quality of life in Vista,” Brown said. 

Board member Leonard Finkel and his wife Lynell Ciranna said it is a good idea to have community input since Vista is changing rapidly.

“Because of our awareness from members of City Council and their cooperation with us personally, we’ve had input into dealing with the changing traffic patterns on Melrose Avenue,” the couple said. “We’ve seen that when a community bands together, things can be accomplished.” They added, “SVC can have an impact and the more involvement we get from community members, the greater the impact we can have. Your voice can be heard.”

The general public is invited to South Vista Communities meetings at the Shadowridge Golf Club, which occur about three times per year depending on the issues. Membership is always encouraged since the annual $25 dues help with the organization’s minimal expenses.

To learn more about South Vista Communities, visit