The Coast News Group
A petition has been filed by Oceanside residents challenging North River Farms - the City Council approved agrihood development project. Courtesy photo
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Oceanside approves sustainable Agrihood Community — North River Farms

On November 6, 2019, the Oceanside City Council approved San Diego’s first ever agrihood, North River Farms.

With an ambitious vision, the creatively planned community is designed to put Oceanside on the map as a must-see destination for tourists and locals alike with features including attainable housing, a publicly accessible farm, farmer’s market, maker space, public dog park, mountain bike trail, amphitheater, community gardens, a brewery, local retail and restaurants.

North River Farms is  designed to be a benefit for the entire region, not just for the residents living there. The “ecological village” plans 585 single-family solar energized homes to be centered around 68-acres of farming production, with vineyards, and U-Pick options. Woven throughout the community are 16 acres of trails and parks, surrounded by locally grown food. The homes will be built with the highest quality environmental and fire-resistant standards offering a variety of housing types.

“I am looking forward to all of the community-focused experiences like Oceanside’s first-ever balloon and wine festival, movies in the outdoor amphitheater and shopping at the Makers Space building for artisanal crafts,” said Chelsea Cullinan a young professional and Oceanside resident. A working farm and farming education center will be operated through a partnership with the Ecology Center, a regional non-profit who specializes in organic farming methods, sustainable living practices and the curation of curriculum for community-based workshops and events.

North River Farms recognized the challenges that modern farmers face and sought to develop a model to preserve agriculture in the area for the future. Third generation Oceanside farmer, Luwanna Hallstrom notes, that “an agrihood is a relatively new term, but it has developed a new optimism and sense of connection and longevity to the land that many of us have been looking for.” This pioneering design fulfills the desire for healthier living, a more active lifestyle and a stronger relationship to your neighbors and the land.

Located in eastern Oceanside’s South Morro Hills, this region is currently a patchwork of commercial farms and large lot’s zoned for residential estates. In the midst of a housing crisis and the slow decline of farming, planning for more estates is not wise or sustainable. By adjusting direction, with the approval of North River Farms, the City is embracing a plan that better prepares Oceanside for the future. The clustering of homes provides a consolidation of open space for the public and neighborhood to enjoy. It also commits $1 million in funding for the South Morro Hills Vision Plan.

North River Farms is about reaching beyond the boundaries of the project and creating a positive regional impact. The project will contribute $5 million in funding to benefit the Oceanside Unified School District, new entertainment options, and a substantial investment in traffic and infrastructure improvements that would not occur under the existing estate subdivision zoning. One of the most significant benefits that comes with the project is the widening of the College Bridge from four lanes to six lanes (3 in each direction) together with expanded bike and pedestrian lanes separated from vehicular traffic by safety barriers which do not exist today. Every road that leads to the community will be improved to enhance a visitor, neighbor or resident experience as well as improve evacuation conditions for public safety.

Safety has always been a priority for the project which has committed to building and equipping a new fire station and police outpost in the area.  This new fire station will improve response times to medical and fire related emergencies for the entire area of South Morro Hills.  These will have an immediate positive effect for current residents in the area by drastically reducing response times and placing first responders in the heart of the region.

With a state-of-the-art development now approved by the City residents of Oceanside are looking at a brighter future. 


Marilyn Brown December 14, 2019 at 10:12 am

What a pro development article. And yes they are getting their way with this huge cluster…. why? Because Oceanside city council did not listen to the people of Oceanside.

Richard Burton December 13, 2019 at 7:26 pm

Yes indeed it is a VERY BIG and VERY BAD DEAL to change the zoning in the O’side Farmlands to allow for high density sprawl homes development.

As for the cost of housing in this area, one must understand they are not in Kansas anymore, as thus spoke Dorothy to her little buddy Toto. This is Southern California, a very desirable area to live in by any standard.

That is the reason home prices are high in this area. It has nothing to do with so called rich liberals or rich yuppies. According to mainline real estate price cost studies by state, the Kansas state average home cost is currently $141,500. Even in Kansas the more desirable homes can go to $350K plus in very desirable areas.

Our capitalistic free market economy is hugely inflated now, compared to let’s say 1965. Back then, even when first starting out, it was possible to buy a home in SoCal for $30K or less. Minimum wage was $1.25 per hour, and on a good day gasoline cost was 20 cents a gallon at the discount stations.

This is a time now for all families to band together, live in one big home setting with many bedrooms. Mom, Pop, grandparents, brothers and sisters, cousins and everybody else including the Children.

Small and medium size apartment buildings can be ideal for that kind of lifestyle. However one must work hard and get along with one another IF that kind of lifestyle is to work out. That is a very big IF in our current society of self entitlement and blame games.

For example, on a large scale, there is a very nice looking 30 unit complex of one story apartment type homes on the market right now for $8, 884, 500.00……..That works to only $295,150 per unit. $8,884,500/30 = $296,151 per unit. Many smaller number of units buildings have similar pricing per unit structure.

The average home cost in North River Farms is projected to be $530K according to an Integral Developers statement on the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce website. that price does not include Mello Roos, HOA Fees, Property Tax, etc. They will not be cheap homes for persons of modest means.

Family values here are being tested now like never before. Americans must step up to the plate and hit it over the fence of HIGH PRICES one way or another, lest the specter of poverty engulf even more well meaning and hard working folks of modest means.

NOW is time for the tough to get going, the going is indeed getting tough these days in SoCal.

Or one can just go hang with Dorothy and Toto in Kansas.

Roxanna Knosp December 13, 2019 at 6:51 pm

This NRF project is NOT affordable housing. Even the Integral “advertisement” article above says ATTAINABLE. They are sneaky with their wording. They are building on a flood plain that is not yet zoned residential. Also, 585 more homes equals at least 1,000 + more cars squeezing onto already hideously crowded streets. Sign the petitions to let the people in District 2 vote on this…nothing wrong with that!

Roberta Kansteiner December 13, 2019 at 6:15 pm

The homes being built will destroy quality of life and do nothing to help with affordable housing, what a waste. Too bad the council drank the developers kool aide.

Bill L December 13, 2019 at 2:01 pm

I love the deal. My family can’t afford to live in Oceanside as it is and the state has a housing shortage.

Not sure if you rich yuppies notice all of the homeless?

The developer is just building houses. The farmers who were tired of farming sold their properties. BIG DEAL.

If you didn’t want houses there, you should have pooled your money together and bought the property yourself. Unfortunately you just want to complain.

Again as a low income person with kids I am excited about more houses going in.

It would be great if all of the rich liberals would stop suing to prevent poor and middle class people from getting the housing we need.

J Melendez December 13, 2019 at 6:10 pm

Oceanside meets all its state mandated goals of moderate cost housing. Where O’side doesn’t meet state goals is in its low income housing element which North River Farms doesn’t include. If your family can’t afford to live in Oceanside currently then you certainly won’t be able to afford to live in NRF. NRF will start at price point way above the current average selling price of a house in O’side. You’re being played by a rich developer.

Les Gerads December 13, 2019 at 1:38 pm

Commencing the initial phase to develop and pave over the last coastal agriculture area in Southern California to line the pockets of the developers with billions while burdening the city and other residents with the long term “last mile” infrastructure costs.

There was already a long term growth plan in place for zoning to prescribe responsible development and expansion. It’s simply not as lucrative.

Richard Burton December 13, 2019 at 9:35 am

This is the same old slick sales pitch by the developer Integral Communities. David Martinez comment of December 12 touches most all the real points of contention against this project.

The entity who is selling this land to the developer is not even a local farmer by any description. It is my understanding that these lands in question are being sold to Integral by the Self Realization Fellowship (SRF), the “Swami’s” surf spot folks in Encinitas. It is also my understanding that these lands were gifted to SRF many decades past.

This project is not good for O’side. The description in this article is Pie in the Sky. It is “Disney-esc”, a cute little theme park. This developer, Intergral Communities, apparently specializes in cockamamie plans such as building a wave riding machine, a man made wave park in with their planned development where the old drive in/swap meet was. What’s that about….in a beach town?

What will be the impact upon this development as located in the immediate vicinity of Camp Pendleton? Who is going to pay the large fees to ride such a wave in this beach city, not very many, huh?

My house shakes during every artillery practice session, and there are many such practice sessions. I live 3 miles further away than this proposed developments location. The sound of freedom doesn’t bother me, however not everyone there is going to like it, huh?

Oceanside is not Carlsbad, not Encinitas, nor Escondido. O’side is not San Clemente either, the northern border of Camp Pendleton city, located in Orange County.

This plan is not popular in the northern part of Oceanside, it is against the will of the majority of the people in voting District 2. If you are in agreement that this is a bad deal for Oceanside , go sign the petition against this project, and put the decision up for a vote in November 2020 by WE THE PEOPLE!

David Martinez December 12, 2019 at 8:27 pm

This is a news article? It looks more like an advertisement submitted by the developer. If this is a news article why didn’t the Coast News bother to interview any of the numerous opponents or those who are currently gathering signatures to place a referendum on the ballot to overturn the council’s decision to narrowly approve this awful project? Or Preserve Calavera who is suing to stop this thing based on the many issues the council chose to ignore? Why did the article fail to mention that the planning commission denied this project several times and city staff plainly stated in their reports that the traffic problems resulting from the project will not be mitigated by the expansion of that bridge and can not be mitigated by anything the developer is willing to do. Why does this one developer and land owner get a pass from having to follow our city’s zoning ordinance and General plan standards? Highway 76 is already at a standstill, something like 1000 new homes in the planning stage and currently being built around the old drive-in and the mission, all of those cars will also be pouring onto the 76 too.
We haven’t even seen the effects from those yet! Paving over the city’s last remaining agricultural lands and building a massive subdivision doesn’t advance agriculture nor the needs of our residents.

Wendy L Wiegand December 12, 2019 at 7:28 pm

Correction: Oceanside City Council approved North River Farms, NOT Oceanside residents. Apparently our City Council does not listen to her citizens. If that were the case, this project would have never passed.

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