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Community Commentary Opinion

Opinion: Yes on Measure Y — Saves farmland and open space

It’s time to vote Oceansiders! Are you sick of the political flyers in your mailbox, pop up ads on your phones and computers telling you to vote No on Y?  They are constant, intrusive, misleading and downright irritating. What is really going on?

Integral aka North River Farms, one of the largest developers in the U.S., is funding those ads to the tune of a half million dollars!   The want to put 700 homes on rural agricultural land that will be bulldozed and lost forever. That project would be the first of many to follow.

Multiple community leaders were unhappy with this proposal Measure Y was created. Over 13, 600 voters signed the petition for Measure Y. The comments we most heard were, “We moved here to get away from high density and sprawl.” “We are sick of traffic congestion.” “We don’t trust our city council to make good decisions for us.” “and “We don’t want to pave over paradise!”

The proposed project, North River Farms, is not a farm; it’s a dense housing development.  Integral proposes 700 homes on land when zoning says it’s only ok for 71 homes  If built, we all end up paying higher water and sewer bills and have higher public safety costs due to the remote location of this land . Oceanside’s goal is to reach you with fire and medical help in 5 minutes. Their own study proves that will no longer be the case once these sprawl developments are built.

Remember the Lilac fire? The residents who live in So Morro Hills had to sit in 2 ½ hour traffic congestion while trying to evacuate themselves and their animals.  Can you imagine the additional traffic congestion if you add hundreds of more homes and a hotel?

The League of Women voters studied this issue extensively and were early endorsers of Measure Y. They understand the value of preserving our existing farmland.  Food gets produced, flowers get grown, people get jobs and open land like this helps reduce greenhouse gasses. This land also gives our pollinators a place to thrive. The League “believes that the county agricultural industry is of historical, environmental, and economic importance to our region.”

Measure Y also protects El Corazon.  There are plans to build a pool and finally make this the people’s park. But our city council has already sent in the bulldozers to take out some of the irreplaceable land. Hundreds of residents from the Oceana community attended the council meeting protesting putting 70 condos at the gateway to our park. The pro-development council didn’t listen to the people. They listened to the developer who has unlimited access to them.  Yes on Measure Y will give people a voice over developers!

Remember how pretty the view was by Mission San Luis Rey? Now you get to look at high density homes and rooftops obscuring that irreplaceable view. Guess who the developer was? Integral.  Our beautiful gateway view of the King of the Missions is lost forever.

And remember the hotel that was approved on residential land right below people’s home?  The pro-development council had no problem voting for that too, even though dozens and dozens and dozens of residents came to a council meeting to oppose it. Another gateway area ruined.

Yes on Measure Y takes away no property rights. It just keeps the land with the same zoning: agricultural with the option to put a dwelling on 2 ½ acres. It also encourages agritourism that will help farmers be more sustainable.

Many of us are also frustrated with the lack of affordable housing in our area.  For us to achieve that, housing must be developed near jobs, existing infrastructure, public transportation, parks, markets and libraries. We can put housing where it really works and also preserve what we value most about our community- preserving parks and farmland.  Yes on Y can help achieve that.

Please join Buena Vista Audubon Society, League of Women Voters, farmers in So Morro Hills who want to keep farming, Friends of El Corazon, League of Conservation Voters and many thousands of others by voting YES on Measure Y.

Diane Nygaard is President of Preserve Calavera and a Board Member of Friends of El Corazon.

Dennis Martinek is the founder of SOAR/Yes on Y initiative. Martinek has a PhD in Urban Development and farms in South Morro Hills.

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Eric Milhouse October 22, 2018 at 8:35 pm

Nadine you are 100% right. I’m voting Yes on Y because 700 more homes In this proposed development will make Highway 76 impossible to use – and its already a parking lot. Power to the people – not city council.

Nadine Scott October 18, 2018 at 10:53 am

Please VOTE YES ON Y. Do not listen to the opponents who are financed with $700K from one developer. They build and don’t farm, right?
There is NO property right to develop your land beyond what it is zoned for. Stop believing the poor farmers who keep saying this. Going out of a zoning is a privilege and requires permission. Sadly in Oceanside that consists of donations to political campaigns.
We want OUR power back as residents of O’side and need a bigger voice to counteract that influence!

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