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Residents who live in communities near Ocean Ranch industrial park in Oceanside gather in front of the proposed Amazon distribution center site on Ocean Ranch Boulevard on July 23.
Residents who live in communities near Ocean Ranch industrial park in Oceanside gather in front of the proposed Amazon distribution center site on Ocean Ranch Boulevard on July 23. Photo by Samantha Nelson
Cities Community News Oceanside Oceanside Featured

Residents to push back against proposed Amazon distribution center

OCEANSIDE — Dozens of residents are gearing up to plead their case to the Oceanside City Council against the proposed Amazon distribution center project planned for nearby Ocean Ranch industrial park.

Earlier in May, the city’s Planning Commission approved plans for an Amazon Fulfillment Center on Ocean Ranch Boulevard. The distribution center is expected to create about 500 jobs once completed.

The 142,746 square foot building will include 15 truck terminals, 703 fleet vehicles and 230 parking spaces for employee vehicles. Warehouse operators and tractor-trailer deliveries will run 24 hours per day, and deliveries will occur between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Residents of nearby communities fear the traffic congestion as well as noise and light pollution that the distribution center would create. For residents of the St. Cloud community, the distribution center would sit on the hill right above them.

“Some of these people’s doors face the hill,” said Jeanne Leeper, a 24-year resident of another nearby community. “Some of these people bought their homes not even knowing this was going to be happening.”

Many of the residents are concerned about potential light and noise pollution as well as traffic congestion that the distribution center may cause.
Many of the residents are concerned about potential light and noise pollution as well as traffic congestion that the distribution center may cause. Photo by Samantha Nelson

Leeper’s biggest concerns about the plant are the noise and light pollution it may cause.

“People want to sleep at night, and you can actually hear noise from up here,” she said. “You should never put anything 24/7 near where people live and sleep.”

In addition to St. Cloud, the project would also overlook three schools, a preschool, a retirement center and nearby parks.

Leeper was one of a few residents who helped put together the necessary to file an appeal with the city against the project. The project also has two other appellants that have filed against it.

The Planning Commission first zoned the Ocean Ranch area for light industrial in 1999.

Bill Roth, another nearby resident along with Leeper who prepared the appeal documents, called the distribution center a “21st century retail store.” He explained that because of this, the center should require a CEQA project-level analysis but according to the city and Amazon, this is not required.

“The Amazon project is actually a retail store that uses 21st-century technologies like digital e-commerce systems and same-day delivery systems including Uber and Lyft drivers who were not in existence in 1999,” Roth said. “Thus the neighbor-signed appeal asks City Council to recognize the obvious: that material changes have taken place since 1999 and therefore the Amazon project must be subject to a CEQA project-level review.”

Amazon representatives have assured residents that the facility will address their concerns in several ways, one of which is planting lines of trees and hedges to surround the property to help shield the light. The company has also pledged to work with city staff to determine the best routes for trucks to minimize traffic impacts.

Leeper, Roth and other residents are planning to attend the Aug. 4 council meeting to voice their concerns to City Council, who is set to vote on the project that night.