Oceanside Planning Commission votes against controversial development

OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- For the second time in the last five months, the Oceanside Planning Commission voted Monday evening to not recommend North River Farm, a controversial development in the Northeast portion of the city.

North River Farm is described as a planned residential, mixed-use project on 176.6 acres of land. The proposed project would allow for the development of up to 656 dwelling units, a boutique hotel, an education center and flexible commercial uses on the site.

Approximately 31.6 acres would be dedicated to agriculture and 16 acres of the site were planned for park and open space features.

More than three hours of the meeting was dedicated to discussion on the development. There was passionate public comment coming from both sides of the debate.

Many criticizing the project called it the wrong kind of growth for the city. Some of the biggest concerns included the traffic congestion that a project of its size might bring, impact on agricultural land, and fire and flooding danger.

Developers gave their presentation, promising to build and fund a fire station and provide major updates to several roads to increase traffic flow.

The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce supported the development as well as a handful of speakers, but in the end, the commission didn’t think the development was the right move for the city.

The commission voted unanimously along with the staff recommendation to not recommend approval of the development. New River Farm will be presented to City Council at a public hearing tentatively scheduled for the end of May.

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