OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- Before any shovel hits the dirt, developers of proposed townhomes in Oceanside are making sure they are not disturbing what may lie beneath the surface of the vacant lot.
"We researched with our title company and the surveyors and found no evidence that our property was ever part of the cemetery or connected to the cemetery," said Howard Jacobs, president of the company developing the land.
Jacobs is confident the property never overlapped with the historic Oceanview Cemetery next door, but one local woman is still concerned some of her late family, dating back centuries, may indeed be buried beyond the boundary lines.
That woman has been vocal in wanting the area scanned by specific radar technology before construction begins, something Jacobs says he is committed to doing.
"I was very surprised when I started hearing that people thought we weren’t going to do that, because we were," explained Jacobs. "It’s one of our conditions -- requirements for approval that’s already in all the documents -- and the city has all the information."
In addition to the scan, Jacobs said the developers are required to have an archaeologist and Native American representative on site during excavation to ensure nothing is disturbed.
The project, which includes 34 luxury townhomes, has been in the works for about four years already, but it does still have a way to go before final approval. Right now, the Oceanside Planning Department is in the process of writing its staff report. A Planning Commission meeting is expected in late September, when people will still have time to submit additional public comments or concerns.
"This will be looked at even more times by even more people, and heavily scrutinized," said Jacobs.