There was a mix of applause and boos when Oceanside City Councilmembers voted 3-2 Wednesday to delay a vote on the controversial North River Farms development.
Wearing green in solidarity, Nadine Scott was one of the Oceanside residents with a “No! No! NRF“ sign in hand protesting.
Developer Integral Communties plans to turn a 177-acre plot of farmland along N. River Road and Stallion Drive into a first-of-its-kind "agri-village." It's expected to include about 30 acres of farmland as well as almost 700 homes and a boutique hotel.
“It’s too dense and will create too many traffic hazards, said Scott. “It’s in the path of the Lilac Fire. We found out when that fire occurred it took people 2 and a half to 3 hours to get out of the path of the fire."
The developer says the project will improve at least $40 million worth of infrastructure, “including widening roads and the College Bridge. That will improve evacuation routes,” said Ninia Hammond, a spokeswoman for the developer.
Oceanside resident Jane Marshall doesn’t believe the improvements will be enough.
Like some of the other protesters, she says she’s not opposed to the development, she just wants it to be a smart development that doesn't create a domino effect. Diverging from the city's climate action plan, and allowing developers to turn land zoned for farming into unaffordable housing.
“It’s a tax burden,” said Marshall regarding the development. “It's a public safety burden, it's not affordable and doesn't help us. They’re not offering any affordability.”
“The community is planned to have homes that start at 1,700 sf which will be attainably priced for Oceanside’s workforce and for our veterans,” Hammond wrote in a statement. “The larger lots will allow for accessory dwelling units which helps fit a housing need in the City. The market rate homes will help promote affordable housing either through fees or the construction of units.”
Integral Communities hopes to have a revised proposal ready for a summer vote.