Singer Jason Mraz has joined the fight against a controversial housing project in Oceanside.
Ahead of a now-postponed Oceanside City Council meeting, Mraz sent a letter to Mayor Peter Weiss and the council sharing why he believes the North River Farms project is a bad fit for the community.
North River Farms would be built on a 177-acre plot of land on N. River Road south of the Arrowood Golf Course, which currently houses fields of tomatoes.
In his letter, the "I'm Yours" singer, who owns a farm in Oceanside, said as a 14-year resident of the community he's seen similar developments fail to benefit the city.
"Please don’t let developers convince city council of a shiny carrot when Oceanside’s Ag community could possibly provide a larger and more long-term return through managing and protecting our agricultural resources," Mraz wrote.
The developer, Integral Communities, said North River Farms would be a first-of-its-kind "agrivillage development" with about 30-acres of dedicated farmland in addition to about 700 homes and a boutique hotel.
"The community will improve over $40 million worth of infrastructure in this area of Oceanside and the farm will be run and maintained in partnership with the Ecology Center," said a spokesperson for the developer, Ninia Hammond.
Mraz wrote he has heard a "myriad of proposals with no definite plan."
Integral Communities said their team has been working with the city of Oceanside and the community to come up with a plan that works for everyone.
Hammond said Integral Communities has reduced the proposal's commercial aspects and the housing density by 30 percent while increasing the farming acreage.
Many longtime Oceanside residents and farmers agree that the plan wouldn't work in South Morro Hills.
"Our area out here is gorgeous, Beach House Winery co-owner Kim Murray said. "This is a hidden gem in Oceanside, and we want to be able to protect that."
City planners and the Oceanside Planning Commission voted in February 2017 not to recommend the project because it would need to convert agricultural land and because the residences were too far away from existing city services, among other reasons.
A revised application was submitted on July 6, 2017.
The city council was set to decide tonight whether to direct staff to begin negotiating a development agreement with developers, but Integral Communities asked for the decision to be postponed because the mayor would not be in attendance. A date has not yet been set for the rescheduled meeting.
Mraz made a name for himself on the San Diego coffee house circuit before rising in prominence with his debut album "Waiting for My Rocket to Come." The singer celebrated the album's 15th anniversary last year.
Oceanside is a coastal city located 35 miles north of San Diego and 83 miles south of Los Angeles with a population of approximately 177,000.