Two groups appeal approval of Oceanside man-made surf lagoon resort

Two local groups have appealed the Oceanside Planning Commission’s approval of Ocean Kamp, a proposed resort with a three-story hotel, restaurants, shops and 700 homes to be built around a surf lagoon artificial.

The Preserve Calavera and San Diegans Appeals for Sustainable, Economic and Equitable Development (SD SEED) will send the commission’s decision to the Oceanside City Council. In recent years, the council has given the go-ahead to a number of large hotels and residential developments such as the proposed 585-home North River Farms community, despite significant opposition from neighboring residents.

Both appeals raise similar concerns – economic sustainability, water supply, security issues with the nearby airport, use of an environmental impact report completed for a previous project, compliance with the city ​​climate action and analysis of details such as fire response times. , traffic and energy consumption.

Ocean Kamp is proposed for the 92-acre site of the former four-screen Valley Drive-In Theater, just off State Route 76 at Foussat Road in the San Luis Rey River Valley. The project is strongly supported by the city’s business community.

The City Council approved a previous project called The Pavilion on the site in 2008 which would have been Oceanside’s largest shopping center with several big box anchor tenants, but the shopping center idea lost momentum and did not was ever built.

Encinitas-based Zephyr Partners purchased the property in 2018 and designed Ocean Kamp based on the artificial wave concept using the same environmental impact report prepared for The Pavilion. Then in 2020, Zephyr transferred the Ocean Kamp project to a former partner, N4FL Worldwide, also known as N4FL Development, with offices in Encinitas and Rancho Santa Fe.

“The Ocean Kamp Plan is consistent with existing land uses and would add housing, office, hotel and recreational opportunities that would increase job creation and economic investment in Oceanside,” said Jon Corn. , lawyer and project partner.

“While we respect the right to initiate the appeal process, we strongly disagree with the substance of the two appeals filed,” Corn said in an email Thursday. “We hope that City Council, like the Planning Commission and a broad coalition of supporters, will also recognize and appreciate Ocean Kamp’s significant community benefits, collaborative working partnership and rigorous environmental review.”

Oceanside has one of the lowest job-to-housing ratios in San Diego County, says the appeal letter written by Preserve Calavera President Diane Nygaard. Building more houses means more people will drive further to work, which will increase traffic, pollution and greenhouse gases.

“Also this hotel is being offered at a time when one was recently licensed (Hilton on the city’s El Corazon property) then pulled out, another on El Corazon not followed through after three years negotiations, and three, known as Inns at Buena Vista Creek, are still awaiting final permits,” Nygaard said in the letter. “Hotel demand is limited. The viability of this hotel and its impacts on other Oceanside hotels, including two on city-owned land, should have been considered.

Ocean Kamp will use excess water as the region faces water restrictions, she said. Additionally, a recent plane crash at the site illustrates the dangers of being next to the airport.

In addition, the Environmental Impact Report completed for The Pavilion project assumed that National Route 76 would be widened to six lanes. However, 14 years later, four lanes remain with no plans for expansion, says Nygaard’s five-page letter.

The appeal is expected to be on the city council’s agenda in the coming months.

San Diego SEED is an unincorporated association of individuals and unions. Several union members opposed the Ocean Kamp project at last month’s Planning Commission meeting, saying the developer had not committed to fair wages or hiring local labour.

The North County nonprofit Preserve Calavera has filed lawsuits in Superior Court against a number of North County projects to stop development or win major concessions.

The group filed a lawsuit on Dec. 9, 2019, against North River Farms, a proposed 585 farm-themed home community for South Morrow Hills. Preserve Calavera claimed that the environmental impact report for this project was inadequate and that the development would reduce public safety, increase greenhouse gases and result in the permanent loss of prime farmland.

North River Farms and Preserve Calavera filed a “notice of conditional settlement” in San Diego Superior Court on May 5, but no details were announced. A hearing is scheduled for December 2. Nygaard said in May that the proposed deal would “result in a much better project and save more farmland”.

Previous settlements involving the nonprofit organization have created or expanded city parks and set aside land for open space and natural habitat.

Carlsbad built the Buena Vista Reservoir Park which opened last year on three acres near Highland Drive following a settlement with Preserve Calavera and another local nonprofit, North County Advocates.

Another Preserve Calavera settlement allowed Carlsbad to purchase the 61-acre Village H property along the east end of Carlsbad Village Drive in 2020 for habitat preservation and hiking trails.

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