Lawsuit filed against the Villa Storia development
Promise Yee, October 29, 2015
OCEANSIDE — Oceanside
residents filed a lawsuit against the city
and Villa Storia developer Integral Communities following
City Council approval of the project and zoning changes
made in late September and early October.
Residents have spoken out against the housing project
since it was heard by the Planning Commission in August.
Chief complaints of those who filed the lawsuit as Citizens
Preserving Our Historic Lands are the project's location
and size. The groups says the 420 units that will be built
800 feet from the mission are not compatible with the
historic district. The project generates 5,000 daily traffic
trips and taxes already stretched city services.
Another beef residents have is they say City Council
members had their minds made up prior to the vote, which
passed the project and zoning with Councilwoman Esther
Sanchez voting against.
Attorney Everett DeLano, who represents Citizens Preserving
Our Historic Lands, said the aim of the lawsuit is not
to stop the housing development, but to make it a better
The lawsuit was filed on Oct. 16. City Attorney John
Mullen said the city had not been served as of Oct. 22,
and he did not have a comment as of press time.
DeLano said residents are hoping to resolve issues with
the city and developer prior to a hearing. He added the
group has not developed a specific settlement proposal
yet, but its principal demands are to protect the mission,
mitigate traffic and increase fire and police protection.
“If this project could do one good thing it would be
to provide more funding for police and fire protection,” DeLano
Oceanside fire and police chiefs said the 400-plus homes
will increase the demand on city services, and stated
more personnel are needed.
DeLano said the City Council should have addressed increasing
pubic safety prior to approving the project.
Members of Citizens Preserving Our Historic Lands spoke
at the City Council meeting on Oct. 21. They shared their
continuing concerns and asked council to listen.
Beatrice Nelson, who is part of the group and lives in
the San Luis Rey mobile home park adjacent to the development
site, spoke at the meeting. She said the through road
will bring additional traffic and impact emergency responses.
Nelson said she has concerns about roadwork, modifications
to the mobile home park entrance and traffic flow on Academy
“Eight traffic lanes are going to be dumping into a two-lane
road,” Nelson said.
Following the meeting she said she took offense at comments
Councilman Chuck Lowery made in his October newsletter.
They included calling residents NIMBYs because they used
their right to speech, and incorrectly stated the lawsuit
will be paid for by the city not the developer.
“It disturbs me he's resorting with name calling,” Nelson
said. “He accused us of wasting city funds. Lowery is
Other residents who spoke at the City Council meeting
said their concerns go way beyond their immediate neighborhood.
“My backyard is 40 feet by 40 feet, I'm concerned about
the whole planet,” one resident said.
“Seniors have lots of experience seeing and dealing with
problems, and we don't like to be ignored,” another resident
Following the meeting Lowery said his comments were taken
out of context.
Lowery added he supports the project and feels it benefits
“The company fit the project into the community of Oceanside,
including addressing needs of neighbors including mobile
home residents and Mission San Luis Rey,” Lowery said.
Lowery said in addition to public sidewalk improvements
and green practices, the project would improve storm water
drainage for the mobile home park.
“Flooding of their park from runoff will stop,” Lowery
said. “It's a significant improvement, than to have to
shovel out on their own. It's a new high-quality
Councilman Jerry Kern also said he supports the project,
and feels it will improve the quality of life for neighboring
residents with better roads and improved access.
“It's the best project for the site,” Kern said. “Their
lives are going to be better.”
Due to privacy laws the number of residents who are represented
by Citizens Preserving Our Historic Lands was not shared.