Rose residents look to head off development project.
By Wehtahnah Tucker - Sep 13, 2012
Save Desert Rose, a group of citizens that
have long opposed a planned development are gearing up for another
battle as the project developer is slated to go before the Planning
Commission in late October.
group contends that the residential development is uncharacteristic
of the rural surroundings, environmentally unsustainable and
presents a host of other concerns.
group has mobilized hundreds of supporters in the community
as well as in Carlsbad where the impacts of increased traffic
from the development will be felt.
from the fact that the proposed development is absolutely
not in keeping with the character of Olivenhain, it presents
a multitude of undesirable side effects, said Bill Butler
who lives near the planned 16-home community proposed by Woodbridge
Farms Estates, LLC. Not the least of which include safety,
increased traffic on narrow streets, erosion and water quality.
history of the residential development within the citys
most rural community is complex. Located at the end of a series
of narrow, winding roads, the 6-acre parcel on Desert Rose
Way was sold a few years ago to AJ Pacific Homes.
this development was originally presented to the community,
it was done so as an 8-unit community that had lot sizes and
setbacks that are consistent with the local zoning requirements,
the situation with the real estate market and the economy
in general, the concept and plan became fiscally unsound,
he opined. No longer could the builder contemplate building
eight very large and expensive homes that would not be marketable
in these economic times, Butler said.Calls to the developer
were not returned.
Vurbuff, the citys environmental coordinator said the
mitigated negative declaration was published Dec. 6, 2010.
The staff subsequently requested the applicant hire a third
party to conduct a peer review of the fire protection plan
of the project. The original project plan was submitted in
on the plans presented by the applicant, staff determines
if the project is exempt from environmental review or if it
requires an environmental initial study.
a result of those findings, either a negative declaration,
mitigated negative declaration or full environmental impact
study is required, Vurbuff explained.
this project we noticed there was reason to mitigate potential
significant impacts (to the area), he said.
mitigation measures speak to reducing corresponding significant
impacts. Biological resources, such as habitat and the nearby
wetlands were cited as in danger of being impacted by the
project, Vurbuff said.
new plan includes homes that are set back only 5-feet from
the property lines, double the number of homes, an 8-foot,
non-flammable perimeter wall, unstable soils, inadequate buffers
for the wetlands and a number of safety concerns, Butler
said. Unfortunately, it is we, the residents of the
neighborhood, who will have to pay the price for their (developers)
bad business decision.
Everett Delano was hired by the Save Desert Rose
group in January 2011. The negative declaration prepared by
city planning department was both incomplete and incorrect
in that it downplayed the impacts of the project,
according to Delano. Both the scope of the project was mischaracterized
and the character of the existing community, he said. Theres
some pretty significant issues in this development.
my view that they should do more, he added.
group is seeking a full environmental impact report rather
than a mitigated negative declaration review.
place a premium on a community that is defined by its rural
character and is free of some of the symbols of urbanization
like sidewalks, street lamps, traffic lights, Butler
said. A community where trails are the links between
neighbors; trails that are shared by walkers, people on horseback,
bicyclists, joggers, gentle athletes, our four-legged friends
and children walking to school.
Fred Frumin, an Olivenhain resident agreed. This development
is everything we didnt move here for, he said.
The community wants to preserve its character and Im
willing to help with that.