Zone change allows for new homes

OCEANSIDE — The City Council approved an agricultural to residential estate zoning change to allow the development of 27 homes on north Stallion Drive.

A highlight of the planned development is site views across the valley.

“The views from up there are dynamite,” Lou Lightfoot, president of Lightfoot Planning Group, said. “The views of the valley, agriculture area and (adjacent Arrowood) golf course are the selling point.”

William Ramsey, city planning consultant, said the requested zoning amendment is a “house cleaning item” to align zoning with land use.

The former chicken ranch has kept agriculture zoning, while its land use was deemed suitable for development in 1968. Its agriculture zoning designation is viewed as a holding zone, to help stabilize property tax.

The owner took action to get the land out of the agriculture preserve in 1989, and qualified for rezoning in 1999.

Lightfoot said the owner has since moved out of the area and wishes to develop the 37.5 acre site.

Project density will mirror surrounding development to the north, south and west.

Plans include minimum one-acre lots, private streets, a gated entry, open space and perimeter walking trail. An .8-acre riparian habitat in the southeast corner of the site will be preserved.

East of the planned homes is agricultural land. A right to farm easement protects adjacent farmers from nuisance based civil lawsuits.

The council gave unanimous approval to the zoning change on March 14.

“It’s just a terrific use of the property,” Councilman Jack Feller said.

The Planning Commission also supported the zoning change on Jan. 11, in a 6-1 vote. Commissioner Colleen Balch voted no.

Balch expressed reservations about plans for a fire lane on one side of the street, which could spark homeowner debate over parking.

The commission added conditions of a landscaping plan, and right to farm easement. There will also be a 135 feet buffer between homes and adjacent agriculture land.

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