After serving the community for more than 50 years, Ted and Victoria Van Arsdale are downsizing Feather Acres Farm and Nursery on Avocado Place. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek
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50-year-old nursery downsizing; property to be subdivided

SOLANA BEACH — A seven-home subdivision is being proposed for a 4-acre lot in the eastern section of the city that is currently home to a floral business that once also offered pony rides, a petting zoo and cowboy-themed party opportunities.

After serving the community for more than 50 years, Ted Van Arsdale said he and his wife and business partner, Victoria, decided to scale back Feather Acres Farm and Nursery on Avocado Place.

“We weren’t using the property to the best of its ability so we decided to downsize,” he said.

They sold three-quarters of the property to a local man who has been coming to the property, riding ponies, since he was 4 years old.

“His mother has been a client of ours for years,” Van Arsdale said. “He’s enjoyed the experience his entire life. Now he has a family of his own and his kids have been here for pony rides.”

Feather Acres will continue to operate the floral business on the remaining 1-acre parcel, but rather than grow onsite they will using products from local growers, in part to be compatible with state water restrictions, Van Arsdale said.

“When we started we were the only nursery out there,” Van Arsdale said. “Now we’ll just be doing it in a smaller format.”

He said the business is changing with the times and the move will allow him to take on new challenges with his horses, such as improving his roping skills and perhaps raising a colt.

The Van Arsdales will operate the farm and animal portion of the business in Julian.

Plans call to subdivide the property into seven single-family residential lots ranging in size from 20,000 to 25,000 square feet.

The existing zoning designation allows one to two dwelling units per acre and specifies a minimum 20,000-square-foot lot size to help preserve the natural terrain and minimize grading requirements.

The proposed project will include six single-family homes and one affordable unit as required by city code. Construction of the six homes is not currently proposed and will be subject to review and approval by city officials.

In addition to grubbing, clearing and grading to create building pads for the future construction, the currently proposed project includes the installation of driveways, curbs and gutters, sidewalks and wet and dry utilities.

Overhead utility lines on the northern boundary of the site along Avocado Place will be undergrounded.

Residents can weigh in on the initial study and mitigated negative declaration until March 7. The documents are available At City Hall or on the city website.

A mitigated negative declaration is appropriate when an initial study has been prepared and a determination can be made that no significant environmental effects will occur because revisions to the project have been made or mitigation measures will be implemented to reduce all potentially significant impacts to less than significant levels.

Comments can be sent to Corey Andrews at or 635 S. Coast Hwy. 101, Solana Beach, CA 92075.

Council members will consider the adoption of the initial study and mitigated negative declaration, as well as the project approval, during a future public meeting.