dismisses developer’s suit against Oceanside referendum proponents
Phil Diehl, August 21, 2020
case still pending in battle over North River Farms housing
Superior Court judge Friday dismissed the first of two lawsuits
filed by the developer Integral Communities against residents
trying to stop construction of the 585-home North River Farms
project in Oceansides rural Morro Hills.
Integral lawsuit claimed that the opponents of the projects
circulated an illegal referendum petition and that it contained
false, forged, or fictitious names. Judge Gregory
Pollock ruled that there was no evidence of any wrongdoing.
The referendum is Measure L on the Nov. 3 ballot.
judge saw through everything about this case, said Everett
DeLano, an attorney for residents Kathryn Carbone and Arleen
Hammerschmidt, who are named as respondents along with Oceanside
City Clerk Zeb Navarro, San Diego County Registrar of Voters
Michael Vu, and others.
described their arguments ... as so-what evidence,
DeLano said. He rejected every argument.
Hammond, project manager for Integral, said Friday the company
was disappointed in the ruling but continues to believe that
the project will be a great addition to the city.
fight over North River Farms has been bitter for years. A
ballot measure that could have stopped the project failed
in 2018, when the developer vastly outspent opponents on campaign
signs, mailings and advertising. Integral bused in people
from outside the city to pack the council chambers and keep
opponents out last year when the City Council voted 3-2 in
favor of the project. Then the company hired people to follow
signature gatherers and obstruct their efforts to place the
referendum on the ballot.
is part of the long-standing pattern of unethical behavior
from this developer, said resident Dennis Martinek,
a former city planning commissioner, who helped lead the 2018
effort. They have tried to harass, bully and intimidate
opponents of their project.
filed a second lawsuit in July that alleges the referendum
itself is illegal because it violates the developers
rights granted by the city and the state to build housing.
No decision on that suit is likely until after the election,
and it could be a moot point if voters dont overturn
the City Councils approval of the project.
proposed 214-acre, farm-themed residential community would
have up to 585 homes, a hotel, retail stores, an education
center, and 85 acres of open space and agricultural uses such
as community gardens.
say the project would destroy some of the last productive
farmland in North County, that it would compound congestion
on North River Road, which is the only access route into the
property, and it would increase demand on already overtaxed
city services such as police and fire protection in the region.
calls it an enormous economic stimulus package and job
creation opportunity. The project includes $80 million
for public infrastructure such as road and bridge improvements,
and $5 million for Oceanside Unified School District.