WHAT IS SOAR?
SOAR simply requires that before agricultural, open space or parkland can be rezoned to other uses like dense housing or commercial, the people of Oceanside have a right to vote on the change. We all pay the costs of sprawl development – traffic congestion, air pollution and higher fees for infrastructure like water, sewers, and roads. SOAR lets the people of Oceanside make these important decisions- not three council members, developers or special interests.
“Farmers oppose SOAR, so it can't be good for agriculture." FALSE
Don’t be fooled! The opposition to SOAR has major funding from “North River Farms” – a developer who wants to build 689 homes on farmland and the Building Industry Association- a lobbying arm for housing builders, and two large landowners/farmers in Morro Hills who have been trying for years to get the taxpayers of Oceanside to pay for infrastructure to make conversion of their land to dense housing more profitable. It is not about saving farming! It is about converting farmland to more dense housing! Their mailer and advertising are intentionally misleading. Yes on Y is supported by the majority of the farmers in Morro Hills – who actually want to keep farming.
The petition to get SOAR/Yes on Y on the ballot was signed by 13,522 of your friends and neighbors who care about preserving farmland, parks and open space - not developers who want to pave it over for more housing.
“SOAR takes away famers’ private property rights.” FALSE
SOAR absolutely does NOT take any property rights away. The land in Morro Hills is zoned agriculture with the option of the land owner to subdivide into smaller parcels with a minimum size of 2 1/2 acres- if they choose to. No one is forcing them to build anything or divide up their land- and SOAR has no impact at all unless they decide to make the kind of major change that requires rezoning.
What SOAR does is try to ensure they stay within the property as zoned when they bought it just as we bought in our residentially zoned districts. If farmers want to convert land to higher density residential or industrial uses then the voters would be able to vote on that change.
And SOAR specifically allows agritourism. SOAR will help keep farming viable - and it will slow down the loss of agricultural lands for more sprawl development.
Farmers will lose money and be forced to sell their land. FALSE
Farming remains lucrative throughout San Diego (SDUnionTribune July 5, 2018) The two farmers who originally opposed SOAR own hundreds of acres of land and are very successful. Right now, one of these farmers is in the process of subdividing their land in order to grow marijuana, an extremely lucrative crop. (This info is available from the City and the Secretary of State)
“SOAR only affects agricultural land.” FALSE
SOAR protects all land zoned as “agriculture” or “open space.” Open space includes wildlife habitat, wetlands, parks and other recreational uses like golf courses. Currently a vote of three council members can make these changes. With SOAR it will require a vote of the people. Once these lands are lost to development they are gone forever. The people will put the community first - not special interests.
“SOAR will not protect El Corazon.” FALSE
El Corazon is a 465-acre property owned by the City. It is not designated parkland and has no special protection as a park under state or local law. The City adopted a Specific Plan for El Corazon that specifies acres of land for wildlife habitat and parks and recreational amenities. It also includes two hotels, and some housing and commercial development to help pay for the park.
Instead of honoring the Specific Plan, the council majority has already approved more housing units than were allowed, and is in negotiations for a third hotel on land designated to be part of the park. Currently three council members can continue to whittle away at our parkland. With SOAR the parkland and wildlife habitat at El Corazon will be protected by giving us the right to vote before these lands are developed. The community planned El Corazon as a park in the heart of Oceanside. That is worth protecting.
“SOAR will keep farmers from getting farm loans.” FALSE
This is not true. Farmers get farm loans based on the agricultural production value of their land, not the potential to develop their land for other zoning uses like housing or industrial uses. This is regulated by the Office of the Comptroller, a federal agency. Morro Hills is high value farmland – as farmland.
“SOAR will prevent much-needed new housing from being built. “ FALSE
Oceanside's General Plan already provides for all of the new housing we need to meet housing requirements- without taking any farmland or open space. SOAR has no impact on the city’s housing plan. What SOAR does is prevent sprawl into areas where there is insufficient infrastructure, fire protection, and roadways such as Morro Hills.
“SOAR will cause economic downturns in Oceanside." FALSE
Since 1990, many other California cities have adopted initiatives like SOAR to give residents more say in how their communities are developed. These initiatives have withstood the test of time, and voters regularly renew them when they come up for another vote. To read more, see The CoastNews, August 10, 2018.
Who do I contact if I have additonal questions about SOAR or Measure Y?
Please send an email with your questions about Measure Y, Oceanside-SOAR's Voter's Rights Initiative, to CountMeIn@oceanside-soar.org.