What is Oceanside SOAR

Oceanside Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources (SOAR) is a non-profit, grassroots organization made up of Oceanside residents who want to protect our remaining open spaces and farmlands. Open (and public) spaces in Oceanside include parks, golf courses, rivers, wildlife habitats and farmland. 

What does the Oceanside SOAR Voters Rights Initiative do?

The Oceanside SOAR Initiative will require a vote of Oceanside citizens before the City Council can change the City’s General Plan sections that pertain to Open Space and Agriculture. 

Why do we need SOAR right now?

Just three (3) councilmembers can vote to change the zoning of our irreplaceable land. Our undeveloped and agricultural land is at high risk of being paved over and gone forever. 

Currently a developer has proposed 680-985 homes in Morro Hills area, far exceeding what is allowed. This is sprawl at its worst and it wouid cost everyone in the community for this private development! Taxpayers would pay the lions’ share for the cost of extending the sewer/water infrastructure and suffer increased traffic congestion and air pollution.

Can anyone vote for this Initiative?

To vote for this Initiative, individuals must be an Oceanside resident and a registered voter. Not registered? You can register to vote online here:  http://registertovote.ca.gov/

What are the Benefits of the Voters Rights Initiative?

The Initiative will help to reduce sprawl by promoting “Smart Growth” -  an approach to development that encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement - that has been adopted by many urban planners and cities across the nation. Additional benefits include

  • Reducing future taxes by reducing costs of roads, sewers, other infrastructure, and services that come with sub/urban sprawl
  • Reducing greenhouse gases by reducing traffic and restricting housing projects while promoting agriculture
  • Encouraging the City to expand agritourism efforts which will support our economy as well as our local farmers

Is this a “land grab” that will devalue property values?

No. Studies show that other areas that passed similar initiatives have actually had an increase in land values and crop values, especially when combined with agritourism. Agritourism enhances the entire area through dollars spent on tours, products, gas, hotel rooms, etc. See the following reports: http://www.bren.ucsb.edu/research/matthew_fienup.htm. and

Is SOAR against development in general?

No. Oceanside SOAR is in favor of more dense development in the proper Smart Growth locations. These areas are near transportation, have existing sewer/water service and appropriate roadways, including safe sidewalks. The VOTERS' RIGHTS Initiative allows development but keeps the 2.5 acre minimum that the majority of landowners in the area desire.

SOAR's VOTERS' RIGHTS Initiative does not stop development, it just includes voters in the decision making process. 

Further, landowners are free to choose how to enhance their land values with capital intensive agricultural uses including new and different high-value crops like coffee and wine-grapes. They are also free to create value-added items like organic crops, jams, soaps, wine, wreaths and so forth and to develop agritourism businesses, all without ruining the wonderful rural character of the land and preserving their land values! Increasing public interaction shows people how food is grown and
how continuing to grow local food is important to our economy and well-being.

Have other areas passed SOAR-type initiatives?

Yes. Not only have they passed these for 20–year periods by large numbers but they renewed the SOAR growth boundaries. Ventura approved renewal by 59% and Napa by 62%.

Who do I contact if I have further questions about the Oceanside SOAR Initiative?

Please send an email with further questions to CountMeIn@oceanside-soar.org. We'll answer as best and soon as we can (typically within 72 hours.)