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Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation fights Encinitas housing project

Posted at 5:12 PM, Apr 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-22 20:21:50-04

ENCINITAS, Calif. (KGTV) -- The foundation that protects the picturesque Batiquitos Lagoon between Encinitas and Carlsbad is pushing back against a project to add nearly 50 single-family homes.

The project would redevelop an abandoned nursery on La Costa Avenue with 48 single-family homes, including four reserved for very low income households. The 14-acre site is just south of the Batiquitos Lagoon, which is home to hundreds of species of bird and fish.

The nonprofit Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation is now appealing the project to the Encinitas City Council. That's after The Encinitas Planning Commission approved it in March.

Foundation president Fred Sandquist said the organization has seen more projects built along the lagoon's borders on both sides.

"It's like death by a thousand cuts," he said. "You take a little piece here a little piece there, and all of a sudden, you know, it's gone."

David Hill, a foundation member, said there are concerns over pesticide contamination and runoff from the everyday activities of the new residents.

"You've got 50 homes, 50 people all washing their cars, washing down their yards, irrigating their lawns, putting fertilizer and pesticides down there," he said.

A city of Encinitas staff report says the project would actually improve conditions. That's because it would dramatically reduce the existing erosion, and provide storm water quality pollution control where there is currently none.

David Meyer, the project's entitlement consultant, noted the project had gone through four years of reviews and environmental study. He said this kind of low impact housing development is sorely needed during San Diego's housing crisis.

The Encinitas City Council will hear the appeal Wednesday.