Opponents rally against development in Carlsbad - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Opponents rally against development in Carlsbad

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CARLSBAD (CBS 8) - The battle over development in North County heated up on Tuesday after opponents rallied against plans for a multi-million dollar project along the Agua Hedionda Lagoon, near the Carlsbad strawberry fields.

Carlsbad residents who support the open space development said they are tired of seeing the "No Trespassing" signs along the strawberry fields and want to be able to use the land around the Agua Hendionda Lagoon.

Opponents who want to keep things the way they are, are up against a big developer.

Protesting with their signs on Tuesday, opponents attended the Carlsbad City Council meeting to vent their concerns in regards to the multi-million dollar open space project on 203 acres along the South shore of the Agua Hendionda Lagoon.

"It's the Caruso initiative. It's not the citizens' initiative," said an opponent.

Caruso is Rick Caruso, the developer who launched the 85/15 campaign called Preserving Carlsbad Open Space the Right Way, with renderings and a video.

In 2006, Prop-D was approved, which allows development on the open space along the lagoon, but prohibits residential homes.

"It's going to provide open space access that is not there today," said Arnie Cohen, who supports the development plan.

What's really picking at these residents has been talks about a Nordstrom and farm to table restaurants on the remaining 15-percent, 26.7 acres.

"It's not just a pretty picture, frolicking along the fields, traffic congestion along I-5 will horrendous, and Cannon Road," said Diane Calavera, who opposes the plan.

Opponents said people did not know what they were signing when the campaign turned in 20,000 signatures supporting the plan to put on the ballot or gain City Council approval.

The registrar of voters has a month to verify the signatures.

The Council has ordered a study and by the end of August plans to make a decision adopt or put the 85/15 plan on the ballot.

The developer said he would pay for the ballot initiative.

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