Carlsbad's Measure A election too close to call - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Carlsbad's Measure A election too close to call

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SAN DIEGO - Around half the remaining ballots for Carlsbad's Measure A were counted Thursday, and opponents of the proposed retail and dining center to be built along the shore of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon stretched their lead to 863 votes, the San Diego County Registrar of Voters reported.

The margin grew from 186 votes at the end of Tuesday night's tally in the special election, when about 7,100 ballots were uncounted.

With an additional 3,600 or so ballots counted, there were 18, 658 "no" votes, or 51.2 percent, compared with 17,795 "yes" votes, or 48.8 percent.

Registrar of Voters Michael Vu said more ballots will be counted Friday, and most of them will be tallied by the end of the work day Monday.

RELATED STORY: Carlsbad residents reject "Measure A" Tuesday night, 7,100 provisional ballots remain to be counted

The development planned by Los Angeles-based Caruso Affiliated is opposed by environmental groups and mall owner Westfield, until recently the owner of a shopping center near Carlsbad's northern city limits.

Caruso wants to build on 15 percent of the 203-acre property and leave the rest as open space. A popular family-owned U-pick strawberry farm alongside Interstate 5 would be allowed to remain in operation.

The plans were approved last year by the Carlsbad City Council, but opponents -- concerned about the size of the proposed buildings and worsening traffic congestion -- collected enough petition signatures to force it to a public vote.

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