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FCPG expresses opposition to 76/Via Monserate commercial center to standing room only crowd

A proposed commercial center in the 3000 block of Highway 76 near Via Monserate was brought to the Fallbrook Community Planning Group for input, and the 12 planning group members present Feb. 20 were all opposed to the project as currently proposed.

“The community and the planning group are strongly opposed to the project,” said planning group chair Eileen Delaney.

“It violates our community plan,” Delaney said. “It does not complement the area. It is truly out of character. The application had numerous flaws in it.”

The proposed commercial retail center on the 2.63-acre property would have 15,754 square feet of floor area consisting of a 2,500 square foot car wash, a 3,800 square foot convenience store, a 6,571 square foot gas station, and a 2,703 square foot fast food drive-through restaurant. The convenience store would be open 24 hours. The drive-through restaurant would be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The center would also have 54 parking spaces.

“It’s adjacent to a residential area,” Delaney said. “It will bring noise. It will bring lights. It will bring toxic tanks.”

The fuel tanks will be more than just an inconvenience to neighbors. “There’s a very high water table next to the San Luis Rey River,” Delaney said.

The proposal was not a formal voting item. “This was just to see what we thought,” Delaney said.

“The community is strongly opposed to it as well,” Delaney said. “We’ll do whatever we can to fight this project.”

The project as currently proposed may still undergo the county process, in which case a formal planning group vote will be taken in the future. The project may also be revised and the planning group may be asked for feedback on the revised project.

The neighboring residents expressed many concerns but did so with respect. Some of those concerns included the effect on equestrian use of the area, an increase in transients, traffic congestion and safety, tank leakage, day laborers loitering, gas station redundancy, smells, light pollution and noise, declining property values and effects on the San Luis Rey watershed.

The next step for the project is going back to the county’s Planning & Development Services department.

Author Bio

Joe Naiman, Writer

Joe Naiman has been writing for the Village News since 2001


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