A bunch of small farming-related businesses in Lakeside have a powerful ally in their attempts to keep a much larger competitor from opening next door: the California Environmental Quality Act.
The legal case has small businesses fighting not only their would-be competitor, but also the county for using an uncommon method to get the project approved quickly.
CEQA is often blamed for making life difficult for businesses and developers in San Diego. It requires long, expensive environmental reviews that can result in beneficial changes being made to projects. But it’s also ripe for abuse from groups who have non-environmental interests in slowing, stopping and changing proposed projects.
Now, it’s become a thorn in the side of Hix Snedeker, a commercial development company based in Alabama that’s trying to build a tractor supply store in Lakeside. The Tractor Supply Co. megastore, with locations around the country, would sell everything from chickens, tools and truck-, towing- and agricultural-related products to small gifts and clothing.
The proposed new building fits within local development restrictions, and has the support of the local planning group and the countywide Planning Commission.
But because it would include an outdoor display and storage unit for drive-through purchases of larger items, it required a special permit that meant the elected County Board of Supervisors needed to sign off.
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And VOSD continues its vendetta against CEQA. This endless reporting focusing on the negative is wrong. Many positive things have happened because of this law. The only positive article was an opinion piece written by an environmental lawyer. VOSD has repeated its "weapon against developers" claim ad nauseam. The implication is that the law is being wrongly used to stop competition in this case. Why don't you just report what is going on and stop with this endless editorializing in your articles? (Such as for example, your snobbish statement implying people in Solana Beach are stupid to try to protect their view because according to your writer, it isn't even an ocean view. News for VOSD: Most of the view properties in this county are not of the ocean and who are you to editorialize on the quality of a view? Why, the Grand Canyon isn't even an ocean view.)
These people have good reason to question whether a 12 year old report for a completely different project can be used. Knowing the county board, I'd say there is a good chance they gave the project their usual rubber stamp. It's now up to the courts to decide.
CEQA is designed to protect the environment, cultural and historical resources, and to ensure adequate public services exist to support a new development.
CEQA is NOT designed to protect businesses from competition.
"Supervisor Bill Horn said he didn’t think 2008 was all that long ago. His shoes, he said, were from 1979."
Well if something of Horn's from 1979 is still deemed relevant, shouldn't he be termed out?