Lakeside Business Owners Bet the Farm on CEQA Challenge
A group of small businesses in Lakeside are fighting to keep a megastore from opening next door. But they’re also fighting the county – which they believe lowered the bar for the project’s environmental review.
Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle
The site of a proposed tractor supply megastore in Lakeside.
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.