by Jeeni Criscenzo
What started as a small group of concerned neighbors has grown to be a well-organized coalition of Oceanside residents standing up to a well-financed effort to put yet another concrete plant in the ecologically vulnerable Loma Alta Creek floodplain. The general sentiment is that placing a concrete plant within the Oceanside Boulevard Corridor will result in negating the Oceanside Boulevard Corridor task force Vision Plan that was recently adopted unanimously by the Oceanside City Council.
These issues and many others are addressed by their newly created website Stop Robertsons . The website makes it easy for Oceanside residents to send an email to every member of the City Council voicing their objections to the plant.
The numbers of opponents to this project are growing rapidly as word gets out that local residents are joining forces against the latest acquisition of worldwide mega-giant Mitsubishi Materials -- Robertson's Ready Mix. This is no longer the 'family owned' business that Robertson's has represented themselves to be.
The opposition group is composed of representatives and individuals from many environmental, neighborhood, political and activist organizations. This coalition of citizens turned out in such unexpected force prior to a City Council meeting last February, that Robertson's withdrew their plan. While Robertsons claims their new plan addresses many of the concerns citizens originally had, the only people speaking in favor of the concrete plant at a January 29th Planning Commission meeting were a few paid employees of the company. After hearing dozens of citizens speak out against the plant and considering volumes of material submitted, the Planning Commission denied the plan.
Robertson's appealed the decision and now this citizen coalition is planning an even bigger show of opposition at the March 19th City Council meeting when the issue is expected to be on the agenda.
"Oceanside residents are learning how to hold our City government accountable to what's in the best interest of the community. We're the ones they were elected to serve, and we're the ones who vote, so we just have to remind them who's really the boss," said Jeeni Criscenzo, one of the local residents involved in the opposition.
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