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Westfield Seeking to Reverse Approval of Competing Mall

Oceanside approved its largest retail project earlier this month but has already been met with opposition.

Neighbor Westfield expressed concerns about the project proposed by Georgia-based Thomas Enterprises. The project includes 950,000 square feet of restaurant space, theater and retail space on a 92-acre site near Highway 76 between Foussat Road and Mission Avenue. The land is currently used as a drive-in.

Westfield submitted an appeal to the City Council’s approval of The Pavilion at Oceanside on Oct. 6.

The appeal states that Westfield has substantial concerns about the legal sufficiency of the final environmental impact report certified by the city’s planning commission.

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It contends that the document does not provide adequate information and understates the impacts of traffic, air quality, noise, water quality and biological resources.

The council will hear the appeal at its Nov. 19 meeting.


Expressing Concerns

Australian-based Westfield owns seven shopping centers in the county, including two in North County: Westfield North County in Escondido and Plaza Camino Real in Carlsbad.

A company spokeswoman said in an e-mail that the appeal speaks for itself.

“As a land owner, landlord, employer, taxpayer and tax generator, we have legitimate concerns about this proposal as well as the process and the right to voice those concerns,” said spokeswoman Katy Dickey. “Westfield has been consistent in approach and message that all developments comply with the same rules and that those rules are applied consistently to all developers.”

Westfield also expressed concerns regarding the extension of Pala Road in its appeal, saying Thomas Enterprises failed to incorporate the extension in its environmental impact report.

“For these reasons, it is imperative that the City Council reconsider approvals, and at minimum, require that any future considerations of the project be delayed until the (final environmental impact report) is revised to address its numerous legal deficiencies.”

Jane McVey, director of economic and community development for Oceanside, said Thomas Enterprises already granted an additional 10 days to the 45-day comment period to the environmental impact report before the city approved the project.


Retail Experience

Thomas Enterprises is no stranger to retail development in the county. It developed The Forum at Carlsbad, a 265,000-square-foot, high-end retail center, or “lifestyle center,” in 2003.

Although Thomas Enterprises was not available for comment, its Web site said The Pavilion at Oceanside would bring a mix of national and local retailers, restaurants and entertainment tenants similar to the tenants at the Forum.

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