Friends of Fire Mountain

Protect, Preserve, and Improve Fire Mountain

Eternal Hills Meeting Update

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Eternal Hills held an informative meeting October 29th, to update on their progress and the beginning of the grading and expansion. Chuck Lowry was on hand at the Eternal HIlls expansion meeting to give a report:

A small group of residents, primarily those who live on Fire Mountain
Drive, attended the meeting. Mayor Wood was also present as were representatives of Eternal Hillsand Tait Consulting (the Civil Engineers) and Clarke and Green Associates (the Landscape architects) A rendering depicting the initial area to be graded was on display… The display showed the first phase to be developed is a continuation of the existing cemetery westward between roughly Portofino Drive and the power pole opposite the driveway next to 2613 Fire Mountain Drive. That area will be available for gravesite sales. The rest of the area along Fire Mountain Drive-almost to the water tower property line will be graded and planted with hydro-seed. Because of mitigation costs associated with the archaeological site next to the water tower property, grading will not include any of the archaeological site at this time. Eventually, expansion will include the archaeological site with the exception of the triangular ridge) which Eternal Hills previously agreed not to touch.

Hydro-seeding is needed in order to control erosion. Runoff from Fire Mountain Drive will be channeled into a ‘V” shaped open concrete drain which will start near the water tower, run on cemetery property paralleling Fire Mountain Drive and tie into an underground pipe that runs to the north from a drain across from 2613 Fire Mountain Drive. The underground pipe will extend several hundred feet to a small sedimentation basin where water will be slowed down before entering the existing creek bed which flows to the north and connects to the Loma Alta Creek. The sedimentation basin near Fire Mountain Drive was moved further to the north so it could be lower on the slope and not interfere with internal roadways planned for the expansion area. Electrical lines located in the area between Portofino Drive and the water tower property line will be moved underground. This must be done within the next five years. There will be a new fence erected along Fire Mountain Drive and along the western end of the Eternal Hills property line replacing the existing chain-link fence. Drought-tolerant landscaping that maintains a low profile will be planted next to the new fence along Fire Mountain Drive on the street side of the fence. An 8’ pathway between the fence and curb will provide space for the new landscaping and pedestrian traffic.

Cacti and succulents that currently exist in the area to be graded are currently in danger. However, efforts to try and save as many as possible are underway. Eileen Turk with the Oceanside Parks and Recreation Department is looking into the possible temporary use of part of the water tower property to store some of the plants. Palomar College has a cactus garden and might be interested in taking some of the specimens. If anyone is interested in
getting any of the soon-to-be orphaned cacti and succulents, please let us know so we can contact you at the appropriate time. Cuttings of the
larger cacti would need to be taken as it almost impossible to move them. If you would like to be on this list, please email Chuck at:
chuck.mcdonell@cox.net.
The actual grading is expected to start once
Final approval is given by the City. This first phase is expected to commence in December, pending permit issuance and
to be completed within three months after approval. Eternal Hills will make every effort to expedite the process as it is a disruption to their existing operations as well as Fire Mountain residents. Efforts will be ongoing to reduce dust from the grading operations. A temporary irrigation system will be installed to keep the hydro-seeded area green. We have asked Eternal Hills to make the rendering available over the internet and will provide a link from our website to the rendering once it is available. A new soil spoils pile will be established to contain the soil as gravesites are excavated. The pile will be in a depression excavated for this purpose and will be located in the area where the taller cacti now stand. Such soil piles are necessary for ongoing cemetery operations and will be a temporary feature that will eventually disappear as the cemetery expands and encompasses each pile. The current roadway inside the cemetery will be expanded to the new gravesite area but not beyond into the hydro-seeded area until sales require a new section to be opened. In other words, Eternal Hills will prepare the area between Portofino Drive and the Water Tower property line as described above but only expand one section at a time as dictated by gravesite sales. The new section will be called “Freedom View” and will contain a statue of a woman releasing a dove. Gravesites with headstones will be limited to an area near Fire Mountain Drive and be somewhat hidden by the landscaping
next to the fence. The majority of the Freedom View section will utilize
ground level headstones so there will be a more park-like appearance. Eternal Hills continues to work with and keep Fire Mountain residents notified regarding cemetery expansion. The changes to the expansion plans agreed to by Eternal Hills and Fire Mountain residents have added significant cost to the overall project which necessitate that expansion be done in smaller increments than originally planned.

There was a lively give and take between the Engineers and several residents who expressed skepticism that the maintenance staff of Eternal Hills had the required level of training and supervision to implement the conditions imposed by the City. EH representative Julian Garcia assured us that they were aware of some of the issues and that Debbie Allen was implementing changes. Both Mr. Garcia and the two engineers said that Debbie was the point of contact for the Neighborhood (Debbie.Allen@sci-us.com)

We wish to thank Eternal Hills for being a good neighbor and expect to continue a neighborly relationship far into the future.

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