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Solana Beach

San Diego County’s possible purchase of a Solana Beach canyon to block a proposed housing project moved closer Tuesday when the Board of Supervisors agreed to ask for more than $3 million in loans and grants to pay for the property.

The board voted unanimously to seek a $1-million loan from the California Coastal Conservancy and a $2-million grant from the state’s environmental license plate fund to pay for Holmwood Canyon and make it part of a county park.

The 16-acre canyon, on the edge of San Elijo Lagoon, has been the subject of months of controversy involving the supervisors’ decision last year to allow construction of a 38-unit housing project there. Hundreds of Solana Beach residents and county environmentalists fought unsuccessfully to stop the county from approving the development.

Since supervisors approved the project in December, county staff members and private citizens have been working to find a way to buy the land.

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A spokesman for the San Francisco-based Trust for Public Lands said Tuesday that negotiations are proceeding and that an agreement could be reached by next week. The trust hopes to buy the land and resell it to the county over a period of years.


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