An attempt by the City of Vista to annex 277 acres of undeveloped land just north of its city limits in order to allow the construction of 362 single-family houses and five acres of commercial development was rejected by the county's Local Agency Formation Commission in a unanimous vote Monday.
The land is currently zoned by the county to handle at most 144 housing units. Vista city officials said they wanted to build 2 1/2 times that many in the area, known as Rancho Tres Amigos and located east of East Vista Way on the city's northern reaches.
Bonsall residents to the north of Vista strongly opposed the annexation because they said it would upset the rural character of the region. LAFCO staff members also recommended against the annexation, saying it might induce growth in the area and because of uncertainty over which agency would provide water service to the development--an issue that remains unresolved.
The LAFCO board of directors gave Vista officials the right to return with the request within a year.