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ENCINITAS, CA-Residents of this North County coastal community have bandedtogether to fight a proposed agricultural-research center.

Neighbors are concerned about traffic and preservation of open space atthe Paul Ecke Ranch and say the proposed facility doesn’t fit the area.But landowner Paul Ecke III says the research park will allow the company tocontinue farming in the rapidly industrializing community.

The agriculture and biotech park is planned on 10 acres of the nearly100-acre site off Saxony Road. But well over 100 people angry about theplanning commission’s approval of the project came to the city councilchambers to complain earlier this week.

The agricultural research park could be crucial for San Diego County’s$30 million flower industry. New growing techniques will help fight offcompetition from Asia and Latin America, supporters say.

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