OCEANSIDE — El Corazon Park, a vision the community has held for 13 years and a planning task the El Corazon Oversight Committee has focused on for five years, now has a specific plan, which was presented at a workshop Oct. 27. The plan shows where trails, soccer fields and benches will go on the massive 465-acre site bounded by Oceanside Boulevard, El Camino Real, Mesa Drive and Rancho del Oro.
“It began with thousands of (public) comments, concerns early on,” Diane Nygaard, El Corazon Oversight Committee vice chair, said.
Initial input from thousands appeared to have trickled down to a few dozen community members who attended the workshop to hear the final draft of the specific plan, but Nygaard saw the low turnout as a positive sign. “We must have drawn a good plan,” Nygaard, said.
The park plan includes hiking areas, sports fields, open meadows, a senior center, a public library and commercial development to fund operations and maintenance of the park.
“Oceanside has a very diverse community, we all have varied interests and we all get along together extremely well, and the diversity of the site reflects it,” Tyrone Matthews, El Corazon Oversight Committee chair, said. Matthews said he is proud of what the park represents. “The symbolism of it, coming together not only for recreation, but for what a city can do together.”
Land use is planned to be divided up into 212 acres for park and recreation, 164 acres for habitat, 25 acres for Oceanside Boulevard commercial use, 19 acres for village-style commercial use and 11 acres for hotels.
The park site will have a rural feel mixing conveniences and open space. “A destination where you can shop, where you can eat, where you can hold soccer tournaments, a place you can go,” Jani Williams, RRM project consultant, said.
Within the parks and recreation acreage will sit 18 multi-use fields, four baseball fields, four softball fields, three basketball courts, a dog park, a bandstand, eight community playgrounds and a “destination playground” with enhanced features.
Park plans will be implemented in a phased approach, with an estimated timeline of 20 years to complete all park features.
Problems cited were poor air quality during construction and negative traffic impacts. While poor air quality caused by excess construction dust will be a temporary problem, the traffic on surrounding roadways is already a problem and is anticipated to become worse. Traffic impacts and circulation on Oceanside Boulevard, College Boulevard, El Camino Real, Mesa Drive, I-5, and Highway 78 will be looked into, with the possibility of additional traffic lanes and improved traffic signal timing being implemented to alleviate some of the traffic congestion.
The public has until Nov. 6 to submit comments. In February, the specific plan will go to the Planning Commission and in April it will be considered by City Council.