Council decides on theater, wavers on development issues

OCEANSIDE — City Council unanimously voted for the Oceanside Theater Company to be the new operator of the Sunshine Brooks Theater and postponed discussion on a proposed Morro Hills assessment district Sept. 28.
The decision to select Oceanside Theater Company as the five-year operator of the city owned theater was made after supporters for both the newly formed Oceanside Theater Company and veteran New Village Arts Theater Company, which has run the Sunshine Brooks Theater for the past seven years, addressed council.
Supporters of the New Village Arts Theater Company praised the theater group for successfully running the theater, their community involvement and providing opportunities for up and coming actors.
Speakers who supported the Oceanside Theater Company said the theater company has members with expertise in theater productions and business management and a vision for the theater’s future.
The council had kudos for both companies’ theater experience.
“It’s so hard to judge art,” Councilwoman Esther Sanchez said.
Sanchez added that the decision was made on which group could run the theater and keep it financially self sustaining. The agreement with the city requires the theater company to generate a minimum of $14,400 in annual revenues.
The decision to select the Oceanside Theater Company was made based on the theater group’s proposal and their question and answer session with the RFP review committee.
There was no City Council discussion on a proposed Morro Hills assessment district that would open the door to development in the rural community.
Councilman Jack Feller said more information is needed on sewer restrictions and other development details before the item is brought forward for discussion.
Habitat preservation, storm water drainage, traffic circulation, and recreational trail use also need to be considered prior to building in the rural area.
Dozens of Morro Hills residents left the meeting without an opportunity to share their thoughts about development in their community or hear proposed plans.
After the meeting members of the South Morro Hills Association of volunteer homeowners said they do not want to be assessed and bare the burden of neighbors’ development costs. They said under Proposition 218 it is illegal to assess property owners who do not directly benefit from the development.
The city’s general plan requires South Morro Hills homes to be built on a minimum 2.5-acre lot.
“We’re not certain what they’re going to say,” said Karen Green, Morro Hills resident. “We want to restate we love our community.”
The discussion on a possible assessment district will likely return to council within the next few months.

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