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News Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News Rancho Santa Fe

30-year vacant lot allowed to be put to use

OCEANSIDE — City Council unanimously approved a zone amendment on Oct. 15 that allows the lot on the corner of Mission Avenue and Douglas Drive, which has stood vacant for 30 years, to be temporarily used for mobile home sales.
With a plan in the distant future to develop a hotel on the surrounding 16.71-acre site that the .66-acre lot sits on, an immediate use and upgrade of the corner property is welcome.
“This is something that’s just crying out to be dealt with, landscaping that corner,” Councilman Jerry Kern said. “I think this is the highest and best use. It goes away when the (adjacent) mobile home park goes away.”
Approval for the zone amendment did not come without words of caution from the city planning commission, which opposed the recommendation. “The present land use is appropriate for creating a vibrant commercial use,” Juliana von Hacht, associate planner, said. “Mobile home use is not desirable.” Von Hacht recommended a bakery, restaurant, or visitor-serving businesses landscaped with meandering pathways to create a sense of arrival to the historic area close to Mission San Luis Rey.
Councilwoman Esther Sanchez also voiced some reservations about the mobile home sales business that was OK’d to share a driveway with the neighboring Mission View Manor East Senior Mobile Home Park. “I don’t know if I am prepared to say this is the highest use and a safe use,” Sanchez said. “My concerns are potential accidents on the corner and how to get there sharing a driveway.”
Cole and Associates, which petitioned the zone change, addressed most concerns, reassuring the council that landscaping will comply with the Mission San Luis Rey historic area, a buffer would be provided between the business and the adjacent senior mobile home park, and an ADA compliant bus waiting pad requested by North County Transit District will be added. Linda Cole, of Cole and Associates, said project benefits also include revenues for mobile home park improvements and sales tax to local jurisdictions.
More than 20 supporters were present to say the proposed mobile home sales business is a good idea. A mobile home property manager said the land use would improve the property and raise the bar for the surrounding mobile home industry.
The approved zoning will allow immediate development on the half-acre parcel. Cole said mobile homes may be on the site within a month and landscaping may be completed within three months.