The Coast News Group
David DiPierro, city traffic engineer, center, goes over proposed roundabouts and parking on Coast Highway. These are the two areas of chief concern of those present. Photo by Promise Yee
Community Oceanside Oceanside Featured

City open house shares development incentive overlay

OCEANSIDE — Residents got a first look at a proposed development incentive overlay for two miles of Coast Highway at a city open house on Jan. 17.

The zoning overlay maps out areas for mixed-use nodes, pedestrian-friendly commercial villages and vehicle-oriented avenues between Eaton Street and Seagaze Drive.

The mixed-use nodes would allow development by right, taller buildings and higher density as development incentives.

In turn developers would pay a public improvements fee to provide parking, city improvements, open space or increased commercial square footage.

The trade-off is intended to promote the revitalization and enhancement of Coast Highway.

Adequate parking will be ensured through parking strategies, which will be tailored to fit location specific needs. A menu of parking solutions includes decreased parking requirements, parking pricing, in-lieu parking fees, unbundled parking costs, shared parking, off-site parking and wayfinding signage.

The two-hour open house provided seven staffed information stations for residents to peruse and ask questions. About 75 residents attended.

Neal Payton, a city consultant with Torti Gallas and Partners, said most residents who attended asked about parking in South Oceanside, and whether it would be sufficient. Payton said parking can be solved through a set of strategies.

“It’s a very geographical set of solutions, we’ll solve parking block by block when we can,” Payton said.

South Oceanside resident Kathy Derham said she is very concerned about parking, and is reassured by proposed parking strategies.

Booming development has inundated residents who live near Coast Highway with a greater number of parked cars, delivery truck drop-offs and idling tour buses.

“It’s a lifestyle change,” Derham said.

If the overlay is adopted it will provide a blueprint for development along Coast Highway for the next 20 years.

The city is looking ahead to transform Coast Highway from an automobile-oriented roadway to a “complete street” that serves all modes of transportation.

In 2013, Oceanside initiated the Coast Highway Corridor Study to assess existing and future transportation. An EIR on highway parking and traffic study will be available in March and provide more information.

The proposed overlay is also contingent on Coast Highway road improvements. A decision on whether to reduce the entire stretch of four lane highway to two lanes, or limit lane reduction to lanes north of Oceanside Boulevard, is yet to be decided.

Oceanside will also be updating its General Plan this summer, which serves as a vision for city development. Additionally, the city is working to bring cohesion to its coastal, inland and downtown zoning ordinances, which are presently governed by different sets of rules.