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City strives to bring up jobs to housing ratio

Saying no to high density housing zone changes will play a part in the process

OCEANSIDE — Oceanside jobs to housing numbers were shared at the Dec. 10 Economic Development Commission meeting and fell startlingly below those of other North County cities.

While most North County cities have a healthy 1-to-1 ratio, Oceanside has a .6-to-1 ratio, with fewer jobs than houses.

“I think it’s an urgent perspective,” Tracey Bohlen, economic development manager, said. “We’re actively trying to increase that number.”

Bohlen asked commissioners to be alert to rezoning requests that allow high-density housing to replace space for businesses that bring needed jobs.

Oceanside land use plan and zoning designations map out a balanced development plan for the city, but that balance can be thrown off kilter when changes to the plan are made.

“Every time City Council tries to allow someone to take a piece of property — it changes that balance,” David Morris, economic development commissioner, said. “We don’t have a lot of land left for commercial purposes.”

“Council already understands the dynamics we just want to remind them of it,” Morris added.

A decision that furthered the low jobs to housing ratio was when City Council rezoned industrial property to high-density residential in 2002 and apartments were built.

“It happens every cycle,” Bohlen said. “If we keep rezoning pretty soon we will not able to get job numbers up if we don’t hold the line.”

Oceanside currently has 19,000 apartment units. They make up 49 percent of Oceanside housing. Most can agree that no more high-density apartments or condos are needed.

Bohlen said the city has tried to play catch up with low jobs to housing numbers since the city economic development department was established in 1995. Prior to that no one had the task of looking at jobs to housing numbers and drawing businesses to the city.

At that time Oceanside had grown into a bedroom community next to Camp Pendleton.

Since then jobs have been established with the development of Ocean Ranch Business Park, Pacific Coast Business Park and the industrial area by the airport, as well as other business pockets in the city.

“The business parks are getting fuller,” Bohlen said. “They are not full, but absorption is occurring.”

Biotech industry and hospitality related businesses including hotels, restaurants and microbreweries are increasing, as well as healthcare facilities.

While Oceanside is headed in the right direction to bring its jobs numbers up, high-density housing will have an ill effect on the city’s progress.

High-density apartments and condos, which are not part of a managed low income housing development, often draw multiple families that live together in one unit and in turn cause traffic and parking issues as well as a higher demands on social services like police and fire.

The balance is further impacted by financing being easier to obtain for high-density housing developers than businesses.

Bohlen said if Oceanside stays on track, says no to zoning changes for high-density housing, financing loosens up and businesses expand, the jobs to housing ratio will be healthy in 10 to 15 years.

“We need to look at it,” Morris said. “How do we bring in good jobs to Oceanside and allow great things to happen?”

There are many advantages to having a healthy jobs to housing ratio. People live closer to work and have less of a commute and more time with family. Greenhouse gas admissions are reduced because of less driving. Families need fewer childcare hours. Individuals have more disposable income and a higher quality of life.



Trueheart Allgood December 29, 2013 at 6:54 am

Oceanside’s ratio is out of line? That’s because the City Council majority is out of line. If the FFKers (Felien, Feller, & Kern) could ever get their hands out of developers’ pockets, they might pay attention to the needs of their own constituents. Instead, they ignore the city’s needs and pander to the wishes of out-of-town special interest developers. DUMP KERN & FELIEN in 2014.

Linda Sills December 28, 2013 at 11:06 am

Wow! Looks like central planning to me. Ever read Road to Serfdom? Apparently not. All this garbage, is Agenda 21. Do you even know what a greenhouse gas is? It is water vapor. Co2 is carbon dioxide. It is what you exhale. Plants love it. The temperature of the earth’s surface has not warmed in the last 15 years. The huge LIE of global warming, or human caused climate change is the biggest hoax in the last 80 years. The last huge whopper was when Hitler said..”it is all the Jew’s fault”. Just keep believing your own manure, and see where it gets you. If and that is a big IF, you allow the free market to work one may see job growth, and real wealth creation. But alas, in the Communist state of California, that is not likely to happen anytime soon.

SeniorRights December 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Funny. We seem to recall Councilmember Kern’s promise that hotels being built (and more proposed) would bring jobs to Oceanside. Yet, instead, those jobs went to workers brought in by bus from Arizona (to avoid paying prevailing wages to out-of-work Oceanside construction workers). Still, the Council majority (Kern, Feller & Felien) never met a developer they didn’t like and virtually eliminated “in-lieu” fees or require more affordable housing. Of course, it couldn’t possibly be because a Building Industry Association lobbyist WROTE our City Charter, could it?

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