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Council focuses on Oceanside Boulevard

OCEANSIDE — City Council pushes development forward with an OK for a call for Requests for Proposals to develop the east end of Oceanside Boulevard. The vote was 4-1, with Councilwoman Esther Sanchez voting against.
Development plans on the horizon for Oceanside Boulevard, between Interstate 5 and El Camino Real, are divided into four sub-areas. The two areas closest to Interstate 5 are being considered for the initial phase of development, Peter Katz, senior planner with the city of Oceanside, said.
Shea Properties owns a big portion of the three blocks east of Interstate 5 slated for mixed-use development and has offered the city $320,000 toward the planning efforts.
Katz spoke of the possible development of a hotel and limited retail, but several speakers voiced concern that development by Shea Properties might take a different turn.
“I am troubled by accepting $320,000 funding by Shea,” Rick Kratcoski, Oceanside Boulevard Vision Task Force member, said. “It pretty much puts them a position to do anything they want to.”
Many of the speakers who had concerns were members of the Oceanside Boulevard Vision Task Force. Some speakers worried that Shea Properties may decide not to follow the adopted mixed-use Oceanside Boulevard Vision Plan and may instead add a lot of unwanted apartments and few job-producing business spaces.
“We have the most high-density blight apartments in that area,” Nadine Scott, Oceanside Boulevard Vision Task Force member, said. “We do not need more apartments in that area.”
Sanchez warned that residential development without sufficient business development will put a burden on community resources. “I don’t want this to be primarily residential,” Sanchez said. “This is not what this neighborhood needs. We need more jobs.”
Following development of the Oceanside Boulevard Vision Plan by community residents, area businesses and landowners were asked for their input, including Shea Properties. “We were asked if Shea would participate in planning this corridor,” Kirk Roloff, senior vice president of Shea Properties, said. “We were asked by council and are happy to do that.”
Sanchez voiced her opposition to the possibility that Shea Properties might have an inordinate voice in planning.
A stipulation was added to the OK for Requests for Proposals that the monetary offer by Shea Properties is approved, but will not be accepted until a development proposal is selected to avoid any conflict of interest.
The majority of council saw the push forward toward development as a great opportunity.
“If we can zone this correctly — then we will really be in the position to catch the wave and go,” Councilman Rocky Chavez said.