The Coast News Group

Design plans OK’d for beach restroom sites

OCEANSIDE — After close to a year of community input final design plans were shared and unanimously approved by the City Council for beach restrooms adjacent to the pier amphitheater on Wednesday.

The $3.9 million project will include a modern style building to house 14 single stall restrooms, beach maintenance, and a police garage. Funds will also restore the historic bathhouse for use as a police substation, and add a new $1.5 million sewer lift station.

Residents at Wednesday’s workshop said they are pleased with the final design that accommodates community input and improves the flow of people using the space.

“We’re back to basics, it’s all about new bathrooms,” Carolyn Krammer, Oceanside resident, said.

Leslie Gaul, president and CEO of Visit Oceanside, also gave the project kudos.

“It’s important for our industry to have nice bathrooms for visitors,” Gaul said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the beautiful new facility.”

Previous options, shared at three community meetings and through an online survey to which 500 responded, included a two-story building and public viewing deck. Earlier concerns were expressed about construction that contacted the beach bluff.

Councilwoman Esther Sanchez was among those at the June community meeting who opposed a facility being built up against the bluff. She also said that a second story was unnecessary.

She and fellow council members support the final plan.

The approved building design is a stand alone one story structure, which poses no bluff encroachment.

It does not include new lifeguard facilities or a public viewing deck.

The beach stairs, plaza area, landscape and parking lot at Mission Avenue and The Strand will be improved as part of the approved project.

Groundbreaking is expected to take place in November 2017. The project is anticipated to be completed by November 2018.

“In November (2016) we’ll begin entitlements and coastal permits, it will be shovel ready in spring 2017,” Nathan Mertz, the city’s project manager, said.

At the same meeting design plans were approved for a modern style building with 14 single stall restrooms at Tyson Street Beach. The two projects will be built simultaneously, but have separate contractors. Tyson Street restrooms will cost $683,000.

Funds are being secured for the two projects, and expected to come from state and federal grants, city bond refinancing, general funds, and money already set aside for beach restrooms.

The city has completed renovations to beach restrooms on the pier and at Wisconsin Street. Rebuild of restroom facilities at Breakwater Way and Sportsfisher Drive are behind schedule and being completed.