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Two new members of the city's Planning Commission were chosen among 13 applicants. Photo by Jordan P. Ingram
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Oceanside City Council selects two new planning commissioners

OCEANSIDE — The Oceanside City Council has selected two new planning commissioners during a March 31 workshop.

Thirteen people applied for the two upcoming vacancies previously held by Planning Commissioners Curt Busk and Kyle Krahel, whose terms ended April 15, 2020, and April 15, 2021, respectively.

A previous workshop scheduled for April 1, 2020, to discuss the appointment of one commissioner following Busk’s due vacancy was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the two new Commissioners taking over, Jolene Hayes and Joshua Raines, will serve four-year terms on the Planning Commission that are both due to expire in 2025.

Hayes and Raines were chosen from a total of 13 applicants, which included both Busk and Krahel who also applied for reappointment but were not selected.

Raines is a deputy district attorney for the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office. He has lived in Oceanside for three years. Planning Commissioners are required to live within Oceanside.

According to his application, Raines has a particular interest in the city’s General Plan, which is currently undergoing an update; city zoning ordinances, land use and other general development within Oceanside. While in law school, Raines learned “extensively about land use, zoning, development and general property law.”

Raines currently belongs to the Guajome Park Academy Foundation Board and the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce.

“I am excited about the opportunity to serve my city and my community,” Raines said in his application.

Hayes, the other newly selected planning commissioner, has lived in Oceanside for four years. She works as a senior associate for Fehr & Peers, a transportation planning and engineering consultant based in Irvine.

Hayes has a particular interest in addressing sustainable growth, mobility, access to safe school routes, improving the city’s balance between jobs and housing, housing affordability and homelessness.

She is a member of the American Planning Association, Women’s Transportation Seminar mentoring committee, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Science and is the current chair of the Intermodal Freight Transport Committee. She also previously served on the Bonsall West Elementary School Site Council from 2017 to 2019.

According to Hayes, she has been a public servant since 1997.

“Over the course of my career, I have learned the importance of impartial and well-thought-out analysis coupled with stakeholder input when making planning decisions,” she said in her application. “I look forward to this opportunity to give back to my community and to support our elected councilmembers by providing meaningful, technical land use and transportation planning input and feedback to aid in their decision-making.”

Hayes receives a unanimous yes vote from Council, and Raines received a majority vote with Deputy Mayor Ryan Keim opposed.

Keim told The Coast News he thinks that both applicants are qualified and will serve the city well in the next four years.

“My vote in regards to Mr. Raines was not a reflection on his qualifications,” Keim said. “I only thought it would’ve been prudent to continue the conversation and discuss the other candidates, including the two requesting reappointment, before making a final decision.”

Councilmember Rodriguez, who voted in favor of both candidates, said one of his top reasons for choosing Hayes and Raines is due to “geographic diversification.”

“In the past, most commissioners have been from coastal areas,” Rodriguez told The Coast News. “Jolene is in my district (District 2) and Joshua is in eastern District 3.”

Both District 2 and the eastern side of District 3 include large portions of inland Oceanside.

Rodriguez also said both candidates are highly educated and experienced, with Hayes having more than 20 years of city planning experience and Raines with his experience as an attorney and veteran.

“They answered all councilmembers’ questions confidently and are in line with the direction Oceanside is headed,” Rodriguez said.

The next Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for April 19.