OCEANSIDE — The city is renaming one of its streets in the El Corazon property in honor of a deceased resident who led the city through economic development over the last two decades.
Councilmember Peter Weiss requested that El Corazon Drive from Rancho Del Oro Road to Senior Center Drive be changed to Dr. Hugh La Bounty Drive at the June 14 council meeting.
La Bounty, who died in 2018, was Cal Poly Pomona’s third president who spent a total of 38 years at the university in various teaching and administrative capacities.
After retiring in the early 1990s, La Bounty moved to Oceanside where he served in various community service roles. He also aided in the development of California State University San Marcos.
According to Weiss, La Bounty had a strong passion for Oceanside. He was the founding member of the city’s Economic Development Commission, which Weiss said “helped jumpstart downtown’s economic revival” through its creation of the city’s first economic development strategy.
In 2003, LaBounty was appointed to serve on the El Corazon Committee which was tasked with developing a community plan for the former sand mine location. LaBounty was chosen to lead the committee over several years through an outreach planning effort that created a master plan for the El Corazon park.
“His most significant contribution was making El Corazon property come alive for the community,” Weiss said. “Without his leadership, we would not have the (El Corazon) Senior Center, the multi-use sports fields, the Aquatic Center, trails and open space and the impending arena.”
Council approved the change 4-0 with an abstention from Mayor Esther Sanchez, who wasn’t sure about renaming the road after a single person. Sanchez noted each of the El Corazon committee’s 15 members also made significant contributions to the park.
Resident Shari Mackin took issue with Council’s process in renaming the road, noting that if El Corazon is truly a park the decision to rename the road must first go to the Parks and Recreation Commission.
“There is policy in place,” Mackin said. “I ask that we follow policy.”
Mackin also added that she favors naming streets and parks to create a sense of place rather than after a person who has died.
Councilmember Chris Rodriguez noted that City Council can make such proposals and changes as renaming a road at its own discretion.