General Plan Update

The City of Oceanside

General Plan Update (GPU)

UPDATES (11/14/17):

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS:

In support of the EDE, Keyser Marston Associates (KMA) and Project Design Consultants (PDC) have prepared a series of technical memoranda addressing a variety of economic considerations. These memoranda have contributed significantly to the development of draft EDE themes, goals, policies, and action items. 

  • Assessment of Employment Land Uses and Evaluation of Competitive Economic Position: This memorandum analyzes how the local economy is influenced by regional market conditions and explores the growth potential of select economic sectors (biotechnology, information/communication technology, cleantech, sport and active lifestyle products and services, health care, and hospitality). This memo also considers the City’s capacity for additional commercial and industrial development and examines the City’s retail sector and the extent to which the City “leaks” retail sales to other jurisdictions.
  • Survey of Economic Development Element Best Practices: This memorandum compares economic development elements recently prepared by the cities of Chula Vista, Escondido, Fremont, San Clemente, Hayward, Richmond, and Salinas. Additional comparative research on the economic development policies of nearby jurisdictions was conducted by Planning Division staff.
  • Assessment of the City's Current Economic Development Policies: This memorandum identifies and evaluates economic development policies and programs, including: the goals and objectives of the Economic Development Division, the goals and tasks of the Economic Development Commission, the priorities of the CEDS Committee, the recommendations of the Economic Sustainability Study, and the objectives of the Agritourism Strategic Plan. This memorandum also compares the City’s current economic development practices with those of eight other California jurisdictions; analyzes the fiscal impacts of prototypical land uses (industrial, commercial, residential, and mixed use); and identifies a variety of potential funding sources for economic development.
  • Assessment of the City's Current Land Use Policies and Zoning Standards: This memorandum considers how the City’s current land use and zoning regime both facilitates and constrains local economic development. This memo offers several recommendations for improving the City’s marketing outreach efforts related to land use and zoning, encouraging mixed-use development, clarifying commercial land use and zoning standards, providing more regulatory flexibility for industrial development, and preserving agriculture.
  • Assessment of Relevant Policies of San Diego Forward - Regional Plan: This memorandum analyzes the correlation between the City’s economic development goals and regional goals promulgated by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). The intent of this memo is to encourage alignment of local and regional policies related to employment, housing, mobility, energy use, environmental protection, and quality of life.
ENERGY AND CLIMATE ACTION ELEMENT (ECAP)

 

DRAFT CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

Staff is now conducting internal review of a draft Climate Action Plan (CAP), which is a fundamental component of the Energy and Climate Action Element (ECAP). Following staff review, the draft CAP will be shared with the City Council, who will be invited to informally discuss the document with staff on a one-on-one basis. Staff will refine the draft CAP in response to preliminary City Council input and make the revised draft available for public review and comment. Once public input has been incorporated, the draft CAP will provide the foundation for ECAP goals and policies that will frame the effort to reduce the City’s carbon footprint in accordance with state regulations and guidelines.

The draft CAP provides information on local greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), identifies state-aligned GHG reduction targets, outlines a wide range of GHG reduction measures, and discusses how these measures can be effectively implemented. Once adopted, the CAP will direct the City’s efforts to reduce local GHG emissions in both the public and private sectors.

The CAP will evolve over time, as new information, new technologies, and new federal, state, and regional policies emerge. Under the auspices of SANDAG’s Climate Framework, the City’s GHG inventory will be updated on a biennial basis, providing information on the trajectory of local GHG emissions that can be used to adjust reduction targets, modify current reduction measures, introduce new reduction measures, and reassess the monitoring and enforcement process.

The draft CAP incorporates the findings of the City’s GHG emissions inventory, which establishes GHG emissions in 2013 as the “baseline” from which future emissions reduction can be measured. Consistent with state guidelines, local emissions are categorized by source – i.e., transportation, electricity use, natural gas use, solid waste generation and disposal, and water distribution and treatment. The following chart shows how each of these emissions sources contributed to the City’s overall GHG emissions in 2013. Included in this chart are emissions from local government operations, which make up a relatively small percentage of the City’s overall GHG emissions.

Local GHG Emissions by Source (2013)

The draft CAP establishes that the City will meet state-aligned reduction targets for 2020 and 2030, in large part due to state GHG reduction measures related to the carbon content of vehicle fuel, vehicle fuel economy, and renewable energy. However, beyond 2030, as the City adds population and state reduction targets become more aggressive, the City’s emissions reduction trajectory begins to diverge from the reduction trajectory established by the state. The following graph depicts how projected local GHG emissions, even with an array of emission reduction measures in place, exceed state-aligned emission targets after 2035.

Projected Local Emissions Relative to State-Aligned Reduction Targets

As indicated in the above graph, the City will not be able to rely on state reduction measures to meet state-aligned reduction targets after 2030, nor will the local reduction measures outlined in the draft CAP be enough to reduce the City’s future emissions to state-prescribed levels for 2040 and 2050. Thus, the City will likely need to revisit and revise its emissions reduction strategy in the years ahead.

Next Steps

The Onward Oceanside team intends to conduct a public workshop on the draft CAP before the end of the year. The draft CAP will be made available for public review at least two weeks in advance of the workshop. Please visit the Onward Oceanside webpage periodically for the specific date, time, and location of the workshop.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT (EDE)

DRAFT EDE THEMES, GOALS, AND POLICIES

Planning Division staff has prepared draft EDE themes, goals, and policies meant to establish a decision-making framework for the City’s long-term economic development efforts. Informed by public input and technical studies, these draft themes, goals, and policies acknowledge that economic development is not an end in and of itself but rather an essential means of improving the lives of Oceanside residents. Below are the draft EDE themes and related topics. The draft goals and policies of the EDE have been organized around these themes. (As the draft EDE goals and policies are still undergoing internal staff review, they are not being posted to the webpage at this time.)

Quality of Life

Public safety; healthy environment; quality housing;
mobility options; access to goods and services; visual quality

Prosperity

Increased business activity; increased investment; increased tax base;
more employment; higher-paying jobs; better leveraging of key City assets

Resilience

Fiscal responsibility; broad-based economy; key economic sectors;
workforce readiness; sustainable business practices; preservation of agriculture

Collaboration

Business advocacy groups; local schools; nearby cities;
regional organizations; Camp Pendleton; public-private partnerships

EDE PUBLIC WORKSHOP: A public workshop focused on the EDE is scheduled for the evening of November 29, 2017 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM in the City Council Chambers at City Hall (300 North Coast Highway). The purpose of the workshop is to introduce the draft EDE and gather stakeholder input on the proposed themes, goals, and policies. Participants will also be encouraged to share their ideas for implementing EDE policies. The workshop will include a one-hour open house with staffed stations dedicated to specific components of the EDE, followed by a whole-group presentation and question-and-answer session. The draft EDE will be posted to this webpage at least a week in advance of the workshop. Please join us on December 5th. If you cannot attend the workshop, please contact us via phone or email with your questions and comments.

EIR SCOPING MEETING: The GPU team initiated the environmental review process for this project, which will culminate in an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). In accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a Notice of Preparation (NOP) was issued on May 31, announcing a 30-day period which public agencies and members of the public can provide comment on what they believe ought to be studied in the EIR. During this comment period, which ended June 30, interested parties were requested to email written comments to Principal Planner Russ Cunningham at rcunningham@ci.oceanside.ca.us. Stakeholders were invited to attend the EIR scoping meeting, which was held at the El Corazon Senior Center (3302 Senior Center Dr.) on Wednesday, June 7, at 6:00 pm. The Onward Oceanside team provided a brief description of the EDE and E-CAP and fielded questions and comments regarding potential environmental impacts of EDE/E-CAP policies and related actions.

PUBLIC OUTREACH: The GPU team initiated public outreach in 2016 with a series of stakeholder interviews, online surveys, and a number of "pop-up" outreach efforts at recent community events. Public Outreach Summary.

    • Earth Day Event: The Onward Oceanside team conducted pop-up outreach at the City’s Earth Day event on Saturday, April 22. Outreach materials introduced stakeholders to five key themes guiding the preparation of the Economic Development Element (prosperity, quality of life, resilience, preparedness, and collaboration) as well as a range of greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction measures that staff proposes to include in the forthcoming Climate Action Plan (e.g., community choice energy, solar PV incentives, energy use disclosure and benchmarking requirements, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, urban forestry measures, and smart growth policies). Stakeholders were asked to consider policies and programs that would further the five key economic development themes and share their opinions on the draft GHG reduction measures. The following comments were received:

  • The City should explore opportunities for wind power generation.
  • The City should invest in safe and attractive pedestrian amenities.
  • The City should create a community garden.
  • The City should prohibit the use of pesticides.
  • Public restrooms at Sprinter stations would help to increase ridership.
  • New development should not have adverse fiscal impacts on the City.
  • The City should do more to promote its central location within                                                                                                   southern California and its role as a regional rail hub.
  • There should be more infrastructure in place for electric vehicles                                                                                              (more charging stations throughout the City).
  • The City should continue to move forward with community choice                                                                                            energy as a viable alternative for providing energy to residents. 
  • The City should encourage housing developers to propose smaller, more affordable dwelling units.
  • Public-private partnerships with solar PV vendors and installers could make solar power more affordable for Oceanside households and businesses.
  • The City should create wider sidewalks downtown and reduce traffic lanes to encourage pedestrian activity.
  • Better signage for the San Luis Rey Bike Trail and connection to the Coastal Rail Trail.
  • Wayfinding signage in the City’s downtown and coastal areas would help to guide tourists to key public and commercial amenities.
  • The prevalence of homelessness in the City’s downtown and coastal areas remains an impediment to economic development.
  • The City needs to work with other North County coastal cities on addressing the homeless population.
  • The Morro Hills area needs to be preserved. Allowing high density residential development will reduce property values for homeowners in the Arrowood community.
  • The City should provide incentives for developers to revitalize the downtown area and bring in more high end retail and restaurants.

    •  High School Presentation Competition: On April 20, Onward Oceanside hosted a high school speech contest that asked students from Oceanside High School and El Camino High School to consider what a sustainable Oceanside might look like in 2030. Four students delivered energetic and informative presentations that touched on environmental stewardship, housing, workforce training, mobility, community values, and other topics. Judges from the Planning Division and the Water Utilities Department awarded 1st Place to OHS junior Gavin Jokerst, 2nd Place to OHS senior Robert Marcial, and 3rd Place to both Carmen Gonzalez (ECHS) and Venus Johnson (OHS). The Onward Oceanside team hopes that these amazing young people will remain involved in the General Plan Update and encourage other members of the youth community to participate actively in the project.

                 

    • Online Surveys: Two surveys pertaining to the Economic Development Element and the Energy/Climate Action Element were available online from September 2016 through January 31, 2017. There were a total of 212 respondents to the E-CAP survey and 171 respondents to the EDE survey. The GPU team thanks all of the stakeholders who participated in the surveys. View an overview of the results: Online Survey Results.  
    • Roundtable Events: On December 1, 2016, Economic Development and Planning Division staff facilitated two roundtable discussions on the EDE. The first roundtable, hosted by Gilead, brought together roughly twenty members of the local business community to discuss ways in which the City can further support their efforts to sustain and grow their businesses. The second roundtable, held at the Courtyard by Marriot in Ocean Ranch, convened local commercial and industrial property owners and brokers. The GPU team has assembled a summary of input received during the two events: Roundtable Events Summary.                   
    • Stakeholder Interviews - Key Themes: Occurring over three days in August, the stakeholder interviews involved 20 separate conversations with a wide range of stakeholder groups representing residents, the business community, non-profit organizations, and other public agencies. The GPU team has assembled a summary of the recurrent themes that emerged from these interviews: GPU Stakeholder Interview Themes.
    • E-CAP and EDE Workshops: The GPU team would like to thank all of the stakeholders who participated in the E-CAP and EDE workshops held on October 19, 2016, and October 27, 2016, respectively. View the station boards and PowerPoint presentations as presented by the GPU team: E-CAP Station Boards & E-Cap PowerPoint, EDE Station Boards & EDE PowerPoint.  The GPU team has assembled a summary of key themes based on stakeholder feedback received during the workshops: Workshop Summary.
    • "Pop-Up" Outreach: The GPU team was present at a number of community events in 2016, including Main Street Oceanside's Farmers Market and Sunset Market, Harbor Days, Dia de los Muertos at Mission San Luis Rey, and the Oceanside Turkey Trot. Thank you to all of the stakeholders who stopped by the Onward Oceanside booth to provide input regarding the GPU.
    • Oceanside Tide: The Oceanside Tide is a City issued e-newsletter featuring City news, upcoming events, important projects, new programs, and matters of general interest to the City. The GPU was featured in both the October 2016 and February 2017 issues of the Oceanside Tide. 

 BACKGROUND

Incorporated in 1888, the City of Oceanside is the second oldest municipality in San Diego County.  Over the past 128 years, the City has experienced enormous change, growing to encompass 42 square miles and a diverse population of more than 175,000 residents.  There is no question the City will continue to experience change in the years ahead, but what can be done to manage this change and proactively shape the City’s future?  One of the most important  means of anticipating and guiding change at the local level is the General Plan and the process of updating it.  For the first time in more than 40 years, the City of Oceanside is undertaking a General Plan Update (GPU), and we encourage residents and other stakeholders to participate in this important process.  Together, we can create a positive, inclusive, and attainable vision of the City’s future that confronts challenges, reveals opportunities, aligns priorities, and encourages sound and consistent decision-making.    

The State of California requires that each city and county prepare a general plan that includes seven mandated “elements” addressing land use, circulation, housing, conservation, open space, safety, and noise.  While state law does not prescribe a time frame for updating a general plan, most cities and counties choose a 15 to 20-year planning horizon.  Cities and counties can, and commonly do, augment their general plans with additional elements addressing issues of local concern.  The City of Oceanside has chosen to initiate its GPU with the preparation of two new optional elements, one addressing economic development (EDE) and the other addressing energy/climate action (E-CAP).  The policies and strategies outlined in the EDE and E-CAP will promote the overarching goals of growing the City’s economy and reducing its carbon footprint. 

 

In recent years, the City of Oceanside has made substantial progress in diversifying the local economy, enhancing the City’s visual quality, improving energy efficiency, and reducing solid waste.  This first phase of the GPU seeks to build upon this progress and leverage the City’s existing assets to improve the City’s economic and environmental sustainability.  To highlight the forward progress the City has made in recent years and emphasize the importance of building on the City’s existing assets, the GPU has adopted the tagline Onward Oceanside.  Integrated with an image of the City’s iconic wooden pier, this tagline will serve to brand the GPU and remind stakeholders that the City already has much to be proud of.  All outreach materials and deliverables will include the Onward Oceanside logo and tagline.

 

The EDE and E-CAP will prioritize employment growth, an expanded tax base, sustainable energy use, and climate resilience as essential goals to realize over the next 15-20 years.  Recognizing these goals as complementary, the City anticipates that the GPU process will both reveal and foster synergies between economic development and the environmental goals of  energy efficiency, renewable energy, alternative transportation, and adaptation to the anticipated impacts of climate change.  Together, EDE and E-CAP policies and programs will put the City on a path to economic and environmental sustainability, while preserving and enhancing quality of life for Oceanside residents. 

 

The EDE will outline strategies to invigorate the local economy. It will establish objectives, policies, and implementation measures to promote existing businesses, recruit new businesses, incentivize commercial and industrial development, balance housing and employment opportunities, encourage entrepreneurialism, and support employment readiness. The EDE will build upon the efforts of the City’s Economic Sustainability Study, Five Year Strategic Plan for Economic Development, and the Agritourism Strategic Plan.

 

The E-CAP is intended to proactively support statewide efforts to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by expanding local renewable energy generation, reducing energy use, promoting recycling and reuse, facilitating active transportation, and encouraging other sustainable practices. The E-CAP will build upon a variety of City projects that promote energy efficiency, increased renewable energy use, water conservation, and solid waste reduction. These include the Oceanside Boulevard Vision Statement, which encourages the restoration of Loma Alta Creek in conjunction with a transit-oriented mixed-use development, the Coast Highway Vision and Strategic Plan, which promotes environmentally and economically sustainable infill and redevelopment within the Coast Highway corridor, the Water Conservation Master Plan, the Zero Waste Plan, and the Energy Roadmap. As part of this effort to ensure a sustainable future, the City is now preparing a GHG emissions inventory and a Climate Action Plan, both of which will inform the E-CAP.

 

This webpage will provide up-to-date information on the GPU process and project schedule. Residents, business owners, and other stakeholders are encouraged to participate in public outreach efforts, which are meant to inform the GPU and create a sense of ownership among those who will ultimately implement and benefit from GPU policies and programs.  Through this portal, you will learn about upcoming public outreach activities, including a photo contest, online surveys, public workshops, and “pop-up” outreach at community events. Additionally, as background studies, meeting materials, and draft documents become available, they will be placed on this site for public review.

 

Through this webpage, you are able to add your name and contact information to our Onward Oceanside interested parties list.  Stakeholders on our interested parties list will receive regular email updates. 

 

Throughout the GPU process, we encourage you to contact City staff directly with your questions and ideas.  You can reach Project Manager Russ Cunningham at (760) 435-3525 or rcunningham@ci.oceanside.ca.us.  Assistant Project Manager Rob Dmohowski can be reached at (760) 435-3563 or rdmohowski@ci.oceanside.ca.us.