DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT
In accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Economic Development Element (EDE), Energy and Climate Action Element (ECAP), and Climate Action Plan (CAP) has been posted for 45-day public review. Appended to the DEIR is the full text of the EDE, ECAP, and CAP. These materials can be accessed here.
The public review period will extend to March 18. While public comment should be focused on the thoroughness of the DEIR, we also welcome comment on the EDE, ECAP, and CAP.
It is important to note that the DEIR is a high-level assessment of EDE/ECAP policies and CAP greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction measures. As this project does not propose any specific “brick-and-mortar” improvements, there is little in the way of potential physical impacts to assess. Moreover, the project is expressly intended and designed to mitigate environmental impacts – particularly those associated with GHG emissions, but also those related to natural resources, energy, population and housing, aesthetics, and other CEQA-specified topic areas. Projects and programs incented by the EDE, ECAP, and CAP would be subject to separate environmental review, as appropriate.
The project team would like to invite you to a second community workshop on the ECAP and CAP, which is scheduled for Monday, March 4, at 5:30 pm in the City Council Chambers at City Hall (300 North Coast Hwy). This workshop will focus on the goals and policies of the ECAP and the GHG emissions reduction measures of the CAP, which together envision an increasingly sustainable community. We welcome your input on how to refine and implement these goals, policies, and measures. Please join us! If you are unable to attend the community workshop, you can provide comment to Principal Planner Russ Cunningham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the last update in June, the project team has made considerable progress on this first phase of the General Plan Update: full drafts of the Economic Development Element (EDE), the Energy and Climate Action Element (ECAP), and the Climate Action Plan (CAP) have been prepared and are now undergoing internal staff review; and a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the EDE and ECAP has been completed.
The draft policy framework of the Economic Development Element (EDE) has recently been revised to address comments from the City Manager’s Office. In an effort to make the framework more accessible and navigable for all stakeholders, staff has consolidated some policies and established others as implementing actions that will be outlined in another section of the EDE. The goals and policies of the EDE are still organized around the themes of Quality of Life, Prosperity, Resilience, and Collaboration. The framework continues to emphasize the extent to which livability, quality employment, sustainable practices, and regional partnerships are fundamental to the City’s long-term economic development. The revised draft policy framework of the EDE can be accessed here.
Staff worked with SANDAG and the Environmental Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC) to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed GHG emissions reduction measures in the Draft CAP. Concurrently, the project consultant updated aspects of the draft CAP to address SANDAG’s new recent changes in state law (e.g., a new California Energy Commission requirement that most new residential development include solar panels).
With the support of SANDAG’s Climate Framework, the City has initiated a cost/benefit analysis of the proposed GHG emissions reduction measures in the draft Climate Action Plan. Conducted by the Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC) at the University of San Diego, the cost/benefit analysis will identify the investments the City would have to make to implement the proposed GHG emissions reduction measures (e.g., staff resources, budget allocations)), calculate how the proposed measures would financially impact the community at-large, and monetize the effects of GHG reduction. The results of the cost/benefit analysis will be shared with decision-makers prior to public hearings on the draft CAP.
PUBLIC WORKSHOP - ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT (EDE)
A public workshop focused on the EDE was held on the evening of November 29, 2017, in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. The purpose of the workshop was to introduce the draft EDE and gather stakeholder input on the proposed themes, goals, and policies. In an open house setting, participants interacted with staff and viewed station boards representing the four EDE themes. A group presentation was made by Russ Cunningham, Principal Planner, followed by Paul Marra of Keyser Marston Associates. City of Oceanside PowerPoint Presentation, KMA PowerPoint Presentation
Participants expressed considerable interest in the fiscal impacts of land uses, as well the type of employment typically associated with certain commercial and industrial enterprises. It was suggested that the fiscal impacts of hospitals, public schools, and other tax-exempt uses be studied.
Participants observed that the policies of the EDE will only be useful if they are consistently adhered to and if progress in achieving EDE goals is monitored in objective and quantifiable terms.
Other suggestions from workshop participants included the following:
Many of these suggestions align with the draft themes, goals, policies, and implementing actions of the EDE. Staff will analyze those suggestions that diverge from the draft EDE framework and consider possible revisions.
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.
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.
The Onward Oceanside team intends to conduct a public workshop on the draft CAP in early 2018. 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
Increased business activity; increased investment; increased tax base;
more employment; higher-paying jobs; better leveraging of key City assets
Fiscal responsibility; broad-based economy; key economic sectors;
workforce readiness; sustainable business practices; preservation of agriculture
Business advocacy groups; local schools; nearby cities;
regional organizations; Camp Pendleton; public-private partnerships
EDE PUBLIC WORKSHOP: A public workshop focused on the EDE was held on 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 was to introduce the draft EDE and gather stakeholder input on the proposed themes, goals, and policies. Participants were also encouraged to share their ideas for implementing EDE policies. The workshop included 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.
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 email@example.com. 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Assistant Project Manager Rob Dmohowski can be reached at (760) 435-3563 or email@example.com.