Plans for ‘high-end’ shopping center approved

OCEANSIDE — You will soon be able to buy more “high- end” items in Oceanside, following a 3-1 approval of development plans for the Pavilions at Oceanside shopping center. Deputy Mayor Rocky Chavez voted against, and Councilman Jerry Kern abstained due to possible conflict of interest.
The “destination” shopping center will be built on Mission Avenue on the site of the former drive-in theater. Plans include a movie theater, several business sites with drive up windows and a walkable plaza area.
“I’m impressed that this is going to be a project that’s higher end,” Councilwoman Esther Sanchez said. “We now have this tremendous opportunity to shop within our city for the higher-end items.”
“The idea is to create a special identity,” Ann Gunter, The Lightfoot Planning Group vice president, said. “An interactive experience for people.”
“It’s our turn for a piece of the pie,” Councilman Jack Feller said.
While a groundbreaking date has not been set, once up and running, the shopping center is estimated to generate thousands of jobs and a few million in annual city revenues from sales and property taxes, Jerry Hittleman, city planner, said.
The shopping center did have some opposition, chiefly from Caltrans and the Westfield Plaza Camino Real in Carlsbad. Traffic impacts and environmental impact report compliances were questioned by Caltrans and Westfield Plaza, but the council majority felt the items were adequately addressed.
“We’ve identified various mitigation measures for traffic,” Hittleman said. Included in the measures is a plan to install traffic lights on surrounding streets.
The one unresolved environmental impact report issue was seen as impossible to address. “There is no way to mitigate greenhouse gases at this time,” Hittleman said.
Kudos were given for including Luiseno Indian cultural elements in the shopping center design, adding a 100-foot wildlife corridor that extends the existing one, and supplying more than the required number of parking spaces.
A noise ordinance was also included for the shopping center that limits delivery times to the hours between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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