OCEANSIDE — City Council gave the go-ahead for the final map of a 17-unit beachfront condominium project on Aug. 19, which will have a bulky SDG&E transformer box above ground on Pacific Street.
The project at 700 The Strand was given an allowance for the above ground transformer box because it’s not feasible to burry it nearby.
Councilman Jerry Kern said the developer wants to be a good neighbor and promised to have artwork painted on the box, like other utility boxes in the area.
Kern said the box may be a valid concern for some residents.
“With new development everything is below the bluff line,” Kern said. “The construction is below. The utility power distribution is above the bluff.”
He added an art wrap will make the box more attractive, and because utility boxes are so common many people will not even notice it.
“You can only put power boxes in certain spots,” Kern said.
Oceanside resident Carolyn Krammer said the transformer box is not her concern, but she does question the allowance of an outside staircase, and the impact the large development will have on street parking.
Krammer added she was informed the private staircase from The Strand to Pacific Street was put in building plans at the request of the fire department in order to ensure emergency access to the building.
The stairs will have a key lockbox firefighters can open. The stairs will also be used by condominium residents, but not open to the public.
Parking will be subterranean. To encourage condominium residents to use spaces exclusively for vehicle parking, the storage of recreational vehicles, trailers and boats is not allowed.
Krammer said it is a wait-and-see situation to tell whether street parking will be impacted.
She added she is glad to see development happen on the vacant site.
“I’m glad something is being built there,” Krammer said. “The vacant lot and graffiti was an eyesore. I hope we get it right.”
A plus is that the project brings repairs to a section of The Strand in front of the condominiums. The roadway was damaged by a storm and never restored to its original condition.
“They’ll fix a couple of things we wish we had straightened out years ago,” Kern said. “It provides housing and is an overall benefit to the community.”