OCEANSIDE — City Council incumbents Councilman Jack Feller and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez will face five challengers in November. Those running for first time election are Daniel Dumouchel, Linda Gonzales, Steve Hasty, Ward O’Doherty and Victor Roy.
Candidates were asked questions on city housing, pending craft brewery zoning and the city’s poor jobs to housing ratio. In their own words are the replies of Feller, Sanchez and Gonzales.
Hasty did not reply by publication date.
What does Oceanside need to consider when approving needed housing development?
Councilman Jack Feller, age 68, Oceanside City Councilman: As always we require adequate infrastructure (water, sewer & roads), public safety, schools, traffic mitigation and recreational services (pools & parks) be in place or provided before approval is granted.
Esther C. Sanchez, age 60, Councilwoman and Attorney: Oceanside is near build-out. New residential projects can be higher density but should include affordability, open space, recreational areas, and sufficient onsite parking. They should limit impacts to the surrounding neighborhood, including traffic. To maintain levels of services without increased taxes/fees, we need to conduct internal financial analyses of the projects. They need to be pedestrian and bicycle friendly, and located near existing services and major transportation corridors.
Dr. Linda Gonzales, age 68, CEO/Educator: 1. Electing new qualified council members — incumbents have been on the council 16 years
without fixing reoccurring problems.
2. Updating the General Plan.
3. Including current and working financial advisors, planners, and developers that live in the
city on focus groups and commissions. Guidance beyond talking points is required for projects to work.
4. Using local university studies such as the Point Loma Nazarene University, “Opening San
Diego’s Door to Lower Housing Costs.”
What should be included in craft brewery zoning regulations to ensure there is consideration for adjacent homeowners?
Feller: Even though it hasn’t been approved I believe there should be written notification from the applicant as well as consideration for parking. This will affect many homeowners along the Coast Highway corridor.
Sanchez: Proposed craft brewery zoning changes should be a pilot project limited to the downtown area, and should include some level of public review. Waiving onsite food sales makes sense downtown, where there are restaurants within walking distance of public transportation and sufficient parking. There should be a limit of such establishments however, to ensure the continued economic diversity and viability of our downtown. We need to be something for everyone, including families with children.
Gonzales: 1. Parking requirements so that homes are not impacted.
2. Limits to the number of performers allowed (like Vista).
What concrete steps can Oceanside take to improve its jobs to housing ratio?
Feller: Business, with its jobs, will locate where housing is available. We must continue to provide amenities that allow the citizens to live, work, worship and play. During my 15 and a half years on the council we have increased our industrial building to nearly double what it was in 2000. We’ve attracted biotech companies such as Genentech, Gilead and Sparsha Pharma to our city. Other companies that have located and expanded here are Magnaflo, Amerillum and Coca Cola. We’ve created jobs in all sectors. Who wouldn’t want to visit our farmers market, enjoy lunch or dinner at one of our new restaurants, or enjoy a craft beer at one of our new craft breweries.
Sanchez: To ensure the continued economic and environmental viability of Oceanside, we need more green businesses and jobs. We need to stop converting commercial land into high-density residential. There’s a lot of pressure by developers for residential because that’s what makes them a lot of money, but that may not be in the best interest of Oceanside.
Gonzales: 1. Elect new qualified business friendly and knowledgeable council members.
2. Acknowledge that the reputation of the city is not “business friendly.”
3. Listen to the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce recommendations.
4. Address the complaints of business owners.
5. Respect and honor long-standing businesses.
6. Ask Oceanside business owners (who are) residents why they have not moved to our city.
7. Create a concierge service at the city for new and renewing businesses.
8. Conduct a “cultural audit” of city departments and services to determine why businesses rate Oceanside as one of the most difficult cities for businesses to start and flourish.