OCEANSIDE — The Economic Sustainability Study shared at the Dec. 21 City Council meeting brought some good news on the city’s economic progress over the past three years. A 48 percent increase in transient occupancy tax (TOT) revenue, and the creation of 10,000 new jobs were realized.
Since 2013 hotel TOT has increased by almost $2 million, to a total of $6.5 million in July 2016. The TOT gain is especially welcome, and balances an increase in city service costs.
Oceanside expects further TOT gains in the future with 1,400 hotel rooms currently in the planning and permit process and expected to be built within five years.
The bad news is that despite a 25 percent increase in new jobs, chiefly added to the industrial sector, the city sustains a poor jobs-to-housing-ratio of less than 1:1.
“The jobs/housing balance is still well below the goal of one job per housing unit, and continues to be a focus area for economic development,” Deanna Lorson, Oceanside assistant city manager, said.
The study shows Oceanside increased its jobs-to-housing-ratio from .64:1 to .75:1 over the past three years.
The neighboring cities of Carlsbad and Vista’s jobs-to-housing-ratios stand at more than one job per household.
Oceanside will continue to work to increase jobs, and TOT. Focuses include monitoring commercial and industrial building permits and planning projects, and adding 100 hotel rooms a year.
The Economic Sustainability Study helps all city departments identify actions to further the city’s economy, particularly the Planning Department as it takes on an update of the General Plan and its Economic Development Element (EDE).
The General Plan sets a course to manage future city growth and change for 15 to 20 years. It routinely looks at land use, circulation, housing, conservation, open space, safety and noise.
In this revision EDE and Energy/Climate Action Plan (E-CAP) elements will also be developed. The two elements will be looked at together.
The thought is the complementary goals of sustainable economic development and sustainable energy, transportation, and adaptation to climate change will foster planning synergies.
Shared goals include smart growth ideas, like preserving open space and natural habitats, and maximizing development along urban transportation and service corridors.
EDE and E-CAP elements will also work with other General Plan elements to create a comprehensive citywide vision.