OCEANSIDE — The City Council approved permits and plans for the build of a retail-complex on North Coast Highway that will house a Starbucks coffee shop and drive-through on Wednesday. The planned 3,700 square-foot complex also provides space for one to two additional businesses.
The council majority supported plans that will tear down a dated downtown building that has been used as a Wienerschnitzel fast-food restaurant and various other eateries.
Councilwoman Esther Sanchez opposed the chain coffee shop, and said it would have a negative impact on small local businesses. Oceanside has eight coffee shops in its downtown area between Oceanside Boulevard and Harbor Drive.
“We’re striving to be a tourist-friendly city, small businesses are our backbone,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez said she received communication from residents opposing the Starbucks. She took a survey and found most residents that responded favored small businesses.
One resident spoke in opposition to the Starbucks at Wednesday’s meeting. She asked the council to continue slow growth practices and support local businesses. She added allowing franchises and vacation rentals in place of small businesses and single-family homes will soon price residents out of the area.
Most saw the new build as favorable.
Council members in favor of the building plans said the project amounts to one national chain store replacing another.
City staff reports say the project will contribute to the economic development of the neighborhood and foster economic activity in an under utilized area.
The proposed development will add a modern-style building, drought tolerant landscaping, inviting outdoor seating, and 24 parking spaces. The building will be constructed of wood, glass and steel. It was described as “very upscale” and high quality in design.
Drive-through access will be reduced to one entry to improve safety. The property curb and roadway will also be improved. No timeline on construction was shared.
This will be the city’s sixth Starbucks.