OCEANSIDE — City Council unanimously approved nixing the Melrose Drive extension from North Santa Fe Drive to Spur Avenue at its March 27 meeting.
Councilmen Chris Rodriguez and Ryan Keim asked city staff to make the amendment, which removes the Melrose extension from the circulation element of the city’s General Plan.
The project would have taken place in the district that Rodriguez represents.
The project was estimated to cost more than $40 million, which Rodriguez said the city doesn’t have to spend, adding that he cannot support forcibly taking property through eminent domain for the project.
Rodriguez also said he wants the remaining funds allocated for this extension project to be invested in other city infrastructure, like creating a third river crossing to provide better fire evacuation and help first responders.
Councilwoman Esther Sanchez, who opposed the project, noted it was removed from the General Plan’s circulation element two times before, one of which was four years ago.
Sanchez noted the city should focus on other infrastructural needs where the money could be spent.
Mayor Peter Weiss reluctantly voted in favor of the motion, explaining that he personally opposed removing any roadway connections from circulation but saw that the motion was going to pass regardless.
“When you remove those roadway segments in my opinion you forfeit the right to complain about traffic congestion,” Weiss said. “Every little connection that is made benefits some portion of traffic somewhere.”
Council also approved amendments to a section of the city’s Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, which were originally prompted by residents complaining about too many homes in residential neighborhoods benefitting from height limit exceptions.
Those amendments include:
- Replacing current inland and coastal area zoning provisions for exceptions to height limits with a new set of standards to apply citywide, except where they are superseded by other regulations.
- Exceptions to height limits for single-family homes subject to staff level review would be limited to ensure a streamlined permit process and to address the community’s concerns about excessive use of exceptions.
- A slightly wider range of height limit exceptions for discretionary review projects. Originally, staff intended for structures not to exceed base zoning district height limits by more than 10 feet, but an additional provision was added by Rodriguez to allow exceptions in such cases.
The motion passed 4-1, with Sanchez opposed.
Additionally, council approved several speed limit changes, which lower the speed of Frazee Road beginning at College Boulevard to Muirwood Drive from 35 to 30 miles per hour and establish speed limits for sections of four roads that previously did not have a posted speed limit.
Those roads include Ivy Road from Avocado Road to Fire Mountain Drive to 25 miles per hour, Old Grove from Frazee Road to State Route 76 to 40 miles per hour, Surfrider Way from Coast Highway to Horne Street to 25 miles per hour, and Wisconsin Avenue from South Coast Highway to South Pacific Street to 25 miles per hour.
The changes also raise the speed limit on College Boulevard between Adams Street and North River Road from 40 to 45 miles per hour and between Waring Road/Barnard Drive to Lake Boulevard from 35 to 40 miles per hour.
Samantha Taylor covers Oceanside, Camp Pendleton and the decommissioning San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. She earned her journalism degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and has previously reported for The Athens Messenger in Athens, Ohio, and USA Today in McLean, Virginia. Follow her on Twitter: @samm1son