Mixed-use project avoids tie vote, granted a two-year extension

OCEANSIDE — The Belvedere mixed-use project, that will fill a downtown city block, received approval for a two-year extension on its building plans and permits Feb. 7. The 3-2 vote in favor of an extension avoided a tie deadlock with the additional yes vote of newly appointed Mayor Peter Weiss.

The recent City Council meeting was the first Weiss has chaired since he was sworn in. Prior to Weiss’ appointment council members expressed the need to appoint a mayor and not wait for a June or November election to fill the empty seat because of possible tie votes by a four-person council.

The approved project proposes 90 live/work units, 124 hotel rooms, 4,500 square feet of meeting space, and more than 8,000 square feet of commercial space. It sits on the city block adjacent to Oceanside High School, bounded by Mission Avenue, Seagaze Drive, Horne Street and Clementine Street.

Concerns voiced at the meeting about the project were chiefly aesthetic.

Oceanside resident Joan Bockman objected to the project’s sheer walls.

“It’s too big of a building, and too important of a place,” Bockman said.

Councilwoman Esther Sanchez, who cast a no vote, said she has concerns with the height of the seven-story building and its proposed streetscape.

The extension was granted with a recommendation from Weiss that a more inviting streetscape design be developed.

The last OK the project received was for a Substantial Conformity application to build eight live/work spaces on its top floor in August 2014. The project was given an automatic state time extension to further plans and permits from October 2014 to October 2017, due to effects of the recession.

The project now has an extension on its plans and permits until October 2019.

Also approved on Feb. 7 was the plan and permits for a boutique hotel in the historic Avon Hotel building on Pier View Way.

The building was constructed in 1888, and its third story was added in 1920.

Plans are to restore the historic character of the building and renovate the interior from top to bottom. The facade will be returned to its original brick. Inside the small guest rooms with a shared bath at the end of the hall will be replaced with 10 self-contained rooms, ranging from one bed to a spacious suite. The price to rent a room is estimated to range between $100 and $300.

“We want to bring it back to its original glory,” Thomas Aldrich, project applicant, said. “The (Oceanside) Historical Society says it’s the only three-story building in town. We want to preserve as much of it as possible.”

The hotel will also have a rooftop bar that will be open to the public.

Due to the buildout of the site a lease agreement will be made to provide guest parking nearby.

City Council unanimously approved the boutique hotel project.

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