The Oceanside Coastal Neighborhood Association held its monthly meeting on April 17 and discussed planned hotels and city medical marijuana laws.
The meeting was held at St. Mary’s School and was well attended.
Association President Jane Marshall shared the board’s concerns about the Fairfield Inn and Suites Hotel that City Council will vote to approve in May.
Nicknamed the “horrible hotel,” it is proposed to be built by the closed Fresh and Easy market on Oceanside Boulevard.
Among the board’s concerns are difficult hotel ingress and egress for drivers including a U-turn to get onto the freeway.
Other cited negatives of the hotel project are possible blasting for construction, and an unsightly view of rooftop heating and air vents for neighboring homeowners who live uphill.
During the meeting plans for another new hotel were presented.
A team spoke on the Surf Breezes Hotel, which has yet to be officially proposed for downtown Oceanside. The community outreach presentation shared an overview of the hotel size, parking and amenities.
Presenters said the 45-room hotel will be 60 feet tall with a closed roof and public amenities on the first floor. A request for the taller height will allow the amenities and larger hotel rooms.
Planned amenities consist of space for indoor and outdoor dining and shops. A rooftop deck is not included to curtail noise.
The hotel would be located near the Oceanside Transit Center. Proposed streetscape includes trees and a water feature. Room prices are projected to run $180 to $200 a night, which is considered affordable pricing.
There was also a presentation by Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery on recently passed city medical marijuana business regulations.
Lowery gave an overview of the city ad hoc committee process, and council decision to allow medical marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, lab testing and distribution. Dispensaries are on hold until city police recommend a safety plan.
All medical marijuana businesses must wait until the city develops fees before they can obtain licenses.
Lowery said the ad hoc committee provided research on business safety plans and fees, but city police and staff made the request to look into matters further. He added progress was made during council’s second vote of approval when a June deadline was set for police and staff to return with recommendations.
Police and staff previously requested 12 to 18 months to return with recommendations. Lowery said by that time there would be council member changes, which could jeopardize business regulations going into effect.
“Unless we are very specific with staff and police, they are going to kick the can down the road,” Lowery said outside the meeting. “All we’re trying to do is get all our ducks in row and do something.”
During the meeting Lowery said dispensaries that provide safe patient access are critically important, and were the catalyst for forming the ad hoc committee.
All cannabis businesses must be located east of Interstate 5. City profits from medical marijuana businesses would come from a future voter-approved sales tax.
The Oceanside Coastal Neighborhood Association has 300 members and delivers its monthly newsletter to 1,000 households.