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Though the final hearings will be held later this summer, Oceanside is moving forward with a map for future City Council districts that will result in two districts on the coast, and create some unexpected neighborhood groupings.
Though the decision was unanimous, two Council members weren’t particularly satisfied with any of the maps presented, but ultimately voted to make sure the city continued to meet a timeline mandated by the threat of a lawsuit.
Many residents of the coastal neighborhoods have said at the hearings and online that they would have preferred one coastal district.
Instead, the coast will be represented by two districts, one of which will include South O, on the city’s southwest corner, with Ocean Hills, a retirement community on the city’s southeast border.
The map the city adopted was dubbed “Communities of Interest,” but the results left many people scratching their heads.
South O has to contend with plans to revitalize Coast Highway, short-term rentals and homelessness. Those aren’t issues residents of Ocean Hills face.
Still, other districts have neighborhoods that share some interests, like gang prevention or densifying older neighborhoods.
But compared to other cities, the Council had few maps to choose from.
Vista had about 20 maps, while Carlsbad had 11 to consider at one point. Oceanside’s process proceeded with only a handful of maps at the public hearings, and three made it to the City Council.
Vista Lifts Restrictions on Protesters
After telling protesters they had to move their rallies across the street from Rep. Darrell Issa’s office, the city has reversed course, the Union-Tribune reports.
The ACLU had come out against the restrictions, calling the city’s actions unconstitutional, and the new permit allows the protesters to continue holding their rallies in front of Issa’s office for three months.
“I am so pleased that the city responded positively to the ACLU and me about the freedom of speech rights of the rally participants and Issa’s constituents,” said Ellen Montanari, the protests’ organizer, told the U-T.
Del Mar’s Short-Term Rental Ban Was Short-Lived
Despite a previous decision that short-term vacation rentals weren’t allowed in Del Mar, the city is now considering rules to allow them – with a few exceptions.
Under the draft rules, homeowners could rent out their homes on a short-term basis – which they define between seven and 30 days – for no more than 28 days per year, including both home-sharing (in which the owner remains on the premises) and whole-home rentals.
According to The Coast News, Del Mar residents were split on short-term vacation rentals. Some said they’ve been done for 50 years, and are an important part of the city’s vitality. Others say they’re a nuisance.
But the change in course may have come from the threat of a lawsuit, by Cory Briggs, The Coast News reports, prompting the city to take action.
A second hearing will be held in July, and the rules could come back to the Council this fall.
Decision on Buena Vista Lagoon Is on the Horizon
Ever since a private weir was constructed at the outlet of the Buena Vista Lagoon, between Carlsbad and Oceanside, the lagoon has shrunk and begun to turn into a muddy field.
Even as Carlsbad and Oceanside develop near the shores of the lagoon, taking the lead to restore it has fallen to the San Diego Association of Governments.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife was once the lead agency on the restoration, but it dropped it in 2002. The reason: the private weir is still there, and the owners want to keep Buena Vista as California’s only freshwater lagoon.
Environmentalists want the weir removed, and the lagoon restored to a saltwater marsh.
SANDAG has four options on the table. It can dredge the freshwater lagoon, restore the saltwater lagoon, create some sort of combination lagoon or do nothing.
The agency is expected to reach a decision this year, reports the U-T, though funding for restoration has not been allocated.
Also in the News
• Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery, and Eric Larson, from the San Diego County Farm Bureau, discussed Oceanside’s move to allow marijuana operations. (KPBS)
• NCTD has picked a new operator for its Breeze, Flex and Lift services. (Union-Tribune)
• Border Patrol seized 100 pounds of heroin, coke and meth at the checkpoint in Temecula. (Union-Tribune)
• Poway Mayor Steve Vaus expressed a common reservation about the switch to by-district elections: It’ll make governing harder. (KPBS)