Hopefully, you already received a letter or email from folks at Protect Fire Mountain with in-depth information about the multitude of land being developed for high-density projects in our neighborhood. We wanted to share it once again in hopes that everyone who sees it will get involved. The Oceanside city council is treating Oceanside Blvd. and our area as a dumping ground for developments that don’t benefit the residents who live in both Fire Mountain and Alta Loma communities. They have not been standing up for our residents and homeowners when developers propose high-density plans that will not only affect the character of Fire Mountain, but also the safety of the neighborhood with increased traffic and overcrowding.
In addition to the homeless shelters that will be built on Oceanside Blvd. and Greenbrier and Oceanside Blvd. and El Camino Real there are two projects on the docket for approval:
NOT YET APPROVED – Ocean Creek – Crouch & Skylark – 295 apartment units – 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units ranging in size from 591 SF to 1301 SF – which will likely generate approximately 600 more vehicles and approximately 2360 daily trips throughout Fire Mountain . Plus the 3000 SF of Commercial space in the same location which will increase this vehicle volume and daily trips significantly as well.
NOT YET APPROVED – Whaley & Hunsaker – 12 homes – which will likely generate approximately 50 additional vehicles making daily trips throughout Fire Mountain.
Now is the time to get involved. Please read the letter below sent in January, sign the petition and send a letter to your council member.
Dear Fire Mountain Neighbors: January 5, 2022
This letter is to inform Fire Mountain residents of proposed residential and mixed use projects in our immediate Fire Mountain area, and their potential impact on quality of life, traffic, and safety in our neighborhood. Developers/builders are only required to notify residents within 1,500 feet of a proposed project. For this reason, our concern is that most Fire Mountain homeowners do not know about current proposed developments with massive negative impacts directly affecting Fire Mountain.
Residents for the Protection of Fire Mountain, RPFM, was formed by concerned Fire Mountain neighbors alarmed by projects currently seeking approval for construction with inadequate traffic studies, multiple waivers to the zoning code for higher density development, higher maximum site coverage ratios, setback variances, waivers for required street improvements, as well as waivers of additional code requirements typical for new developments.
RPFM is not against development in conformance with existing zoning standards, neighborhood scale and character. A series of recently passed state laws allow developers to build high density projects with insufficient parking and massive traffic impact not in conformance with existing zoning. Cities are threatened with lawsuits if these projects are not approved. The following information is on the proposed “Whaley Street Residential” and “Ocean Creek” residential and retail projects.
Currently proposed for Fire Mountain is a new 20 dwelling project at the northwest corner of Whaley and Hunsaker Streets, the “Whaley Street Residential” project. The developer/builder proposes to leave four homes along Kurtz Street, converting one to low-income housing, and is receiving a bonus density allowing for the construction of three additional homes and three additional JADUs (Junior Associated Dwelling Units), above the five new homes the current zoning code and minimum lot size would allow.
The developer/builder has approved plans for 8 new homes, ALL with Junior Associated Dwelling Units (JADU’s), as well as the existing 4 homes on Kurtz Street. The JADU is an attached, approximately 500 SF dwelling. The fact that the State and City do not include ADUs in their density calculations does not negate the fact that these ARE dwelling units, and will most likely be rented to couples, as market rent is likely too high for a single person. These occupants will drive cars, and will have to park them on Hunsaker and Whaley Streets. The total finished development will be 20 dwellings on the 2.15 acre site, or one unit per 4,683 SF. The majority of the site (1.61 acres) is estate zoned, with a maximum of one dwelling unit allowable per 10,000 SF. So, the proposed development is more than twice the density allowed under the current zone. In addition to the bonus density, the developer/builder has demanded waivers of requirements for undergrounding electricity and street frontage improvements on public streets, as well as waivers of code requirements for minimum lot size and maximum site coverage, minimum lot width and setback requirements.
The developer/builder claims the project is in conformance with surrounding development, with the rural nature of the neighborhood, and that it integrates well with the existing lot pattern. These statements are not true. Assuming 56-88 new persons living on the site at build-out, and 200 new daily car trips, this development will have a hugely negative impact on Fire Mountain. It is more than double the density of existing single-family development on Fire Mountain.
The precedent the Whaley Street Residential Development sets by allowing high density housing with waivers of current code requirements, will open the doors for out of town developers and builders to demand bonus density and code waivers for every undeveloped and underdeveloped lot in Fire Mountain. Safety on our streets and the preservation of our neighborhood are at stake.
In addition to the Whaley Street Residential project, a huge development, the Ocean Creek project, is proposed for the southwest corner of Crouch Street and Oceanside Boulevard, just south of the existing Sprinter station. The developer is proposing a 295 unit apartment project containing studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units, as well as 3,000 SF of retail space.
The project is GROSSLY under parked. ALL of the project traffic at its easterly boundary will empty onto Crouch Street, where school children walk to and from Palmquist Elementary and Lincoln Middle Schools. This project is anticipated to generate nearly 3,000 new trips over Fire Mountain daily, using Downs Street, Ivy Street, Avocado Street, California, Skylark and Hunsaker Streets. Ocean Creek is currently trying to obtain approval from the City Planning Department.
A third project to consider with regard to new traffic is the Grandview Community Homes project which is currently in “Entitled” status according to the City’s online residential development map. This site is located on Grandview Street, directly behind Lincoln Middle School, and will include 27 new homes.
At a recent public meeting, the City Planning Department stated they estimate 10 additional vehicle trips on our streets per dwelling. Between these 3 projects, that are located within blocks of our neighborhood K-8 schools, there will be an additional 338 dwelling units, which by City Planning estimates will bring 3,420 new daily car trips. This realistic scenario has not prompted a legitimate traffic/safety study because the Planning Department simply looks and approves projects independently rather than taking into consideration the aggregate effects of multiple development projects.
Developers are only concerned with profit. The developers/builders for these proposed projects do not live in Fire Mountain, or even in Oceanside. They have no stake in our neighborhoods, City, or quality of life. They take huge profits, move on to the next project, and are not affected by the results of their overbuilding. WE must live with higher density projects not in conformance with the neighborhood or zoning code, and the resulting negative traffic impact on our lives and the safety of our children.
Now is the time to make our voices heard! Please visit our website at protectfiremountain.com and consider becoming a Resident for the Protection of Fire Mountain by signing up to receive email updates on these projects. Perhaps these particular projects are not a direct concern of yours today. However, it is likely that one day the undeveloped/underdeveloped lot on your street will be the next density bonus project. Let us, the property owners of Fire Mountain, create dialogue amongst ourselves and develop a unified voice that protects the neighborhood we cherish. Please sign up with your email on the website.
Most importantly, please send emails or letters to the Planning Department, Oceanside Mayor and City Council members letting them know you do not want your quiet Fire Mountain neighborhood destroyed with developer giveaways, massive traffic increases, and high density development.
Please write or email Assembly Member Tasha Boerner Horvath and our State Senator Pat Bates, letting them know we are faced with the destruction of our neighborhood, as a result of overcrowding and negative traffic impact due to the laws Sacramento has recently passed. These new laws turn our local planning over to developers, who threaten Cities with lawsuits if they are not allowed to build what they want, where they want, all without contributing to new roads, transit, schools, parks, new water, or any other services. Developers are permitted to ignore zoning laws in place, and profit massively at our expense.
We are against destroying existing neighborhoods to profit developers who live elsewhere, and we are against Sacramento passing laws tying the hands of Cities, who are best qualified to approve or deny new development. Please help us protect Fire Mountain and stop this developer giveaway!
Residents for the Protection of Fire Mountain