Oceanside approves synthetic surf lagoon resort for outdated drive-in theater property

Ocean Kamp, an adventure-themed lodge and neighborhood constructed round a synthetic surf lagoon, obtained the Oceanside Planning Fee’s unanimous approval Monday for building within the San Luis Rey River Valley.

The mission brings a brand new period to the 92-acre website of a former drive-in theater and swap meet simply off state Route 76 and Mission Avenue at Foussat Highway.

Opponents stated the resort will waste water and enhance visitors congestion, whereas supporters stated will probably be “a gem” in Oceanside’s crown, boosting the town’s popularity as a browsing vacation spot and bringing hundreds of thousands of {dollars} yearly in tax income.

Plans embody a four-story lodge with 232 rooms, eight “villa” buildings with a complete of 18 rooms, 16 “casitas” with a complete of 20 rooms, and a park-like group of completely parked Airstream trailers that represent 30 rooms.

All of the visitor lodging shall be centered on a 3.5-acre surf lagoon that can generate waves of various sizes. When the wave machine is off, the lagoon shall be out there for swimming, stand-up paddle-boarding and different aquatic actions.

Additionally within the plans are 11 separate business, retail and workplace buildings, an 18,000-square-foot convention constructing, and as much as 700 dwellings divided into areas of for-sale condominiums and rental flats. Amongst different facilities are about 1.5 miles of trails for strolling, working and biking.

“The middle of gravity for the entire growth is the wave lagoon,” stated Jon Corn, an lawyer and companion within the mission.

The lagoon can have constant waves and heat water yr spherical, in contrast to the ocean, he stated. Because of this, the resort will draw folks from across the nation and the world.

The developer is projecting $81 million in tax income for the town from the mission throughout its first 10 years, Corn stated.

About 5.2 million gallons of water shall be required to fill the wave lagoon and about 4 million gallons shall be misplaced yearly to evaporation, he stated. An 18-hole golf course in California makes use of about 90 million gallons yearly, in response to the California Alliance for Golf.

The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, the North County Financial Improvement Council, the Boys and Ladies Golf equipment of Oceanside, the San Diego County Bike Coalition and different native teams have endorsed the mission.

“It is a distinctive growth,” stated Erik Bruvold, chief govt officer of the San Diego North Financial Improvement Council. “It has the chance to create an actual sense of place and vacation spot in Oceanside.”

Different audio system had harsh phrases for the mission.

Diane Nygaard, president of the native nonprofit Protect Calavera, stated she would slightly watch actual waves on the ocean than “a large rest room flush” on a synthetic inland lagoon.

The developer needs to be ashamed for less than offering half of the town’s required 10 % reasonably priced housing on the location, she stated. The mission can pay in-lieu charges to the town to construct the opposite 5 % elsewhere.

The resort gives “costly pay-to-play recreation that makes use of water throughout a drought,” she stated, and it’ll take enterprise away from different motels within the space which have lately opened or are deliberate, such because the Inns at Buena Vista Creek alongside state Route 78 and two motels authorized for the town’s El Corazon property.

“We urge you to simply say no,” Nygaard stated.

Different audio system stated the resort’s location is simply too near the Oceanside airport, which has had two deadly crashes up to now this yr.

About half the audio system Monday had been in labor unions that wished jobs with the mission. Carpenters union members and their households all praised it, saying the developer had promised to make use of them. Pipefitters, metal employees and different unions opposed the mission, asking the fee to refuse approval till their teams are supplied a deal.

A number of folks steered a brand new, full, environmental influence report needs to be accomplished.

An environmental influence report was authorized by the town in 2008 for a earlier growth on the location referred to as The Pavilion. That mission would have been the biggest buying heart in Oceanside with a number of big-box anchor tenants, but it surely misplaced momentum and was by no means constructed.

The town authorized a supplemental report for Ocean Kamp, primarily based on the report accomplished for the earlier mission.

A current visitors research confirmed the resort will generate 19,000 car journeys a day, considerably down from the 32,000 each day journeys anticipated from The Pavilion.

Grading started in 2019 on the website, which is alongside the San Luis Rey River three miles east of the ocean. Contractors trucked in 450,000 cubic yards of fill materials to lift the property above the flood plain.

The positioning was the house of the four-screen Valley Drive-In theater for nearly 50 years. The drive-in closed in 1999 and the screens had been demolished in 2016. A weekend swap meet held for a few years continued there till it was shut down in 2019.

Encinitas-based Zephyr Companions purchased the property in 2018 and developed the Ocean Kamp plan primarily based on the unreal wave idea. Zephyr introduced in November 2020 it had offered the mission to its former companion N4FL Worldwide, also referred to as N4FL Improvement, which has places of work in Encinitas and Rancho Santa Fe.

Planning commissioners stated a lot of the considerations raised Monday have been addressed already or shall be handled because the mission progresses.

“This isn’t a public mission, so there is no requirement for minimal wage or union work,” stated Commissioner Tom Morrissey. “That is not our sphere of affect. We do not go there.”

He referred to as it, “The best mission I’ve seen right here in a very long time,” including, “It simply suits in with our Oceanside historical past.”

Commissioner Kevin Dodds urged the developer to rent native employees and stated, “There’s a plethora of expertise right here in Oceanside.”

“It is thrilling to see such a novel mission on a bit of floor empty for therefore lengthy,” stated Commissioner Louise Balma. “I can not wait.”

The fee voted 6-0, with Commissioner Jeff Symons absent, to certify the supplemental environmental influence report and to approve a tentative map and conditional use allow for the mission.

The fee’s approval is closing until appealed to the Oceanside Metropolis Council.

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