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Mysterious city rule limits housing in Oceanside

Posted at 5:41 PM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-09 21:32:09-05

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) — Oceanside's mayor wants to eliminate a mysterious city rule that has limited some housing development in its urban areas.

"It's time to make it happen," Mayor Peter Weiss said Wednesday.

The rule caps housing density to 43 units per acre, which has reduced a handful of housing projects in a region already struggling with a supply crunch raising prices. Weiss said the city cannot actually pinpoint where the rule came from, but he and Deputy Mayor Jack Feller want to eliminate it.

"Every unit we provide, or have the ability to provide more than what we otherwise would be able to provide, without changing how the project looks, I think is going to be one step toward helping provide more housing that's affordable to a wide range of people," Weiss said.

Weiss said most recently the rule impacted the size of the mixed-use Pier Side development, which will ultimately span five blocks. Weiss said that's why one apartment building is smaller than the other. He said without the requirement, the project could have had an additional 15 units.

The mayor said he's not concerned about overcrowding after eliminating the rule, because other standards limiting height and parking would apply. Plus, costs rise as projects grow.

The Oceanside City Council is scheduled to discuss removing the rule at its meeting Wednesday. If there is support, staffers could return with an ordinance to eliminate the rule, which would have to go before the California Coastal Commission.