Compromise for Oceanside Airport Site in Calif.?

Some City Council members have floated a compromise: improve the airport a bit and put a big-box commercial development such as a Costco on part of the property in order to reap as much as $1 million a year in taxes.

Reaction to the preliminary study was perhaps predictable.

Longtime airport opponent Rayford Scott said a Costco would be nice but he wants the entire airport turned into commercial use.

Ben Meyers, president of the Oceanside Airport Association, said his group would not oppose a Costco if the airport were developed according to the master plan.

The mayor said he would consider a compromise development of the airport allowing for more hangars if a Costco were located at the east side of the property on Foussat Road.

But, Wood noted, any changes to 15 acres on the north side of the airport would require the city to consult with a group called Citizens for a Better Oceanside.

That requirement is part of a 1993 settlement the city agreed to in a lawsuit filed by a group called Citizens Against the Airport. The settlement also mandates that an environmental-impact report be completed before any construction could take place on the 15 acres.

Councilman Jack Feller said, "We all knew that it (the airport) could make money if were improved and (the master plan) implemented.

"We can make money without Costco."

But, he said, he's just as happy to have the money from Costco, if a deal could be worked out. "That's the best scenario," he said.

Mackin and Sanchez could not be reached for comment.

Councilman Rocky Chavez said the report consists primarily of pages of data that need more analysis before he will comment.

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