Oceanside votes to allow craft breweries into commerical zones

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. – The Oceanside City Council passed an ordinance Wednesday night to allow smaller craft beer breweries and wineries to move into commercial zones.

“We’ve designated certain areas downtown on the main strip all the way to south Oceanside for potential breweries and commercial breweries,” said Mayor Jim Wood.

Wood said given the popularity of small craft breweries and wineries, the city felt it was necessary to establish standards.

“We have a lot of people from Oceanside, outside Oceanside and even outside the state coming in. They like the beer places,” said Wood.

The council voted 5-0 to pass the ordinance, but with limits. Smaller breweries will now be allowed to move into commercial zones, but they must give public notice. A public hearing will not be required. Larger breweries will be required to complete the full approval process, which would require public notice and public hearing.

“There should be a limit to the number of alcoholic businesses along Coast Highway,” said one resident.

Several people voiced concerns over additional breweries/wineries bringing too much alcohol to the community.

“There’s decades of research that shows increased alcohol outlet density can contribute to alcohol-related problems the DUI fights and violence,” said Erica Leary, North Coastal Prevention Coalition.

“I think you need to proceed with caution. You need to carefully look at the volume of production combined with concentration,” said Gin Su, resident.

“We’re not going to saturate the town, we have a lot of control over it the police chief knows it all that stuff’s been addressed,” said Mayor Jim Wood.

Wood said concerns of residents are heard, but when it comes to craft breweries and wineries, they are good for the city.

“We’ve had some tough years, but recently we’ve seen a lot of change with a lot of these types of businesses and it’s been change for the better,” said Wood.