Oceanside approves new Fire Station No.8 in Rancho Del Oro

January 5, 2024

New location for Oceanside fire station

The Oceanside Planning Commission has greenlit plans for the construction of a new Fire Station No.8 in the Rancho Del Oro area.

This move comes after the fire station’s relocation from the city operations yard to temporary quarters in 2013, where currently only a single fire truck and three firefighters can be accommodated.

Improved response times and capacity

Fire Chief David Parsons highlighted the benefits of the new location, citing improved efficiency and reduced response times in Oceanside’s east side.

The new station, set in the Pacific Coast Business Park on Rocky Point Drive, will be better equipped, housing up to 10 firefighters and paramedics, and featuring a four-person ladder truck, a three-person fire engine, and additional necessary equipment.

Design and architectural considerations

Despite criticisms from two planning commissioners regarding the building’s motel-like appearance, the project received unanimous approval.

The design incorporates a wood frame structure, stucco finishes, and metal accents, aimed at blending with the surrounding business park.

Commissioner Jay Malik expressed disappointment with the design, advocating for a distinct architectural style.

The city’s buildings often reflect the influence of architect Irving Gill, known for his rectangular shapes and arched passageways.

Constraints within the business park and budget limitations were cited by Parsons as factors influencing the design.

Project approval and funding challenges

The project, including its development plan and conditional use permit, was approved, with construction required to commence within approximately three years.

Parsons noted that construction costs are estimated at $16 million, yet funding sources remain unidentified.

Potential funding could come from the city’s capital improvement program, federal and state grants, and Measure X, a voter-approved sales-tax initiative.

Operational plans and expansion potential

Initially, the new building will host the three firefighters from the temporary station, with no immediate plans for additional hires.

However, the larger structure allows for future expansion, including space for ambulances and a ladder truck.

Oceanside, which is experiencing rapid growth, has a total of eight fire stations.

Building specifications and environmental considerations

The two-story building will cover 19,348 square feet, including garage and apparatus bays, living area, and offices.

Designed to serve for 75 years, it will feature three driveways, with one accessible to the public.

Environmental aspects include landscaped areas with vines, shrubs, street trees, a vegetable and herb garden, and drought-resistant ground cover.

FSJA Comment

The approval of Oceanside’s new Fire Station No. 8 marks a strategic step in enhancing the city’s emergency response capabilities.

While the design and funding aspects present challenges, the new station’s location and expanded capacity are critical for keeping pace with the growing demands of the city.

This development not only improves emergency services but also demonstrates a commitment to long-term planning and community safety.

The balance between architectural aesthetics, functional requirements, and budget constraints reflects the complexities of public infrastructure projects.

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