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Oceanside's dirty sidewalks can wait

Complaints posted online don't translate into high-priority problem

Residents and businesses are responsible for keeping  city property free of snack wrappers, dog poo, and cig butts.
Residents and businesses are responsible for keeping city property free of snack wrappers, dog poo, and cig butts.

Oceanside residents are tired of their crappy downtown sidewalks — and not just the broken pavement.

Old gum and…crushed cereal (?)
Curbside graffiti in downtown Oceanside

In a posting on Nextdoor's "Seaside District" page for Oceanside (you have to live there to log in), residents recently traded stories about the sidewalks in the downtown area of Oceanside that are often stained, littered with trash, and occasionally smeared with feces from both man and his best friend.

The diamond-in-the-rough tourist town puts responsibility on the property owners to maintain the sidewalks next to their homes and businesses — an ordinance that is often ignored.

Rick Wright, executive director of Mainstreet Oceanside, said that this is definitely a problem for downtown Oceanside, but the issue is complicated.

“In a perfect world, [the business owners] would hire someone to clean the sidewalks in front of their businesses,” Wright said.

Over concerns about the effectiveness of the city's Code Enforcement, residents hanged the job of getting business owners into compliance on Wright, as the leader of the downtown business association. Wright said that's where the issue becomes complicated.

As an entity separate from the city, Mainstreet Oceanside can only educate by example. Wright said they have a crew that picks up litter four days a week and two people go out on Fridays to spot-check and rake planter beds after the town's two Thursday markets.

Compliance issues are the city's responsibility, and a business-friendly city council asked Code Enforcement to back off on the writing of tickets, according to Wright.

“The city has resources to clean the sidewalks, but we have other issues that need resources,” Wright said.

Alisa Taylor, a clerk with Oceanside's Code Enforcement, said because of the workload caused by other issues, including over-watering violations, the department takes a reactive approach to code enforcement.

She added that of the 2051 total complaints reported to the city so far this year, few have been about dirty sidewalks.

“There really has not been any complaints about cleanliness,” Taylor said.

Wright suggested that if residents want the city to rein in its dirty-sidewalk problem, they need to put pressure on the city, rather than trading stories online.

“Maybe what people people should be doing is calling the city council,” suggested Wright.

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Residents and businesses are responsible for keeping  city property free of snack wrappers, dog poo, and cig butts.
Residents and businesses are responsible for keeping city property free of snack wrappers, dog poo, and cig butts.

Oceanside residents are tired of their crappy downtown sidewalks — and not just the broken pavement.

Old gum and…crushed cereal (?)
Curbside graffiti in downtown Oceanside

In a posting on Nextdoor's "Seaside District" page for Oceanside (you have to live there to log in), residents recently traded stories about the sidewalks in the downtown area of Oceanside that are often stained, littered with trash, and occasionally smeared with feces from both man and his best friend.

The diamond-in-the-rough tourist town puts responsibility on the property owners to maintain the sidewalks next to their homes and businesses — an ordinance that is often ignored.

Rick Wright, executive director of Mainstreet Oceanside, said that this is definitely a problem for downtown Oceanside, but the issue is complicated.

“In a perfect world, [the business owners] would hire someone to clean the sidewalks in front of their businesses,” Wright said.

Over concerns about the effectiveness of the city's Code Enforcement, residents hanged the job of getting business owners into compliance on Wright, as the leader of the downtown business association. Wright said that's where the issue becomes complicated.

As an entity separate from the city, Mainstreet Oceanside can only educate by example. Wright said they have a crew that picks up litter four days a week and two people go out on Fridays to spot-check and rake planter beds after the town's two Thursday markets.

Compliance issues are the city's responsibility, and a business-friendly city council asked Code Enforcement to back off on the writing of tickets, according to Wright.

“The city has resources to clean the sidewalks, but we have other issues that need resources,” Wright said.

Alisa Taylor, a clerk with Oceanside's Code Enforcement, said because of the workload caused by other issues, including over-watering violations, the department takes a reactive approach to code enforcement.

She added that of the 2051 total complaints reported to the city so far this year, few have been about dirty sidewalks.

“There really has not been any complaints about cleanliness,” Taylor said.

Wright suggested that if residents want the city to rein in its dirty-sidewalk problem, they need to put pressure on the city, rather than trading stories online.

“Maybe what people people should be doing is calling the city council,” suggested Wright.

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