Oceanside approves permit for chemical storage facility

The Oceanside Planning Commission this week unanimously approved a conditional use permit that will allow a cleaning products company to store up to 20,000 gallons of corrosive liquids, despite opposition from nearby residents .

ChemStation Pacific LLC plans to open the new business in a vacant building in an industrial park on North Avenue near the intersection of Oceanside Boulevard and North Melrose Drive. The ChemStation franchise has been in business since 1977 and has 63 locations across the United States.

The company sells custom-blended biodegradable detergents and sanitizers delivered in reusable containers for breweries, restaurants and other food and beverage businesses.

“All of our products are water-based,” company owner Dario Paduano said at Monday’s Planning Commission meeting. “We are USDA, FDA, certified organic…there are no toxic substances.”

“Corrosive” is a term for any material that can damage exposed body tissue, he said. Corrosive materials are widely used in cleaning products and can be considered hazardous. The company also distributes certain flammable products, which will be stored outside the company.

Some nearby residents and business owners, who became aware of the owner’s request through the public notice process, were alarmed by the amount of materials to be stored on the premises.

“Our company is concerned that any potential leaks will harm our employees, our customers, our materials, our classic cars and the business as a whole,” said Tom Krefetz, owner of Classic Showcase, Inc., an automotive restoration company. , in a letter. to the planning committee. “We don’t think Chemstation is a compatible business in this neighborhood.”

Several residents said the site was near elementary schools, Loma Alta Creek and the Sprinter light rail line.

“We live within walking distance of the proposed site,” Ryan Uber said in a letter to the commission. “We are a family of five and our children are all under 6 years old. There are many families like us in the neighborhood.

“Storing hazardous chemicals doesn’t make sense in this area,” Uber said. “Regardless of the amount or quality of safety precautions, hazardous materials should not be kept so close at all times to people and children who could be harmed by them.

Another resident said he learned from experience that “it’s not if an accident is going to happen, it’s when an accident is going to happen”.

The company will have two levels of spill containment, according to a report from city staff. The first level is a 1,700 gallon sump and pump that connects to a 7,300 gallon exterior storage tank. The second level is the outdoor storage area itself, which is bordered on all sides and can hold nearly 37,000 gallons.

The nearest residential neighborhood is separated from the site by North Avenue and a landscaped buffer zone, and the nearest homes are approximately 10 feet above street level, the report said.

Planning commissioners said that despite residents’ concerns, the company “ticked all the boxes” for safety standards set by the fire department and other regulatory bodies.

“We’ve heard from the professionals, and the professionals are saying yes, for sure,” Commissioner Tom Morrissey said.

The business owner has a good record, has demonstrated good character and is likely to be a good partner in the community, Morrissey said.

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