Encinitas City Council addresses housing element measure rejection, Pacific View site plans

The Encinitas City Council voted to form a subcommittee to revise Measure T, the housing element proposal rejected by the voters on Nov. 8, and approved moving forward on an “exclusive negotiating agreement” with the Encinitas Arts Culture and Ecology Alliance for the Pacific View Elementary School property to create an arts center on the city-owned site.

Catherine Blakespear, the mayor-elect, proposed forming a committee to revise the defeated housing element proposal “to try to come up with something that is practical and quick.”

The City Council voted to create a subcommittee to look into the matter.

Meanwhile, a speaker noted that lawsuits are in the offing should the city not come up with a plan that meets state mandates, adding another city measure is not the way to go.

“If there is one thing we know about the citizens of Encinitas it’s they really like things the way they are,” he said. “They don’t want it to change.”

The voter-rejected Measure T was designed to bring the city into compliance with state affordable housing mandates.

On the Pacific View site matter, the Council unanimously approved a move to extend the right of entry to the site to the Alliance to July 2018, authorize the mayor to executive an exclusive negotiating agreement to put the Alliance in a stronger position to obtain grants, and to authorize the Alliance to proceed with seeking entitlements on city property.

The Alliance’s Garth Murphy announced at the meeting that the San Diego Board of Supervisors had awarded the Alliance $150,000.

The Council congratulated the Alliance on the award.

“I look forward to laying that to rest,” noted Councilman Tony Kranz about the plans for the Pacific View site, the purchase of which had been criticized for its steep price.

“I will tell you that the actions that are being proposed tonight are something that I can get 100 percent behind,” said Mayor Kristin Gaspar, a critic of the city purchase of the site.

“We’re going to let it go and we are going to vote while we are ahead,” she said, and the Council voted to go ahead with the Alliance plan.

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