Encinitas Closes in on Last-Chance Vote for Housing Plan

The deadline to add anything to the November ballot is Friday

Encinitas City Council is days away from the deadline to add anything new to its November ballot, so Wednesday night is their last chance to confirm a state-certified housing plan.

The council will debate a proposal to expand its housing after a California mandate was issued to address the state’s homeless and housing crises.

Residents have previously argued against large and tall apartment complexes and other rapid increases.

The proposal would create 1,504 new housing units, a few hundred above the state mandate.

It would also cap buildings at three stories.

The city would see 15 new sites spread across its five neighborhoods.

Previous measures to rezone commercial areas to meet the necessary housing requirement were approved, but new housing bills were adopted at the start of 2018 that forced the city council to rethink everything.

The new bills required more than half of all rezoned sites to be on vacant land, but nearly all of Encinitas’ proposed sites were pre-established.

“We are not perfect as a city or as an organization,” Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear said during the council’s last meeting on July 20. “But our efforts in the last year and a half have been in good faith.”

Encinitas has spent $900,000 to fight lawsuits because it hasn’t voted through a plan yet. The city’s grant funds were also reduced by the state because of this, the city clerk’s office said.

The city council fears if a proposal isn’t confirmed, they could lose control on the matter to the state for being incompliant.

Encinitas is one of only a few cities in California to not adopt a state-certified housing plan yet.

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