COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: Confusion reigns at Hall park meeting

Confusion began with the required notice of Citizens Participation Program meeting, (E.M.C.23.06), to citizens who will be affected by the changes in the General Plan, Local Plan, Major Use Plan, Design Review, Coastal Development Permit and possible zoning change.
The meeting was labeled as a Neighborhood Meeting. Many affected were not contacted. The subject property was described as “Encinitas Community Park,” which does not exist. It was described as “Hall Property Community Park.” It is not a community park. It is legally designated as a Special Use Park according to the EIR. It stated that the Planning Commission approved and certified the EIR. The CPP document states, “ … is approved to be developed into a community park.”
It is approved to be developed into a Special Use Park. The Planning Commission did not certify the EIR, as stated. They recommended reducing the fields by one or two, and solving identified serious daylight traffic issues prior to approval. City Council rejected their recommendations.
Questions and answers were only allowed to be directed to the Musco lighting representative. Questions such as, “Why are these changes being brought up in the general plan now when the city is currently involved with a citywide, city-sponsored citizens review of the general plan, and the process is still under way?” and “Are there going to be individual hearings on each of these modifications and amendments? When?” and “Is the city going to spend another $25,000 for a lobbyist to the Coastal Commission, like before?” could not be asked. And no one at the meeting voiced support for the lights.
The following are the city’s comments in the July 2 The Coast News Article and our rebuttals.
“Mayor Dan Dalager disagrees. He has been working on City Council for eight years to move Hall property park plans forward through a failed lawsuit that objected to the park being built and continues to support park plans through community objections to field lights.”
Rebuttal: The courts favored the Citizens v. the City in the lawsuit. The lawsuit wasn’t about the park being built. No one objected to a park being built. Mayor Dalager is simply ignoring the “community objections to field lights.”

“Encinitas is filled with a lot of good decent people who are scared by a small group who spread misinformation,” Dalager said.
Rebuttal: Encinitas is also filled with a large group of decent people who fear having a change in their community character, quality of life, loss of their ocean views, and reduced property values. What misinformation is Mr. Dalager referring to?

“Phase II construction includes the installation of 22 poles and 144 fixtures to illuminate the fields.
Lights will later be installed to light up the planned skate park and aquatic center. The hours that the lights will be on has not been determined.”
Rebuttal: The attendees were told that 34 athletic poles are planned up to ninety feet high. Strobe lights on top of the poles may be required for aviation safety. Lights on until midnight? It would be wiser to build the park and see the impact to the community before considering field lights.

“If we use 30-foot lights it will blind everyone for miles around,” Dalager said.
Rebuttal: No lights would not “blind everyone for miles around.”
“Taller lights go straight down.”
Rebuttal: The light manufacturer admitted to light spillage equal to 80 full moons and didn’t know how far away you would have to be to see the stars. All of the photos shown by the light representative were from a sky view only, not as they would affect homeowners.

“The field lights will directly neighbor Vons shopping center and Interstate 5. ‘If you can’t have lights by the shopping center and freeway, where can you have them?’ Dalager asked.”
Rebuttal: The field lights will be immediately near an entire residential community on the west side of I-5 and will also obstruct ocean, sunset and horizon views of an entire hillside of homes east of I-5.

For a depiction of story poles, photos from the meeting presentation and homes that will lose their oceans views, and additional information, visit


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