By Elyse Dasko
With the fate of one of the last pieces of public ocean front land in Encinitas in the balance — the Pacific View property — the Envision the View coalition (ETV) is asking the Encinitas Union School District (EUSD) and community residents to see beyond a land sale to developers to a broader vision that can benefit the community, its citizens and our collective future.
The ETV has submitted a proposal to the EUSD in response to their Request for Proposals for the creation of the Pacific View Renaissance Center, a public center and regional focal point for new, collaborative approaches in the arts, science, technology, academia and business.
“Discussions on the future of the Pacific View School property have been going on for years,” said Dody Crawford, ETV member and Executive Director of DEMA (Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association). “But when we saw the Request for Proposal’s focus on development of private housing, it generated a strong response in a group of Encinitas residents and business persons to create a solution that would not only provide the EUSD with the funding it seeks but also enrich the lives of Encinitans and enlivens the Downtown Specific Plan for the future. If we don’t do this now, a public jewel will be gone forever.”
The ETV response would keep the Pacific View property as public land, bring an ongoing income stream to EUSD, create a model center of collaboration and bring new energy to the community at large.
“What we envision — and plan to create — is a center that is accessible, multidisciplinary and integrated. The word ‘renaissance’ reflects the true vision: enabling connections between disciplines such art and business, bridging generations, engaging the public and business directly in building a better future.
No private real estate development, no matter what the view, can do that,” says Crawford.
The initial plan incorporates a revenue stream from both facilities and programs: a conference center that can support creative/innovation sessions, classroom rental, workshops and classes, theater rental, a museum, sponsorships and memberships.
“We see this initial proposal as the starting point in a campaign to build public support and involvement for this initiative,” Crawford added. “Cities and towns across the U.S. are reinventing schools and factories as creative hubs. The Pacific View property was a gift to our city. We want to not only honor it but also ensure that it continues to give back — to Encinitas’ children and families for the future.”
For more information on the Envision the View Coalition or to become involved, please go to facebook.com/pages/Envision-the-View/275363025839662.
Elyse Dasko is an Encinitas resident