Committee continues discussions over city’s future housing

ENCINITAS — The General Plan Advisory Committee, (GPAC) met Monday to discuss mapping out the city’s future affordable housing placement. 

The meeting followed on the heels of two housing workshops where the public participated in mapping exercises to help determine the housing placement.

150 “dots” were placed in quadrants throughout a map of the city. Each dot indicated where higher density, affordable housing should be placed. The activity was done in conjunction with updating the general plan.

In accordance with the state’s requirement to update each municipality’s housing element within its general plan, the city is seeking public input on where affordable housing should be located.

After reviewing the results of the mapping exercise by the group in April, members had plenty of feedback.

“There’s an awful lot in Leucadia,” said Gene Chapo, a former planning commissioner. “Just logically, we should all share the pain, should there be any. I’m not thrilled with the mapping exercise.”

Carolyn Cope said the results lend themselves to optimal affordable housing locations. She said the city has to focus affordable housing around public transportation and schools.

John Gjata said close proximity to public transportation need not be an overriding factor, as many people who qualify for affordable housing have their own vehicles.

There was no consensus among the group on creating greater dispersion of affordable housing within the current map. The current map, based on the committees’ choices, reflected the following dispersion of affordable housing: Cardiff with12 percent; Olivenhain at 8 percent; Leucadia at 24 percent; New Encinitas at 29 percent and Old Encinitas at 27 percent. The map was made up of 150 dots, with 15 people placing 10 dots each.

Lee Vance asked to what extent the map would shape city policy.

“This ends up giving direction to developing the policy map, obviously that goes through a process,” said Planning and Building Director Patrick Murphy.

Almost 500 people have participated in the mapping exercise according to Peder Norby, the group’s facilitator.

Patricia Klaus said the area that made the most sense was “the four corners” at the intersection of Encinitas Boulevard and Rancho Santa Fe Road. “There have been other attempts to develop,” she said. “The neighbors are going to protest no matter where we put 30 units per acre.”

Murphy said tabulations of the dots made during the public workshops had not begun, and the public is encouraged to participate in the mapping exercise from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until May 24 at the city’s planning department.

“Everyone’s trying to defend their turf. That’s natural,” said Virginia Felker, a planning commissioner. “It would have been nice to have an overlay map that gave us some possibilities of where the dots could go.”

“It’s not a perfect science to be sure,” Norby said. “But it gives staff good direction.”

Kathleen Lees a Leucadia resident said, “We’re discussing raising density, not affordable housing.”

New housing developments in her neighborhood are a “nightmare,” she said, with lot line to lot line developments in the middle of existing, older homes.



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