Many of us voting No on Proposition A believe parts of the initiative were written with good intentions.
However, the flaws contained within the proposition would invite many negative consequences for Encinitas.
Proposition A was poorly constructed—it was written behind closed doors, without public input, hearings, or environmental and legal review. A process any other new law would have to undergo.
An independent, third party report, prepared for the city by one of the top law firms in the state, pointed out many flaws and potential issues that a public process would likely have revealed and corrected.
Among the most notable risks to Encinitas taxpayers is that Proposition A would put the city in the position of violating State law, exposing taxpayers to absorb the costs of related lawsuits.
Proposition A will waste millions of our taxpayer dollars by requiring expensive citywide elections to approve even relatively minor projects. The city already had to allocate $500,000 for the special election for Proposition A. Taxpayers will have to bear the cost of elections simply to comply with State mandates, draining city reserves that would be better spent on our parks, fire, police and emergency medical services.
Despite the contrary claims of supporters, Encinitas citizens already have a right to vote on changes to the existing General Plan, including increases in height and density. The only exception to this provision is if a project is deemed to provide a “significant public benefit” by at least four of the five Councilmembers. In the 26-year history of the city, the council has never utilized this provision. Even so, on May 22, the council voted unanimously to remove this provision—a change the voters will be able to ratify at the next general election.
More directly, if passed, Proposition A could restrict your ability to improve, expand and to even refinance or sell your home by making many homes that meet the current laws not comply with the new rules set forth in Proposition A.
Proposition A would effectively raise the existing building height limits in certain residential areas, leading to light and view blockage. While supporters of Proposition A claim this isn’t true, the legal experts who conducted the independent review have cited language within the initiative that overrides existing height limits.
Proposition A also threatens to erode the unique character of our neighborhoods. The initiative could undermine efforts supported by decades of public input and millions in taxpayer dollars to revitalize Highway 101 in our downtown, Cardiff, and Leucadia. Furthermore, historical preservation efforts, like the iconic Boathouses would also be placed at risk.
Proposition A could limit future revitalization, discourage reinvestment, reduce revenue generation, and inhibit highly desired future amenities, including a movie theater and cultural arts center.
Ultimately, Proposition A is a poorly written, one-size-fits-all approach that will compromise our quality of life in Encinitas. There is no need to expose Encinitas and its residents to the many risks brought on by Proposition A. Please vote NO on Proposition A.
Parks & Recreation Commissioner
Co-Chair, Encinitas Homeowners to Preserve Encinitas