City to address Pacific View this month

ENCINITAS — The City Council will kick off a fresh round of discussion on the Pacific View school site Aug. 21. 

This spring, councilmembers voted to explore purchasing Pacific View from the Encinitas Union School District (EUSD).

City Manager Gus Vina said next Wednesday’s meeting will be two-pronged in regards to Pacific View. First, the City Council will hear a report on how projects like Pacific View and a new Moonlight Beach lifeguard tower could affect the city’s budget.

“To go further, we want to know our fiscal capacity,” Vina said, adding that city staff will also present potential financing strategies.

Then, the City Council will consider ways to gain more public input on potential uses for the Pacific View site.

“They’ll look at a framework for a community-driven process,” Vina said.

Vina noted that negotiations with EUSD over the purchase price of Pacific View are ongoing. The city recently obtained two independent appraisals of the site from Integra Realty Resources and Carlsbad-based James Waldorf Inc. However, they aren’t public record because the item is still in closed session.

On Monday evening, resident Danny Salzhandler invited the community to the Encinitas Library to weigh in with solutions to make buying Pacific View more realistic.

“We need ideas that could help pay for the purchase,” Salzhandler said.

He added that he’s hopeful residents will come up with a business plan for the spot to show the City Council they’re serious.

At the meeting, residents said the site should feature a mix of art, science and educational offerings for the entire community. Many added that they don’t want to see homes built on the property.

Some said a portion of the site could be rented out — to commercial art galleries, for instance — to ease the financial burden for the city.

“You have projects all around town that need to be completed; we need to find revenue (for Pacific View),” resident Michael Murphy said.

Others agreed, but said the city shouldn’t get too caught up in a revenue stream; the arts and the community should remain the focus.

About a decade ago, Pacific View closed after enrollment fell. Since then, various plans for the property have collapsed.

Most recently, Art Pulse wanted to create an arts complex and build as many as seven homes on the property.


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