Encinitas Council would prefer to lease old fire station property

ENCINITAS — The Encinitas City Council is now looking for groups and organizations interested in a venerable fire station in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.

The council, at its Jan. 21 meeting, authorized staff to issue a request for letters of interest to purchase or lease the old Fire Station No. 2, located near the corner of Mackinnon Avenue and Birmingham Drive. The 52-year-old fire station closed its doors in 2012 to make way for a new fire station on Birmingham Drive.

Interested parties have two weeks to submit a letter of interest, after which the city will host a walk-through of the property and give interested groups a request for proposals package. Groups will then have six weeks to submit a proposal before the council will decide on a proposal.

The City Council, however, emphasized it is more interested in leasing the property, not selling it.

A previous appraisal of the property valued it at $410,000 if the building were sold under its current zoning, which is for public uses. If the city were to rezone the property to residential, it could be sold for substantially more, as the appraise value rose to $560,000.

Rezoning, however, would require a local election, a result of the Proposition A, which requires all major zone changes to be subject to a vote of the people.

The city council’s decision also authorized staff to use up to $15,300 for clean up and repairs, $9,000 of which would need to be completed before the walk-throughs could happen on the property. The other $6,300 would be to remove the station’s large generator and send it to county auction.

The city has heard from several organizations interested in the property. At an August meeting, the city heard from a co-working organization and a marine-cleanup group, which were interested in using the building as a public use.

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