Results of planning map input to be presented next week

ENCINITAS — After months of collecting input from residents on the city’s housing element, city staff is scheduled to present the results of the outreach efforts at one, and potentially two public meetings next week.

The City Council will hold a special meeting Feb. 3 in which the planning department will roll out the results of the outreach, which will include the preferred locations by residents to be earmarked for high-density housing designations.

The council has also reserved Feb. 5 in case it needs more time to go over the results.

“Next week is a really important milestone in the process,” Interim City Manager Larry Watt said.

The housing element is the city’s first comprehensive overhaul of its housing and residential zoning map in more than 20 years, and will map out where an anticipated 1,300 units of affordable housing will be placed within the city. Voters are expected to vote on the plan in 2016.

The plan will require the city adopt a new zoning designation that would allow upwards of 30 residential units per acre in order to satisfy the state affordable housing mandate. City officials said the plan is critical because the city faces lawsuits and state action if it does not update the housing element.

Starting in October, the city began hosting workshops and forums to receive public input on where the city should locate future high-density housing, which is mandated by the state. In November, the city held workshops in each of the five communities, during which residents were asked to input their choices into the city’s online civic engagement platform, eTown Hall.

At each workshop, the city had large presentation boards that highlighted potential sites in the community that could be re-zoned for higher density housing. The boards also showed the city’s plans for blending the higher-density housing with the existing neighborhoods.

Residents could choose one of the city’s pre-designed maps, or could build their own by selecting from a number of candidate sites.

Residents who could not attend the meetings could still visit the city’s website and input their preferences.

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