City Council denies Shell station, home appeals

ENCINITAS — Encinitas officials slammed the door on two appeals at Wednesday’s council meeting, including one from a gas station owner proposing a renovated facility and car wash off of Leucadia Boulevard and Interstate 5 whose project’s fate had been in the balance for several months.

That project called for the demolition of the current gas station and auto mechanic shop on the corner of Leucadia Boulevard and Orpheus Avenue, and the construction of a new gas station, mini-mart and self service car wash.

Denied by the Planning Commission, the project has been the source of community uproar since the planning commission first heard it in November, during a meeting that stretched past midnight.

On Wednesday, many of the same residents urged the council to deny the owner’s appeal, especially taking aim at the car wash addition, which they said would be too noisy for the adjacent neighborhood.

“Because it is a noisy intersection it is all the more reason not to add to the problem,” Kathleen Lees said. “I really think the car wash is a bad idea.”

Representatives of the property owner, S&L Oil, Inc., argued that residents’ complaints and concerns that the project would go against the character of the community were unfounded because, as they argued, Leucadia has such a hodgepodge of architectural and design styles.

“The only consistency is inconsistency,” an attorney for the ownership group said.

Mayor Kristin Gaspar, who voted in favor of the appellant, said that the city had no legal grounds to deny the appeal, and said that it appeared the project owner had made every effort to allay the concerns of the community.

“They have done so many things proactively to be good neighbors,” Gaspar said.

In the council’s other appeal of the evening, the body voted 4-0 against an appeal against a property owner on Hermes Avenue, who wants to demolish his existing home and build a new one.

Appellants argued that the new home and construction would exacerbate storm water runoff issues in the area. The council, while acknowledging that Leucadia does have significant drainage and runoff issues, said the project would improve the situation because new construction goes beyond baseline runoff capture requirements.

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