Sides seek compromise on senior housing project

ENCINITAS — A group of residents has filed an appeal to the Planning Commission’s approval of a massive senior living facility on South El Camino Real, but it appears that both sides are working toward a solution that could make the appeal moot.

The City Council was set to hear the appeal at the Jan. 24 meeting, but City Clerk Kathy Hollywood announced that the appeal was continued to Feb. 14. 

According to a city staff report, both Westmont Living and the group Encinitas Citizens for Responsible, Respectful Encinitas Development wrote the city requesting the appeal be moved to February. 

This would give both sides an opportunity to “continue their discussions on key concerns raised by the appellants and hopefully come to a resolution that could result in both appellants withdrawing their appeals,” the staff report stated.

The Planning Commission voted 5-0 in December 2017 in favor of the 85,000-square-foot, 101-bed facility on roughly 3.2 acres of vacant land in South Encinitas near the intersection of Manchester Drive. 

Previously, Westmont proposed building a much larger 110,000-square-foot facility with 132 beds on the same site, but the Planning Commission voted to return the project to the developer to redesign it, after residents and commissioners expressed concern about the size and design of the building.

Residents, however, complained that the project was too large for the surrounding neighborhood and would create noise, impact their views and increase traffic.

A group of residents — Marilyn Dulich, Robert Denyer, Shaun Cornell, Kelli Cornell, Richard Markell, Kristen Markell, Dan Lowe, Dana Lowe, Linda Lux and Bobby Lux — appealed the approval under the moniker Encinitas Citizens for Responsible, Respectful Encinitas Development.

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