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City delays vote on density bonus changes, faces lawsuit threat

ENCINITAS — Encinitas has delayed a series of changes to its density bonus ordinance until September after it was threatened with a lawsuit.

The City Council, as part of the settlement of a different lawsuit with the Building Industry Association of San Diego, was scheduled on Wednesday to rescind a series of motions it approved in July 2014 that closed several loopholes that had become popular of developers of density-bonus projects, and vote on a new density-bonus ordinance in its place.

But the city received a letter Wednesday afternoon from David C. Meyer, president of the development firm DCM Properties, which threatened the city with legal action if it approved the new series of measures, which Meyer said were again illegal attempts to limit developers’ ability to “obstruct” density-bonus developments.

Meyer’s eight-page letter lists several points of the proposed ordinance that he said don’t comply with the state law that governs density-bonus development in the city, including a stipulation that the city round down the number of units proposed on a site of the number of allowable units is a fraction.

The settlement agreement with the BIA actually allows for the city to maintain the practice of rounding down, but Meyer said it still runs afoul of the state statute.

Mayor Kristin Gaspar announced before the council was prepared to vote on its consent calendar agenda that she would recommend that the two agenda items be removed from the calendar and be placed on the Sept. 9 council agenda so the council could meet in closed session to discuss the litigation threat and take action on the items afterward.

The City Council has until Sept. 12 to place the density bonus items on the council agenda, based on its settlement with the BIA.

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2 comments

bythesea August 30, 2015 at 5:44 pm

Why didn’t Mr. Meyer tell the Council how he avoided building low income housing once he received the density bonus approval for market rate houses on Sheridan and Andrew in Leucadia. And those tons and tons of free dirt from the city that was transported to his density bonus projects have yet to be accounted for.

David Meyer September 1, 2015 at 8:02 pm

As “bythesea” did not post this comment using their real name, I’m not sure how to address this response. As to the claim that the affordable housing in the referenced project was not built is entirely inaccurate. The fact is that after we sold the land to a homebuilder, former councilwoman Maggie Houlihan in clear violation of State law, allowed the affordable housing in this project to be built in another location as affordable apartments. But it was built. Unfortunately, what was intended by State law to be single-family dwellings for an affordably qualified family in our community go transferred by the City into apartments down by the train tracks. What a shame. Next time I suggest whoever “bythesea” is gets their facts straight before making false statements. As to the dirt mentioned, as this project was sold to a homebuilder unrelated to me or my company, that regrettably went bankrupt in the last recession, I have no involvement of knowledge regarding the matter mentioned. If “bythesea” wants to carry-on an intelligent and factual conversation on this matter, I welcome this once they stop hiding behind a false bloggers name.

-David Meyer

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