Campaign signs advocate “yes” and “no” votes for Prop A. Results show Prop A passed. Photo by Jared Whitlock

Prop A passes

ENCINITAS — With all 12,867 ballots counted, Prop A passed with 51.85 percent of residents voting “yes.” 

Bruce Ehlers, spokesperson for the land-use initiative, said that supporters of Prop A spent the past few weeks “doing what we do best — getting out there and talking to residents.”

He made that comment Wednesday, when 1,800 ballots remained to be counted, but Prop A was on track to pass with 51.5 percent approval.

Mayor Teresa Barth, who was against the initiative, said in a statement Wednesday:

“I am committed to supporting the voter’s decision and working to bring the community together. I do believe we all want the same thing…to keep Encinitas a wonderful place to live now and in the future.”

Billed as a way to protect community character, Prop A would place some zoning decisions in voters’ hands.

In most cases, major increases in density and changes in zoning are already subject to a public vote.

Prop A was drafted to eliminate the City Council’s ability to “up-zone” beyond the city’s height and density limits with a four-out-of-five councilmember vote.

Groups like the Downtown Encinitas Mainstreet Association and Encinitas Chamber of Commerce joined City Council in opposing the initiative. Those in support include former Mayor Sheila Cameron and Pam Slater-Price, Encinitas mayor in 1990 and former supervisor.

Last summer, residents began collecting signatures for Prop A. In January, the initiative qualified for a special election, triggering a debate about how the city should grow.

Prop A needed at least 50 percent voter approval to pass.

Despite being out-funded, Prop A managed to gain voter support. Three organizations, two against Prop A and one for it, were active in trying to sway voters with mailers and signs around town.

As of June 19, the two “no” on A groups combined to raise more than $94,800,while the organization in favor of it brought in $19,200, according to campaign contribution reports filed with the city.

The special election cost the city $300,000. The bulk of that went toward recruiting poll workers, training them, translating ballots and administration costs associated with overseeing the election, according to Michael Vu, the county’s assistant registrar of voters.

Because Prop A passed, developers who ask for an increase in density or height would pay for ballot items. Likewise, if the city asks for the up-zone, it would fund the ballot items.

Zoning changes can either be placed on a special election at a greater cost — loosely estimated around $300,000 — or wait until a general election.

Items on the general election would have a price of around $30,000 for the first item and $20,000 for subsequent ones, but that’s only a rough estimate.

This story was updated at 6:00 p.m. Thursday to reflect the additional ballots released.






Al Shur June 19, 2013 at 7:35 am

It’s a good day! The people of Encinitas have shown that they are smarter then the money spent against “A”.

Thank you to the Coast News for helping the TRUTH break free!

Al Shur June 19, 2013 at 7:37 am

Oh, and yes…. “A” IS WHAT IT SEEMS!!!!!!!!!!!

Joe June 19, 2013 at 7:56 am

Yay! Now the taxpayer gets to pay for each and every $300,000 election!

Chet June 19, 2013 at 9:43 am

That is easily solved by just charging a fee to anyone requesting an up-zoning change where the fee covers the election cost.

MeForWe June 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Joe, learn the details of what Prop A does/doesn’t do by reading the initiative itself (don’t take your cues from the No lies): the developer pays the election fees.

Special elections cost about $300K, regular ones cost about $30K. Up to the developer which they want to go for.

Erin Quinn June 19, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Joe, The article clearly says the developer that wishes to build a development that exceeds current allowed zoning density or building height must pay for the election. If the developer is in a big hurry they can pay for a special election. If not, the vote to exceed density/ height can be done with the general election.
A Special election for Prop A was mandated by state law because over 20% of Encinitas voters supported the Right to Vote Initiative. The only way to avoid this special election by law, was for the city council to have adopted the Initiative without a vote. I think everyone agrees they did the right thing in putting it to the voters.

barbara451 June 19, 2013 at 8:21 am

Thank goodness the chamber of horrors, I mean chamber of commerce does not get to destroy anymore of Encinitas with their “progress.”

Joe Cooper June 19, 2013 at 9:18 am

Joe, the developers pay for each and every election and its 300k if they want a special election.

Sean June 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Well the problem is that ballot box legislation usually is terrible and not written well. Often times they don’t stand up to legal issues.

The prop A people lied because one half of the city will get treated differently than the other half.

We’ll also have Leucadia residents voting on Olivenhain projects and vise versa.

Does that make ANY sense? And beyond that, lets not forget that the “right to vote” people tried to ram it through at a city council meeting….without a vote!

Their biggest supporter? That’s right: the corrupt Pam Slater Price. Not sure why she matters seeing that she is a documented crook and lives in Del Mar.

The prop A people will also vote no on every single thing that comes up and don’t believe it when they tell you otherwise.

This thing will collapse under its own stupidity and the stupidity of its backers.

Jim Jupiter June 19, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Wow, sounds like some one is bummed about losing something. What could that $omething be?

MeForWe June 19, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Sean: The city will not be divided per three coastal commission resources (one a 15-year member, two current members). That’s a fiction of the Rutan report that we the taxpayers spent $40K on.

Prop A proponents did not try to “ram” anything through at council: rather, some proponents requested it be adopted outright and Kranz floated the same idea with the addition of a “confirming” vote in 2014. Many, many proponents supported a public vote as being more appropriate considering it was, after all, a right to vote issue.

Finally, Sean, I don’t know where you get your idea we’ll vote on “every single thing” since it is spelled out that only major zoning changes will be voted on. It sounds like you did not read the initiative and are instead committed to believing the No on A lies.

Tryingoutwest June 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm

What happens when the State says Encinitas needs to do something like make room for more affordable housing, but the proposed projects get voted down time and time again? Could the state force a receiver to decide, if voters won’t?

I Want to Love Encinitas June 19, 2013 at 10:25 pm

We can make room without up-zoning. There are various approaches available to us, just two of which include: getting our allocation reduced (Stocks had that option with SANDAG, but declined to pursue it), and counting current unpermitted units (amnesty program). Based on estimates, the latter alone could go a long way to meeting state requirements right off the bat.

Joe Cooper June 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Great ideas I Want To….! Wouldn’t it be nice if our council went down that path.

I Want to Love Encinitas June 20, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Results for 1800 ballots: yes- 6,671 (51.85%) and no- 6,196 (48.15)

Tyler July 8, 2013 at 12:15 pm

You are all blind. Why would the “YES on A” posters and flyers be everywhere and so nice looking with the “cool” local surfer on the front….. why would “Yes on A” pay for someone to call me 1000 times yet no calls for the opposition. Say goodbye to your ocean views, Cardiff residents. Encinitas is changing for the worse.

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