While the Housing Element battle raged over selecting locations for high density housing in Encinitas, the City Council slipped an offensive zoning chapter into the Municipal Code, E.M.C. 30.41.010.
Fully aware of the racial and economic stench and consequences of this chapter, the City went out of its way to proclaim multiple times in the “whereas” and preamble that this was not the purpose of this chapter. Yet as Shakespeare said: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
This chapter is simply the true sentiment of the Council and belies occasional statements by the Mayor and others. On 2/1/17 at the special housing meeting the Mayor said: “so what we heard the most is that we want the [housing] plan to have true affordability…guaranteed affordable…” This summer the Council slipped E.M.C. 30.41 into the Code proclaiming: “the Council desires to provide the residential development community with alternatives to construction of the affordable units on the same site as the market rate residential development. Therefore, this chapter includes a menu of options from which a developer may select an alternative to the construction of affordable units on the same site…”
The options include the following: Encinitas Municipal Code 30.41.080:
- a) 5 accessory units will satisfy low & moderate housing requirement;
- b) rental units: 15 percent low income or 10 percent very low will satisfy;
- c) offsite construction of affordable housing will satisfy;
- d) preservation or conservation of existing units;
- e) in lieu fee instead of building (NOT ALLOWED IN R-30);
- f) dedication of land in lieu of building affordable housing;
- g) affordable housing credits from a developer with surplus affordable housing may be used instead of building; and,
- h) “a developer may propose an alternative compliance method of providing affordable housing through other means.”
Who grants these alternatives? The unelected City Manager is the only review and necessary approval. What corruption and mischief does this invite?
These disgraceful ways to avoid providing affordable housing were in the defeated Measure T and the Council knew that it would fail again, so they removed them from Measure U and slipped them into the Municipal Code zoning for all City lands. Is this the community that you want to live in? The Mayor and Council say one thing and shamelessly do another.
Is this the open heart of Encinitas, welcoming to returning students, downsizing seniors and those who never will be able to afford to live here? Who thought of this exclusionary zoning chapter? Who are we keeping out (or off site)? Did staff do this on its own? How come no one will take ownership of this segregation chapter, despite the unanimous approval of every Council member? And, if this is not segregation: how come the preamble in multiple places desperately proclaims that it isn’t?
This is another reason to vote NO on Measure U. Not only does Measure U create terrible high density disproportionally throughout the City, add thousands of cars to our roads, evade a proper EIR for each location, allow heights up to 42 feet, and causes million dollar condos to be built; but also now, has racial and economic prejudice.
Dr. Gary Rogers, Leucadia