ENCINITAS — There is a new face on the Encinitas Planning Commission.
Jody Hubbard, a long-term care planning expert from Cardiff-by-the-Sea, was recently appointed to represent the neighborhood on the five-member panel, which is the city’s land-use and zoning decision-making body.
Hubbard replaces Greg Drakos, who did not seek reappointment after his first term on the board.
The council appointed her in February. Hubbard’s first meeting was March 1, and she voted on one of the most important decisions on the commission’s agenda, the Leucadia Streetscape.
“It was trial by fire, I think,” she said.
The Planning Commission is widely held as the second-most powerful board in the city behind the council, as it is the city’s land-use and zoning decision-making body. Its decisions can be appealed to the council.
Hubbard previously served on the city’s Coastal Mobility and Livability Working Group, a 15-member panel charged with crafting recommendations for the city’s rail corridor.
Land use, she said, appealed to her because the results of the commission’s decisions are seen shortly thereafter.
“I thought why not spend time planning something and it won’t take a lifetime to see the end result,” Hubbard said. “I thought that would be more gratifying.”
Hubbard said the biggest learning curve for her will be understanding that with every decision, there are going to be people who don’t agree.
“You’re always going to rule in favor of someone, and against someone else,” she said. “You have to get used to the idea that you can’t make everyone happy, but you can do it will empathy and sensitivity.”
Drakos, a senior vice president of a mortgage consulting group, said that he did not seek reappointment because of family and professional commitments.
“I don’t believe in doing something if you can’t do it well,” he said.
He said the highlights of his tenure included the passage of the city’s urban agriculture ordinance, the deemed approved ordinance to help address the issues with downtown’s alcohol-serving establishments, and the steps taken to address issues along the rail corridor.
Hubbard, who served with Drakos on the coastal mobility group, said that Drakos encouraged her to apply.
“Greg gave me the thumbs up,” she said. “He had gotten to know me and he said that he felt I would be a great addition on the board.”