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Residents give input on general plan update

CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA — Residents turned out in big numbers to participate in a public workshop to update the city’s general plan March 11.
The meeting was the third in a series of community specific workshops during the month of March facilitated by the planning department in conjunction with consultants MIG, Inc.
A citywide goal setting workshop is also planned for May 1.
After a brief overview of the purpose of the general plan, residents broke out into smaller groups to discuss the elements that should be addressed in the update.
The general plan update process should occur within a two-year period according to city officials.
The city’s blueprint will be updated to address new policy issues such as sustainable and healthy communities, green building codes and storm water cleansing.
The plan will also speak to traffic circulation, walkable communities, economic and environmental sustainability and recycling. The existing general plan was adopted in 1989.
Approximately 120 residents gathered to identify key issues and opportunities in several categories.
The focus was on community character, economic development, transportation, services and facilities and the environment.
Several themes were common at each discussion. There were concerns about improving railroad crossings for pedestrians, intensifying development density and maintaining building height limits.
Others encouraged an increase in open space, maintaining a small-town atmosphere and conservation of the natural environment.
Participants were asked to describe the city’s assets and the best ways to build upon them in the next 25 years.
Several people responded that supporting local businesses is key to maintaining a unique, noncommercialized culture.
The city’s six miles of beaches and extensive trails and two lagoons were touted as gems that should be preserved.
City Planner Diane Langager said she was pleased with the high turnout and participation.
“We really want to know what the people of the city think and where their priorities are for the future of Encinitas,” she said.
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