Encinitas has issues that are shared citywide and issues and concerns that are specific to each community. Many interlinked issues are rooted in land use decisions that have a rippling effect on quality of life issues and our identities as five distinctive communities. Residents from each of the five communities share concerns about traffic, high density housing, and safety, but the way they are expressed is different in each community.
Downtown Encinitas has been changing with more bars setting up shop. While many point to improved tax revenues that bars bring to the city, those who live downtown are not sure if it is worth it in terms of increased late-night traffic, noise, and crime. If elected, I will bring to the Council for adoption a “deemed approved” ordinance to bring peace and quiet to our surrounding neighborhoods. The ordinance is ready to go and only Tony Kranz’ NO vote kept it from being adopted. Downtown Encinitas is fast becoming “Pacific Beach North”. We must not let this happen.
Leucadians are concerned about density bonus projects as the community that has been most targeted by this type of construction. Residents are worried about preserving the bluff entrance into Beacon Beach and are divided over streetscape including the removal of many iconic eucalyptus trees and the proposed introduction of five round-abouts on North 101 within less than a mile of road. If elected, I will listen to the residents on these issues. I will continue to fight Density Bonus Projects that invade our neighborhoods and bring increased noise, traffic and pollution, and destroy our quality of life.
Residents of New Encinitas remain concerned about traffic on El Camino Real and Encinitas Boulevard and are closely watching the Housing Element Update. There is concern that this area could be targeted again for greater density in the form of out-of-scale mixed-use projects. If elected, I will put this issue on the Council agenda so we can hear the concerns of our residents and take appropriate action. I vow to oppose any housing element update that allows neighborhoods to be targeted for excessive density and will urge a vote for each community as a separate ballot question.
Cardiff residents remain concerned about traffic impacts and lack of parking when the Encinitas Community Park opens. Like Leucadia, Cardiff wants to have safe rail crossings. The Wayside Horn that was planned for the Chesterfield crossing was cancelled due to our Council removing the funding and directing it to the Encinitas Community Park. If elected, I will work to restore the Wayside Horn funding during the budget process. Cardiff is also being targeted for Density Bonus projects which will further gridlock narrow streets and aggravate already insufficient parking.
Olivenhain is foremost concerned with wildfires and the preservation of Fire Station 6. Olivenhain is located in a high-fire zone and must be protected at any cost. Also of concern is preservation of the rural community character and Rancho Santa Fe Road traffic. If elected, I will fight to ensure that these community values are protected. Again, Density Bonus projects are completely inappropriate in a high-fire zone with narrow roads and easements.
These are some of the issues that I have heard about while meeting voters during my campaign. I am interested in communicating with residents and have found that all of us who live here want to protect our Community Character and do not want our Quality of Life to be diminished.
Julie Graboi is an Olivenhain resident and city council candidate