4/28/19: New Signs of Progress in Encinitas, City Council News, and Spring Fun!

Here in Encinitas, now it’s even easier to spot signs of progress!

Celebrating the unveiling of our new way-finding signs are (l. to r.) Encinitas Councilmembers Kellie Shay Hinze, Joe Mosca, Jody Hubbard, me, and Encinitas 101 MainStreet (E101) Executive Director Irene Pyun and E101 President Tom Cozens. (Photo by Jordan P. Ingram, The Coast News.)

Thanks to a monetary donation and design inspiration from the Encinitas 101 MainStreet Association, a series of attractive, color-coded way-finding signs now adorns our downtown area. These signs will help residents and visitors explore downtown by providing highlights of the Encinitas landmarks that can be found on different blocks.

You can find more info and photos in the Encinitas Advocate and the Coast News.

City Council updates

Last Wednesday, the Encinitas City Council unanimously affirmed a unanimous Planning Commission approval of a 48-home project on 14 acres off of La Costa Avenue, close to the I-5 freeway. The zoning is R-3, with a mix of home sizes and several one-story homes.

Our approval came after an appeal from the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation, a respected local environmentally-oriented group. If a project fits within the legally required standards, then the property owner has the right to develop within that established framework. There was no evidence submitted into the record that showed otherwise. 

This project complies with all applicable standards and included additional amenities. The developer proposed fewer homes than legally allowed, more single-story homes than required, one additional affordable unit than required by code, plus walking paths and two new parklets open to the community and public within the development.

It also reserved a sizable piece of the property for its original inhabitants, a family that has been in Encinitas for more than a century, building their original single-story brick home shortly after World War I. 

Here’s the San Diego Union-Tribune article.

We also unanimously appointed Mary Lou Schultz, a longtime advocate for biking and walking, to the Traffic and Public Safety Commission. We currently have openings for commissioners on the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Senior Citizen Commission. If you’re interested, here’s all the information you need. This is a great way to be officially involved with the city, and to get your feet wet if you’re musing about running for City Council or another elected office at some point. 

SANDAG unveils revolutionary new transportation plan

At an exciting SANDAG event last Friday, 66 elected officials and I unveiled the outlines of a new transportation plan that will allow people to have a meaningful transit alternative from nearly all parts of the county. It’s called “San Diego Forward: A Bold New Transportation Vision… in 5 Big Moves.”

The rough idea is a figure-8 shape where a rider could get on board anywhere and eventually make it back to their starting point. This dynamic vision isn’t completely refined yet, and will need public input and stakeholder engagement. Get ready for a wild political ride as the county readies itself for a new transportation direction!

The San Diego Union-Tribune article is here, a short video of me explaining the new concept is here, and a very informative SANDAG brochure is here.

Celebrating Senior Center volunteers

This week we acknowledged 75 stalwart Encinitas volunteers at the annual Senior Center Volunteer Appreciation Party. I’m standing with some of the Blooming Chinese Dancers, who performed beautifully as part of the “Dragons and Dynasties” themed luncheon.

I took a tour of the activities offered at the Senior Center and joined about 50 seniors for the daily lunch, where seniors can eat for free. Reservations are required and can be made up until 8 a.m. the day someone wishes to have lunch by calling 760-943-2258.  Guests can also complete a reservation slip at the senior center service desk or in the lunch room for a meal.

There’s a suggested donation of $4 for those over age 60, but people are not turned away. If there are people who don’t show up or there is extra food, then someone who doesn’t sign up in advance may be served a meal. I was impressed to see no food waste and no single-use plastics!   

Guns and ammo ban at fairgrounds progresses

I’m really happy to see the state move forward on a bill that bans gun and ammunition sales at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Our local representative and former Encinitas Councilmember, Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath, is a cosponsor of the bill with Assemblymember Todd Gloria, which was passed by the Assembly.

I believe this bill will make our communities safer by reducing the number of guns and the amount of ammunition in local circulation. Here are stories from the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Coast News

Housing plan op-ed published

The San Diego Union-Tribune last Thursday printed my op-ed, “How Encinitas Finally Got a Housing Plan.” It details the history of our efforts, and why diversity in housing strenghtens our community.

It’s a great day for a street fair!

I hope you’re enjoying spring in paradise – I’m sure loving it! One great way to celebrate a spring day with your family is the Encinitas Spring Street Fair, which continues today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Coast Highway 101 from D to J Streets. Here’s more from the North Coast Current.

In service,

P.S. The registration deadline for this Thursday’s 26th Annual Interfaith Community Prayer Breakfast has been extended through Monday, April 29. There are still a few reservations available. See below for details.