Dave Druker | 10th Street
After the November 2012 election a group of citizens in Encinitas finished collecting signatures for “The Encinitas Right to Vote Amendment.” This initiative would make any increase to density, floor area ratio (FAR) or changes to height above thirty feet subject to a vote of all the voters of Encinitas. This petition was filed even though a slow-growth majority was elected to the council.
The citizen group led by Bruce Ehlers was able to collect over 5,568 valid signatures. This represented over 15% of the 35,789 register voters in Encinitas. Because over 15% of the registered voter signatures were collected, by State Law the City Council must either adopt the initiative petition, or hold a special election within four months. After receiving a report from Rutan & Tucker, a legal firm from Orange County, the Encinitas City Council set a special election for June 18, 2013.
The citizen group is concerned that as the City Council updates the Encinitas Community Plan, there will be pressure from development groups to increase the density and heights throughout the city. With a supermajority the council under current rules would be able to change density, height and FAR. The campaign in June 2013 will be interesting to follow as the grassroots organization will square off with the development interests in much of the county.
This initiative is reminiscent of Measure B in Del Mar, but is more far-reaching as it covers all of the City of Encinitas, while Measure B only covers specific commercial properties in the downtown area of Del Mar. Meanwhile in Del Mar there are some rumblings to mount an initiative like Encinitas.