Consultant offers new option to fix city’s failed housing plan – California News

Consultant offers new option to fix city’s failed housing plan – California News

Encinitas can craft a housing plan that meets state requirements and might resolve some new lawsuits without having to build three-story buildings downtown or along El Camino Real, a city-funded consultant has determined.

In order to make it happen, Encinitas would need to ease its development regulations for two-story structures on some lots in town, consultant David Barquist said as he unveiled his findings Thursday evening at a city subcommittee meeting.

If the city allowed developers to cover more of a lot’s ground space with buildings and relaxes the building set-back requirements, then it could meet its state housing target without needing to permit three-story structures, he said.

Encinitas is the only city in San Diego County and one of less than a dozen statewide that lack a current Housing Element, a state-mandated document that spells out how a city proposes to accommodate its future housing needs, particularly those of low-income residents. The city’s most recent attempt to satisfy the state’s requirement was Measure T, a housing plan ballot measure that the city’s voters rejected in 2016.

The failed ballot measure had called for allowing additional housing on a various sites in all five of the city’s communities. In order to meet state housing targets, the plan proposed easing the city’s building height limits, among other things. Opponents contended that the plan would allow the development of huge, oversized structures that would destroy the city’s character.

The new city subcommittee, which consists of two elected officials and both a proponent and opponent of Measure T, is tasked with reworking the ballot…

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