Pot and Housing, an Unexpected Pairing

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Housing Element is heading to the voters this November!

by Councilmember Mark Muir

After years of community and council review and compromise, hours of debate and 4 pending lawsuits against the city, the Housing Element is heading to the voters this November for a final decision (Prop U). YOU make the final decision on our future growth! If it doesn’t pass, a judge will decide what’s next. The one thing we do know is that the city will have a Housing Element that will provide for affordable housing, while complying with State housing law. The state establishes our Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) number (housing units).

The council split on the final Housing Element plan with Mayor Blakespear and Councilmember Horvath who motioned to accept the last submitted plan to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for certification. Councilmembers Kranz, Muir and Mosca passed a substitute motion (3-2) to accept the same plan with the elimination of 4 additional high-density developments (239 residential units), reducing the total number of units from 1,743 to 1,504 units.

Proposition “U” Housing Units by Neighborhood

I made it clear that I wouldn’t accept the Planning Commissioners request to place Lake Drive back on the list for consideration. My goal from the beginning of this process was to get a mandatory Housing Element on the ballot that has (1) the “least” amount of development;  (2) meets the states minimum housing requirements; and (3) has the best chance of voter success.

Prop “U” Housing Units Map. Click to enlarge.

At the end of the day, you, the voter will decide.  But keep in mind, this process will begin again with our new RHNA numbers in 2019.

Cannabis is heading to the voters in 2020!

by Councilmember Mark Muir

The initiative petition titled “An Ordinance of the City of Encinitas Authorizing Commercial Cannabis Activities Involving Retail Storefronts (4), Cultivation, Manufacturing, Cannabis Kitchens and Distribution, and Personal Use Cultivation was signed by 6,186 registered city voters (10% of 40,391 or 4,040 signatures is required) and submitted to the county for certification. The petition was certified as “sufficient” by the City Clerk on August 6, 2018, making it too late to qualify on this year’s ballot, but qualifying for the 2020 election.

Based on the California Elections Code Section 9215, the council can either adopt the ordinance without alteration or submit it without alteration to the voters. An impact report can also be requested. The council voted unanimously to put the measure before the voters in 2020, along with directing staff to create a timeline for requesting an independent impact analysis and ballot measure. At a later date, the current policy on delivery will be reviewed by the council. This is a dynamic legislative issue and the state is now considering changes to its current rules, though it’s likely to take months before any revisions go into effect.