Meeting for Olivenhain apartment complex to be held July 23
A virtual community meeting for the proposed Encinitas Boulevard Apartments will be held on Thursday, July 23 at 6 p.m.
The five-story, multi-family apartment complex is planned for the intersection of Encinitas Bouelvard and Rancho Santa Fe Road, just above the Olivenhain Platz center that is anchored by 7-Eleven.
The project consists of 283 for-lease apartment homes wrapped around a 472-stall parking structure. Resident-serving amenities include a clubhouse and pool deck on top of the garage, ground-level courtyards, rooftop terraces, a dog park and a resident garden. Affordable housing units are expected to be included in addition to market rate apartments.
In December 2019, developer Randy Goodson of Accretive Investments withdrew an application proposing to build a similar project at the site with 277 units, citing city and community opposition. The project was resubmitted to the city in January and April of this year with the slight increase in units and a decrease of spaces in the parking garage from 538 to 472 stalls.
Over the last 10 years, Goodson has twice submitted a development proposal for the site and then later withdrawn it. In 2009, his application for what was called the Olivenhain Town Center project was pulled. That project called for a cluster of buildings with shops, offices and apartments, as well as 13 single-family homes.
No one from the city’s planning department responded to requests for comment. Accretive Investments also did not respond to a request for comment.
Dan Vaughn, president of Olivenhain Town Council, has been very active in voicing their opposition to the project, making findings known and on the record with the community group Encinitas Residents for Responsible Development. The group has funded legal counsel and technical experts to review the development on its website encinitasrrd.org.
In June, the Rancho Santa Fe Association supported the town council in its opposition to the project as they said the developers have asserted there is no requirement for California Environmental Quality Act compliance and no requirement for a traffic study. The board also shared concerns about the project’s size: At 69 feet tall, Vaughn said it would be the largest residential building in Encinitas.
“It’s too tall, too dense, it effects our community character as well as the community character of Olivenhain,” said RSF Association Director Laurel Lemarie. “It just doesn’t belong there.”
Primary vehicular access to the site will be from McCain Lane, with two emergency vehicular access points off of Rancho Santa Fe Road. There is no on-street parking on the streets adjacent to the project.
“Parking and traffic is a huge issue with the project,” Vaughn said. “We all live in a wildfire risk zone and for most of Olivenhain, all of it north of Encinitas Boulevard, our only evacuation path is Rancho Santa Fe Road either to this intersection or down Olivenhain Boulevard. That’s also the case for much of Rancho Santa Fe coming northwest, it’s a major evacuation route as well.”
Lemarie said that the intersection gets fairly clogged there, particularly in the afternoons during pick-up at the neighboring Rhoades School—traffic can sometimes back up onto La Bajada all the way to Rambla De Las Flores in Rancho Santa Fe.
To RSVP and for log-in instructions for the July 23 meeting, contact EncinitasBlvdApts@gmail.com or (760) 704-9691. A comment card and return envelope may also be requested if internet access is not available. Comments by mail or email will be allowed for one week after the scheduled virtual meeting.
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