Olivenhain sewer, Vulcan housing projects win Encinitas council approval

(Charlie Neuman)

Redesign won support of neighbors abutting developement


A reworked Vulcan Avenue housing proposal and a long-sought Olivenhain sewer line renovation project won approval Oct. 28 from the Encinitas City Council.

The council’s decision on the proposed 12-unit housing development in the 500 block of Vulcan Avenue came after a two-week postponement. The item first appeared before the council Oct. 14 after neighboring residents in the Sea Aire Community mobile home park appealed the city Planning Commission’s approval of the plans. They wanted a redesign because of how close the proposed homes were to their property line.

The architect has since reworked plans, including changing some front doorstep areas to increase the distance between the proposed buildings and the property line. That distance has grown from five feet to nine feet, city planners said. Councilman Tony Kranz said the city received an email just before the Oct. 28 meeting from the mobile home park residents saying they were pleased with the changes.

“It’s really satisfying to see that we were able to make some improvements on this,” Kranz said.

Council members also approved the first phase of a proposed overhaul of an Olivenhain sewer line, a renovation project that’s been talked about for roughly a decade. The $3 million project includes lining seven manholes along Manchester Avenue and increasing the size of 2,600 feet of sewer pipe from El Camino Del Norte through Lone Jack Road.

The entire, 43-year-old sewer line between Lone Jack Road and the Olivenhain Sewer Pump Station at the Interstate 5 interchange along Manchester Avenue needs renovation, noted Susan Turney, who’s running for council to represent the city’s downtown District 2 region. She asked why the city was doing the project in phases, saying she thought the real reason was to disguise its overall cost.

City senior engineer Matt Widelski said they’ve broken it into parts because some sections are on private property and will require new access easements that must be negotiated. The city is starting with the first section in part because it doesn’t have that easement issue and because the city wants to stop stormwater from running into the sewer system through the seven aging manhole covers during major rain event, he said.

— Barbara Henry is a freelance writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune