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Encinitas Boulevard Apartment complex hearing scheduled

The review of the proposed Encinitas Boulevard Apartments has been continued to the Thursday, July 15 Encinitas Planning Commission hearing. The proposed 283-apartment complex is located on Encinitas Boulevard just behind the Olivenhain Platz shopping center on the corner of Rancho Santa Fe Road that is anchored by 7-Eleven.

The site for the proposed Encinitas Boulevard Apartments.
(Courtesy)

At the public hearing, the commission will consider a design review permit, density bonus and boundary adjustment to allow the demolition of existing single-family homes and accessory units on the property and the construction of the apartment development.

The commission is the decision-making body on the project and the decision is appealable to Encinitas City Council.

Developer Randy Goodson has proposed that 42 of 209 units (20%), exclusive of additional units provided by a density bonus, will be affordable to low- income households. The project is exempt from California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and is located in the overlay zone which is designated for “by right” approval.

The project has faced opposition from residents, members of the Olivenhain Town Council and the community group Encinitas Residents for Responsible Development. Opponents have shared concerns about the complex’s bulk and scale with heights which reach six stories, the impact of the project on Olivenhain’s “Dark Skies”, the lack of parking and traffic, particularly in regard to wildfire evacuation.

At the commission’s June 17 hearing, they took public comment from two people (one submitted in writing) who were opposed to the project.

“Increasing the residents this exponentially is dangerous in case of our next fire event. Traffic would be at a literal stand still,” wrote resident Hannah Cook. “Allowing this kind of development with the sneakily low amount of affordable units (‘density bonus’) makes no sense in this location.”

“There are better suited sites for apartment complexes in town and the true density bonus would be providing affordable housing there, nearer all amenities, while preserving open space by our waterways and the feel of rural Encinitas.”

Goodson purchased the 6.95-acre property in 2005 and has been working on developing the project ever since—it has gone through various iterations, including a version with retail and office space and single-family homes. His last application withdrawn in December 2019 was for 277 apartments.

With this proposed project, he hopes to bring a broader rage of housing for the city with the 283 apartment homes wrapped around a 472-stall parking structure. The apartments will be a mix of one to three bedrooms—the majority, 150 units, will be one bedroom with 16 three-bedroom units.

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 and orchard.

The project’s only access from Encinitas Boulevard will be on McCain Lane with a new signalized intersection. The only access on Rancho Santa Fe Road will be for emergency access.

Encinitas Planning Commission Chair Bruce Ehlers said he would be recusing himself from the July 15 vote.


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