Sister project to Alila Marea Beach Resort wins planning commission approval
Marea Village plans include apartments, hotel rooms and restaurants
The developer of the luxury Alila Marea Beach Resort won Encinitas Planning Commission approval Thursday, June 16, for a project next door that will include apartments, hotel rooms and restaurants.
“We really love it when people tell us the hotel is great and we want this to be the same thing,” developer Larry Jackel told the commissioners.
He stressed that the plans, which will also need City Council approval, contain many special elements, including art display areas, lockable surfboard storage spots as well as many bike racks, building colors that reflect the shades of stones on the nearby beach, and building heights that vary greatly from one structure to the next. His inspiration came from the annual LeucadiART Walk event and European outdoor plaza areas, he said.
“I wanted to build something that’s cool and funky in its own way,” Jackel said.
The 3.79-acre project site, which is just south of the hotel on N. Coast Highway, is proposed to contain 94 apartments, of which 19 will be set aside for low-income people. There’s also a 34-unit hotel that will be connected via bridge to the existing Alila Marea Resort. Some of the apartments will be built over a parking structure, others will be above commercial space. Jackel said the commercial areas could contain everything from an ice cream shop to high-end restaurants.
Steve Dalton, a city planning commissioner, is the project’s architect and he recused himself from the Thursday, June 16, debate on the item. The other planning commissioners voted 4-0 to accept the project’s Environmental Impact Report and approve various permits, including a coastal development permit.
Commission Chairman Kevin Doyle, who lives in Old Encinitas, and Commissioner Chris Ryan, who lives in the Leucadia region, both said the project was noteworthy for how much public support it had received.
“The community support for this project has just been overwhelming,” Doyle said.
Ryan said it’s particularly remarkable in Leucadia where any development is often hugely controversial.
“I think it really speaks strongly toward the applicant’s work and work ethic,” she said.
While newly appointed Commissioner Robert Prendergast noted that the e-mails were 10 to 1 in favor, Commissioner Susan Sherod said one lengthy, last-minute email from the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters raised many issues with the project. She said she wished she had more time to review the letter.
“It seems to me that there are a few problems,” she said.
Others on the Planning Commission and the project’s attorney, Marco Gonzalez, said that the underlying goal of the carpenters’ group’s letter was to push the project’s developers to hire local union labor, rather than to seek changes to the project’s design.
“It’s an attempt really to force us into negotiations,” Gonzalez said.
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