Encinitas council agrees to spend $6 million to acquire Surfer’s Point property

The downtown Encinitas sign.
(Charlie Neuman / San Diego Union-Tribune/Zuma Pre)

The prime coastal property in north Leucadia will be maintained as open space


Encinitas has reached an agreement to purchase a prime coastal property in north Leucadia for $6 million, the city’s mayor announced Wednesday, Aug. 9, after a closed-to-the-public meeting.

The City Council unanimously voted in favor of buying what’s known as the Surfer’s Point property, Mayor Tony Kranz said. Overlooking Batiquitos Lagoon at the northeast corner of La Costa Avenue and Coast Highway 101, the site’s official address is 100 and 200 Carlsbad Boulevard.

Calling it a “highly visible” site, Kranz said the property will be kept as open space, preserving the area’s “cherished character” and providing an intangible benefit to the community.

“Our efforts to acquire the site were important to the council,” the mayor said.

The city will now embark on the due diligence stage of purchasing the property and survey work will be done, Kranz said. If all goes well, escrow is expected to close Sept. 29, he added.

Kranz and Councilman Bruce Ehlers served on the council subcommittee that negotiated the land purchase. The Surfer’s Point LCC company was represented by land owner Dan Reedy and Al Apuzzo of Lee & Associates, a meeting agenda indicates.

Surfer’s Point has been proposed as a development site for some two decades. In 1999, Reedy purchased the nearly 2-acre, vacant property and initially proposed building a 26-unit timeshare project. He obtained permits, but held off on construction because an economic downturn hit, he has said.

After that lull, new issues surfaced. The state enacted tougher stormwater control standards and the North County Transit District, the operators of the coastal railroad line, mandated that his development proposal be reworked to accommodate a double-tracking project, Reedy has said. The railroad agency got involved because Reedy had an agreement to lease a section of the adjoining railroad property to accommodate his project. Ultimately, Reedy sought permission from the city to revise his original permits, asking to make his project a two-phase development to accommodate the railroad project and proposing to eliminate one of his 26 proposed timeshare units.

In June 2020, the Encinitas Planning Commission rejected his request to modify his permits, saying they believed the permits had long-since expired and Reedy needed to start over. The commissioners suggested designing something completely different, calling the existing plans poorly thought-out and very dated-looking.

“This is the marquee spot of Encinitas; it’s an absolute jewel,” said Ehlers, a planning commissioner at the time and now a councilman. “You’re dropping a box on it. It looks awful.”

Before the commission’s vote that night, city employees read aloud some 30 public comment emails and all of them opposed the development plans. Many people wrote that they were concerned about traffic the project would generate. Some said they hoped the city would purchase the property, establish a park and preserve a great surf-viewing spot.