Cardiff 101 is latest in Encinitas to earn ‘Main Street’ designation


Encinitas now has three certified California Main Street communities, a rare accomplishment.

State and city officials gathered June 23 at City Hall to recognize the latest group to earn the designation: Cardiff 101 Main Street. The California Main Street Alliance awards the certification to organizations, cities or town that reinvigorate historical business districts through economic development and preservation.

“It’s unusual for a city your size to have three separate designated Main Street programs,” said Laura Cole-Rowe, executive director of the California Main Street Alliance. She called it “phenomenal for Encinitas.”

Cole-Rowe added that Cardiff 101 has worked hard to transform itself over the past five years into a full-fledged main street program.

Cardiff is the 28th certified Main Street in California. Groups with the designation follow a four-point approach of organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring.

“You have to really demonstrate buy-in from the community to receive the designation,” said Tess Radmill, executive director of Cardiff 101 Main Street a day before the event.

To that end, Cardiff 101 has two staffers, Radmill and assistant director Annika Walden, but it’s supported by a number of volunteers and businesses.

Radmill said Cardiff 101’s application showed the group regularly meets with businesses in the area to help them reach their goals. And Cardiff 101 touted its major role in a recently completed master plan for the San Elijo Corridor. The document serves as a blueprint for enhancing walking, biking, traffic circulation and community character in Cardiff.

Also, the application emphasized that community building events, such as Dog Days of Summer, have been growing at a steady clip, she said.

The other groups with the designation: Encinitas 101 Main Street and Leucadia 101 Main Street. Radmill said having separate organizations for each of these areas is important because they’re each so different.

“It speaks to the diversity of the communities,” she said.

With the designation, Cardiff 101 will form closer ties with other certified California and national Main Street organizations. So it can attend more workshops, and it’s eligible for more grants.

At the event, Mayor Kristin Gaspar said each of the Main Street organizations have given their communities a unique feel.

“The unique feel to the areas — that’s something that’s very special about our city,” she said.