Letter to the editor: In Encinitas, community character is everything
In a recent letter to the Encinitas Advocate, Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer wrote her own personal definition of Community Character. According to Shaffer, “To me, Encinitas community character is about kindness, integrity, and open minds …”
Shaffer’s comments not only marginalize years of work put forward by our city founders, but they show a complete lack of knowledge about the Encinitas General Plan, which is our city’s Constitution for land use planning. Has Councilwoman Shaffer actually read the General Plan?
The term “Community Character” is defined in our General Plan as follows:
The city of Encinitas is a unique collection of five distinct communities. The individuality of each Community is vital to the overall character of the city and architecture, landforms, landscape and streetscape are the primary determinants of this character. The city of Encinitas also is fortunate in that it contains a wide variety of topographical features.
Councilwoman Shaffer should know this, because Community Character is what we appreciate and live for in all five communities that make up our city of Encinitas. She must not have known the definition of community character when our council voted to approve the Desert Rose Density Bonus development in Olivenhain without requiring an Environmental Impact Report, even after our Planning Commission rejected the development. Lisa Shaffer did not oppose the Desert Rose development when the vote was taken.
The important point I am trying to make is that we must protect our Community Character from developers who want to densify and destroy the character of our existing neighborhoods and commercial areas. This message of neighborhood protection must be the first consideration of Councilwoman Shaffer and all of our other councilmembers when new development proposals are brought before them for consideration. Our residents must come first, and our neighborhoods must be protected.
Our General Plan was conceived with the notion of “Community Character” at its very heart. The challenge of reconciling the vision of five communities under the banner of one city was achieved after years of hard work.