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Encinitas to host five housing element workshops in November

Encinitas is rolling out workshops focused on the look and feel of housing element units.

The five November workshops, one in each of Encinitas’ five communities, aim to get public input on housing element design guidelines and zoning standards.

“These rules are important because we want to ensure that new housing is compatible with community character and is high quality in design,” stated Mike Strong, senior planner with the city.

The Encinitas City Council is looking to put the housing element — a map listing locations throughout the city that can accommodate state-mandated housing — to a public vote in 2016. Last February, the council approved three maps with candidate housing element sites for environmental analysis.

In January, the environmental documents will be released for 60-day public review. Around this time, the city will also hold an open house on the environmental analysis, Strong said.

The Encinitas Planning Commission and council this spring are slated to whittle down candidate sites and settle on a final map. Then, a vote on whether to approve the map will be held November 2016.

The city’s push to certify a housing element, which entails rezoning select parcels for higher density to accommodate 1,300 units, comes after years of stops and starts. Residents a few years ago vehemently opposed a plan to cluster housing elements on El Camino Real, leading the city to reboot the process.

Council has made the case that an approved housing element would reduce the chance of lawsuits from affordable housing developers and make the city eligible for more grants.

The upcoming workshops will be an open-house style format. Written feedback will be collected during the meetings and be part of the public record, Strong said.

The first workshop will be held 6-8 p.m. on Nov. 5 at Cardiff Elementary School, 1888 Montgomery Avenue.

Visit athomeinencinitas.info for additional workshop locations and dates.


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