Letter: Make it easier to legalize auxiliary units


According to state law every residential property owner has a right to create an auxiliary unit on or in their land if there is space, yet current Encinitas regulations and codes make it nearly impossible to do so. Individuals have pleaded for consideration for years, but the bureaucracy has been intransigent.

The price of land and construction costs make it impossible to build housing in Encinitas that many workers and seniors can afford to rent. At the same time there are a great number of property owners who need cash to make ends meet. Naturally, regardless of the roadblocks the city has imposed, a thriving underground market of over an estimated 1,000 non-permitted dwelling units have already been established and more are created every year. Surprisingly, some in new homes, right under the noses of city plan checkers.

It appears that the time is right for an organized effort to break down the housing barriers of the past, now that the city is facing the need to locate approximately 1,300 affordable housing units, it has a new city manager and planning director and there will be four council seats up for grabs in November.

I am proposing that property owners who presently have an illegal dwelling unit and those who someday wish to develop an auxiliary unit meet, establish proposed revised regulations and form a negotiating association to deal with the city. Labor unions have successfully employed this tactic for over 100 years, why not property owners?

Because of the threat of the exposure of “illegal” activities and city retaliation, the utmost care must be exercised in becoming organized. I therefore have asked Bob Bonde, the president of the Encinitas Taxpayers Association and proven advocate for the legalization of non-permitted dwelling units, to lead the movement until it can be officially organized.

If you are a property owner, with no ties to the city, and want to get involved in making Encinitas a better place to live for all, please contact Bob at his home number, 760-753-7477, or email

If there is sufficient interest shown, Bob will call a private meeting at a non-city location to assure participant confidentiality.

Owners of illegal units are known for their bravery and creativity. Your efforts are needed today. Please consider participating.

Jerry Peters, President of Cardiff-by-the-Sea Taxpayers Association