Encinitas commission denies Leucadia gas station revamp


The Encinitas Planning Commission on Jan. 21 voted unanimously to deny a proposal to reconstruct the Shell gas station off of Leucadia Boulevard, citing concerns over traffic and neighborhood impacts.

“It’s clear that the community doesn’t want it as proposed,” Commissioner Anthony Brandenburg said.

Commissioner Ruben Flores encouraged the applicant to reduce the project’s footprint and resubmit to the city.

The proposal called for demolishing the existing gas station building and replacing it with a new marketplace and self-service car wash.

Neighbors opposed the project, arguing the car wash would emit too much noise and that the proposed marketplace is oversized. They also stated the proposal would add to car congestion at Leucadia Boulevard and Orpheus Avenue, saying the intersection already suffers from gridlock because of the poorly planned Starbucks development across the street.

“It’s your job to protect the neighborhood,” Kathleen Lees said.

Ravi Gupta, whose family owns and operates the gas station, said the visually appealing project would be a nice gateway to Leucadia for those exiting Interstate 5.

“It’s something you’ve never seen before in a gas station,” Gupta said, later adding it fits the neighborhood’s character.

The Jan. 21 meeting marked the third time the project had been before the commission. In November, the commission continued the matter because its meeting was poised to run past midnight, which would have violated commission rules. A month later, the commission still had questions over the project, and it requested the number of daily car trips the project would generate.

The applicant declined to provide that information, instead referring to an earlier traffic study for the proposal. Commissioners, however, said they were looking for in-depth traffic counts.