The developer of the proposed Encinitas Boulevard apartment complex, a massive project that has been fiercely opposed by residents of the Olivenhain area, has settled a lawsuit with the city and will revise the project’s design.
Under the terms of the agreement, the total number of units will be reduced by 22, making it a project of 250 units instead of 272 units. While it is proposed to decrease the total number of units in the complex, the number of units reserved for low-income people will be reduced from 41 to 50.
And, in a section closest to neighboring residents, one floor of the multi-story complex will be removed from plans, according to a statement released by the city’s public information officer, Julie Taber.
The new proposal will be presented at the June 8 city council meeting for “review and decision,” Taber said, adding that if the revised project is approved by council, the lawsuit will be dismissed.
This decision, however, will not end all the legal turmoil surrounding the development plans. The opposition group, Encinitas Residents for Responsible Development, has filed several lawsuits related to the project and the city’s review of the plans. Those lawsuits are still ongoing, Tabor said Friday.
Proposed for a nearly 7-acre site near the busy intersection of Encinitas Boulevard and Rancho Santa Fe, the apartment complex has long been controversial. Its buildings are proposed to rise to 69ft – far higher than the city’s standard height limit of 39ft. The height of the buildings and the massive appearance of the structures, including its multi-storey car park, have drawn the ire of residents of the surrounding area of Olivenhain, known for its high-end single-family homes on large lots. .
Opponents and the developer, Randy Goodson, have appealed a Planning Commission decision denying permits for the project. In November, the city council upheld the Planning Commission’s denial of permits and Goodson sued the city, arguing that it had no authority to reject development plans because the project should be considered a development “by right” under state law. -income housing laws.
At the end of March, state representatives spoke out on the issue. State Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that the developer is considering revising its plans and resubmitting them, and if Encinitas does not approve the new revised proposal, it could find itself in more legal trouble.
“We urge the city to take prompt action to review and approve the revised project if and when a new application is submitted,” Deputy Attorney General Matthew Struhar wrote in a letter for Bonta. “If the city does not, the Attorney General is prepared to take immediate action to hold the city accountable.”
By not approving the current development proposal, Struhar wrote, the city may have violated both the state’s Housing Accountability Act and the Density Bonus Act. He added that the affluent community of Encinitas needed to do more to address “significant disparities in housing need” and that the denial of permits for this project was “particularly troubling”.