Encinitas June 27 reached a settlement with DCM Properties in a lawsuit regarding the density bonus program and adoption of the city's housing element.It's unclear whether the council settlement was unanimous or was the same 3-2 majority of Kranz, Shaffer, and Blakespear who surrendered to the Building Industry Association in an earlier lawsuit, with Muir and Gaspar opposed. Kranz and Blakespear were the only council members quoted in the Seaside Courier article.
Under terms of the settlement, the city will continue to send the housing element to the November ballot, begin rounding up part of the density bonus calculation, and pay DCM Properties $125,000 in legal fees. The settlement also continues the requirement that developers demonstrate how a concession the city should make in its development standards will reduce the cost of the housing.
David Meyer, head of DCM Properties, said the settlement makes the city's ordinance align with state law and helps the city meet a state mandate to adopt a housing element.
The timing of the settlement is suspicious, as Meyer had refused to settle earlier in the week, but settled the same day Encinitas residents sued the city over the earlier BIA settlement. One of the issues in that lawsuit was the special treatment that six density bonus projects got in rounding up the number of units allowed. This settlement appears to try to undermine that argument by making it citywide policy to always round up and created even denser density bonus projects.