Councilmember Lisa Shaffer has written that if Measure T fails, the city will be sued again. While her opinion is pure speculation, two things are unarguably true: first, by putting Measure T on the ballot, Encinitas will have satisfied the Building Industry Association (BIA) settlement agreement and tried to enact an updated housing element.
Second, should Measure T fail, the Order to develop a housing element would still stand. The City would start over to (hopefully) create a housing element that voters can pass: one that guarantees low-income housing, keeps building heights 30 feet and doesn’t transfer powers to an unelected official (including 230 pages of developer-friendly “policy changes” the State does not require).
Shaffer’s conjecture that a court will take over Encinitas’ housing or planning department(s) is absurdly exaggerated. In the Pleasanton case, that City had capped the total number of houses that could be built — a violation of State law. Conversly, Encinitas has no housing cap. Threats that the State will “send in a judge” are groundless. California State Housing & Community Development (HCD) Deputy Director Campora has assured us that the State will never sue a city over not passing a housing element update.
Lawsuits might come from developers, but why does Encinitas get sued? Because we settle quickly, pay off developers, and even change our codes to suit them. It’s time we take back our city before we lose it to developers' interests.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Peter Stern on Measure T
Coast News op-ed: