Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear said, “I can’t think of anything more the city could have done to craft a plan that both housing regulators and voters would accept. We really did try our best, both in terms of effort expended and compromises to gain consensus. So we find ourselves here,” meaning in court and at a judge’s discretion.
Frazier’s ruling will wait until the county and city have officially certified the ballot results of Measure U. The controversial housing initiative failed, with 53 percent of voters opposed, which makes the judge’s decision to wait a mere formality. Measure U sought to allow increased housing density up to three stories high at 15 potential sites in Encinitas. A similar ballot initiative, Measure T, was soundly defeated in 2016.
Encinitas’ legal counsel argued that the city should be made to adopt Measure U. Attorney Dolores Bastian Dalton of Goldfarb & Lipman described that plan as “a workable and practical solution that gets all three parties out of the impasse that we’re in.” She said other potential options that require more community feedback and political consensus would “only embolden the anti-housing group.”