Leucadia group looks to bring community together

ENCINITAS — Dozens of enthusiastic residents attended the Leucadia 101 Main Street Association general membership meeting March 4. In an effort to further involve the community in the development of Leucadia, the board of directors urged the crowd to take a more active role in the various improvement plans for the area.
Paramount in the discussion on the direction of Leucadia was the North Coast Highway 101 Streetscape. Senior City Planner Diane Langager was on hand to give an overview of the beautification project that spans from A Street to La Costa Avenue. During two years of gathering public input and working with consulting firm MW Peltz and Associates, Langager said the process was successful. “We feel the issues were fully vetted,” she told the crowd.
The final option approved by City Council in January includes planting additional trees and landscaping, improving sidewalks and bicycle lanes, creating additional parking and implementing traffic calming measures such as traffic roundabouts and eliminating one northbound lane. “Now we take this through the design review permit process and coastal review,” Langager said.
Peder Norby, Highway 101 Corridor Coordinator, applauded the community for its input in the planning process. “Your streetscape is the right streetscape,” he said. Norby called upon his experience during the Downtown Encinitas revitalization to ease the anxiety of Leucadia business owners whose trepidation of the implementation phase of the project was palpable.
“As a merchant, you’re going to survive,” he told them. Norby said that despite the timing of the downtown project’s beginning on Sept. 12, 2001, businesses weathered the economic uncertainties that plagued the nation even while sidewalks were being replaced, traffic diverted and parking spaces restriped.
Steve Shackelton, the association’s new president, said the group was looking for volunteers to keep the momentum going. “We’re becoming a model for cities all over the country,” he said. Longtime resident and board member Morgan Mallory highlighted some of the events that make the area unique including Leucadia Nights and “LeucadiArt Walk.
Mallory said maintaining the distinctive character of Leucadia was a team effort. “It’s not in our (the board’s) hands, it’s in the hands of the community,” he said. He urged more residents to take advantage of the shopping, dinning and leisure activities within Leucadia.
Tom Frank, a board member on the design committee, emphasized the ongoing beautification projects the board is working on including making Vulcan Avenue more pedestrian-friendly. Frank also said the group is invested in solving the “railway issues” that are more pronounced in Leucadia than in other areas of the city. “We’re looking for some high-energy citizens to join the committee,” he said.
The board, along with Langager, urged attendees to participate in the city-sponsored general plan update workshops. “We want you to give input and to give your opinions,” Langager said. “What do you see for the future in 2035?”
For more information on the association, visit www.
leucadia101.com. For more information on the city’s general plan update process, visit www.encinitas2035.info.

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