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Community CommentaryOpinion

In Encinitas, community character is everything

In a recent letter to the Encinitas Advocate, Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer wrote her own personal definition of community character. According to Shaffer, “To me, Encinitas community character is about kindness, integrity, and open minds…”

Shaffer’s comments not only marginalize years of work put forward by our city founders, but they show a complete lack of knowledge about the Encinitas General Plan, which is our city’s constitution for land use planning.  Has Councilwoman Shaffer actually read the General Plan?

The term “Community Character” is defined in our General Plan as follows:

The city of Encinitas is a unique collection of 5 distinct communities.  The individuality of each Community is vital to the overall character of the City and architecture, landforms, landscape and streetscape are the primary determinants of this character.  The City of Encinitas also is fortunate in that it contains a wide variety of topographical features.

Councilwoman Shaffer should know this because community character is what we appreciate and live for in all five communities that make up our city of Encinitas.  She must not have known the definition of community character when our council voted to approve the Desert Rose density bonus development in Olivenhain without requiring an environmental impact report, even after our planning commission rejected the development.  Lisa Shaffer did not oppose the Desert Rose development when the vote was taken.

The important point I am trying to make is that we must protect our community character from developers who want to densify and destroy the character of our existing neighborhoods and commercial areas.  This message of neighborhood protection must be the first consideration of Councilwoman Shaffer and all other of our councilmembers when new development proposals are brought before them for consideration.  Our residents must come first and our neighborhoods must be protected.

Our general plan was conceived with the notion of “Community Character” at its very heart. The challenge of reconciling the vision of five communities under the banner of one city was achieved after years of hard work.  If you value YOUR community character, vote for Sheila Cameron for mayor and for me, Julie Graboi for city council.  We have worked hard to protect the community character of Encinitas for years, and we will continue to do so once in office.

Julie Graboi is an Olivenhain resident and city council candidate



Encinitas4Real September 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm

If Ms Blakespear grew up playing in the canyon why doesn’t she ever mention her idyllic school days in Cardiff and at San Dieguito? Is it because she grew up in Del Mar attending school there and graduating from Torrey Pines High School? And why doesn’t she answer the questions about the restoration efforts at Rossini Creek? Or is she busy writing another fairy tale for us?

Encinitas4Real September 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Correction gets it right ! Maybe Correction should be running for City Council!

Dissapointed September 11, 2014 at 9:57 pm

I was disappointed that the following quote from Lisa Shaffer “To me, Encinitas community character is about kindness, integrity, and open minds…” turned into such a negative article. Julie took a portion of a sentence from Dr.Shaffer and critiqued what she left out when Julie herself left out Dr.Shaffer’s complete quote. Julie’s argument seemed to lack evidence and made me feel I should stand up for Dr. Shaffer as she was attacked for what appears to be Julie’s own campaign promotion.
As my husband and I just bought a home in Encinitas, the town I grew up in for 30 years, I hope to show him that Encinitas really is about kindness, integrity, and open minds– not negative personal attacks.

Encinitas4Real September 12, 2014 at 3:53 pm

If you grew up in Encinitas and were paying attention at all for 30 years you’d know that Community Character is a fundamental tenet of the General Plan for Encinitas. That is the primary land use document for Encinitas. Ms Shaffers comments were attempting to reframe the REAL debate which will be a major part of the upcoming election and make it a feel-good
Kumbayah moment because she reversed herself after her election from a Prop A supporter to an opponent, and her chosen favorite Catherine Blakespear also opposed Prop A. Or maybe she doesn’t remember. She does not give a straight answer. No matter what you ask about unless it’s urban farms, Catherine has no solid answer.

Correction September 12, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Lisa Shaffer’s complete definition is available on this website. Lisa is not being attacked but held to account for her job as a council person. Community character is not a personal definition of one person devoid of a context, but a technical term that is described in concrete language in the General Plan, which is our highest law for land use in Encinitas.

Pam Slater-Price September 9, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Ms Blakespear never said she or her mother would support a restoration of Rossini Creek with a SEP. Why is that is they are so GREEN?

Catherine S. Blakespear September 7, 2014 at 9:08 pm

I understand there’s concern about the future of the property around Rossini Creek that is owned solely by my mom, Tricia A. Smith. To set the record straight, she has no plans to develop her property. In the 1990s (more than 20 years ago now) my widowed grandma considered selling a portion of the property in order to keep her home and the rest of her yard in tact. During this time, my step-dad died suddenly in a car accident. The tragedy led to many changes in priorities and the plans were dropped. I can say unequivocally that Tricia is not planning to develop her land.

There are several things worth remembering here. First, we’re lucky to have people like my mom keep her property natural and undeveloped. My personal interest in urban agriculture comes from having grown up playing in Rossini Creek and in our yard – picking fruit and building tree houses. Because of this commitment on my part, I am actively involved in overhauling the agriculture ordinances so all homeowners can garden by right, and build community around creation of our local food source.

To come full circle, Tricia has no development plans. Please write to her directly at [email protected] or to me at [email protected] if you would like to discuss it further as we’re both happy to address any concerns.

Encinitas4Real September 12, 2014 at 3:11 pm

So do Ms Blakespear and her mother Tricia Smith support restoration of the Rossini Creek and will they allow restoration to occur on their 5+ acres if creek? If they have no plans to develop will they dedicate the land as permanent open space? And why did they get the city to give up 3 IODs on street frontage to create more space for lots? Most homeowners don’t get IODs back without any fight from the city!

Stumped September 4, 2014 at 11:04 pm

This seems like an odd article. Fuzzy thinking, fuzzy writing. Not sure I’d vote for anybody who can’t craft an argument.

Encinitas4Real September 5, 2014 at 7:41 am

Ms BLAKESPEARS comments sound a little false since her family has had a lot split proposal at the city in the 1990s that was appealed to the Coastal Commission in 1999 and when they were told they would have to do an EIR they withdrew their application. They are so refusing to allow a restoration proposal for the creek to go forward now so the restoration project for the damage done to the creek will not be done. Yet she claims she’s an environmentalist.

Catherine S. Blakespear September 4, 2014 at 9:22 pm

My family has owned property around Rossini Creek since 1929 and is not trying to develop it. I grew up playing in that canyon and now my kids play there. My family has generously allowed all neighborhood children to enjoy the natural outdoor playground and has never fenced the private property, in favor of allowing public access to build the neighborhood community. My family is frequently thanked by neighbors for keeping the property as it is. Everything my family has done for the last 85 years, through 4 generations, has been in an attempt to preserve as much of that habitat as possible.

Encinitas4real September 3, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Julie Graboi and Sheila Cameron are just what Encinitas needs to restore the government of the people, by the people and FOR the people. The current council believes anything vina tells them. It’s pathetic. As to Blakespear she’s a shill for her developer parents who are big landowners in Rossini Canyon, which they’ve been trying to develop for the past 30 years. She’s completely vague on what she stands for. No wonder Lisa and Teresa love her! Easy to push around

Howie September 3, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Vote her out, she does not listen nor respond to those who voted her in… loser she is…

Steve September 3, 2014 at 8:28 pm

I’m interested in what Blakespear’s take is

Billy Bob September 3, 2014 at 8:48 pm

So am I Steve. The only thing I know about Blakespeare is her family owns a lot of land around the Rossini area, which I have heard she would like to develop. She has the endorsement of Barth, Shaffer and Kranz. Makes me wonder if she is a fill in for Barth? Graboi has spoken many times before the Council, and was instrumental in stopping the City (so far) from developing Desert Rose. The City has appealed twice, costing the taxpayers quite a bit of money, and lost both times. This was after the Planning Commission said it should have never gone through. So much for Commissions.

Linda Durham September 3, 2014 at 8:10 pm

I totally agreed that Julie will look out for the best of Encinitas and our wonderful neighboring communities. I have no fear that she will look out for the best in community decisions. She has proven herself in her active role with me to hold back high density development in our wonderful towns. We need people we can trust to look out for the best in our community development . Julie is that person!

Mark September 3, 2014 at 6:38 pm

It is wonderful to have a candidate like Julie Graboi running, she has my vote. We need a shift at City Hall as residents are not being considered over developers. Julie Graboi and Sheila Cameron are aware of what is needed for Encinitas to shine brightly into the future.

billy Bob September 3, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Thank you Julie. Ms. Shaffer has a way of making up her own definitions as she goes along. If Ms Shaffer truly believed her own words, she would have more compassion toward a lot of things, and people, in this City. Instead she is more interested in having people listen to her “words of wisdom”, so to speak, and then not question her. If you question her, watch out, as the response may not be pretty. She does an email synopsis of each Council Meeting, each week. If you want to be on her list, just ask. Then watch, or go to a Council meeting, and see how her actions and words do not match up. I cannot think of one good thing she has done to help our community, but I can think of a lot of spiteful things she has done.

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