Dear Ms. Kellie Hinze, Mayor Tony Kranz and Mr. Bruce Ehlers,
I am writing as a concerned citizen living on Third Street between D and E streets in the heart of downtown.
I have been approached by several non-restaurant business owners — some of whom are the backbone of Old Encinitas, supporting the community for more than 30 years — imploring the city to treat them fairly so they may remain in business.
This means providing parking for their longtime customers, many of whom have grown frustrated attempting to visit their stores or utilize their services.
When the pandemic hit, we realized as a community that short-term solutions needed municipal approval to comply with state and federal safety guidelines.
Local business owners supported fellow business owners, especially food-and-alcohol serving establishments, by giving up parking spaces and reducing the roadway to create more opportunities for the food service industry.
Sidewalks became overcrowded with dining spaces, eliminating safe passage along sidewalks crowded with people, tables and waitstaff crossing to deliver food.
We as a community supported these measures. But clearly, the COVID-19 crisis is over in California, as stated by our state and federal officials.
That said, Encinitas continues to perpetuate unfair disadvantages to non-restaurants by not removing “gutter dining areas.”
These owners estimated that between D and E streets, half the parking spaces are gone!
It’s time to return to treating all Encinitas businesses fairly, level the playing field back to pre-COVID-19 guidelines by not allowing these businesses to use city property to double their restaurant footprint.
Ms. Hinze, please help your voters.