The Coast News Group
Community Commentary

Prop. A will create confusion, won’t benefit Encinitas

The “Right to Vote” title alone sounds very compelling. 

Those who have heard the enticing pitch from supporters of Proposition A might be led to believe that the initiative was providing Encinitas voters with a new right — the opportunity to vote on changes to the General Plan, the document that controls the growth of our city.

In reality, Encinitas voters already have this right. However, due to the complex nature of our General Plan, confusion is understandable.

Under current law, voter approval is required for any increase in residential density or nonresidential intensity, or any change in land use designation between residential and nonresidential uses.

The City Council has the ability with at least four of its five members agreeing to approve a change in density, intensity or zoning designation of land — but only if the proposed change provides a “significant public benefit” to the city. In the 26-year history of Encinitas, no council has ever used this provision to approve a major project without first a vote of the people. Two earlier examples are when voters approved the Home Depot and rejected houses on the Ecke Ranch.

Again, even though this provision has never been used, in response to Proposition A proponents’ concerns, the City Council voted unanimously to remove this provision. In addition, the council unanimously agreed to begin the process of ratifying this change in the 2014 election.

Voter ratification would eliminate a future council from reinstating the four-fifths provision without voter approval. This decision by the council affirms our support for the spirit of Proposition A but would avoid many of the other consequences that come with other parts of this poorly written initiative.

While Prop A has a deceptively simple name — “right to vote” — the initiative does far more. It includes other faultily written provisions that will create confusion and legal nightmares for the city.

For instance, a citywide height limit written into the initiative would actually allow taller structures in certain areas by overriding existing statutes. Proposition A will also nullify community-specific plans created with years of public input and millions in taxpayer dollars.

When the Encinitas City Council voted to unanimously oppose Proposition A, the primary reason was that we could not accept the poison pills that came with any positive aspects of the initiative.

By moving forward with the process to permanently remove the four-fifths provision, we’ve put actions behind our words by providing Encinitas voters with the ability to reject Proposition A, along with its flaws. The voters will have the “Right to Vote” to permanently delete the four-fifths provision in November 2014.

Encinitas residents should be confident that they will have a voice on future growth of our city. Thanks to the actions of the City Council and your No vote on June 18, we won’t have to suffer the negative impacts of Proposition A.

Mark Muir, Encinitas Councilman.

Elected in 2012 after retiring as fire chief of Encinitas.



flaire June 15, 2013 at 9:02 pm

I’ll take the CAVE people over the RAPE-ists (Ruin And Plunder Encinitas), anyday!!

Xavier Watson June 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm

A unanimous City Council is almost a first in Encinitas. That’s one of the main reasons I and everyone else should Vote No on Prop A. Councilmember Muir is correct that Prop A is not about our right to vote. It is an appealing facade, like the mermaids song to draw us towards the rocky shore and sink our ship (City). Simply put, Prop A is a solution in search of a problem. With the 4/5th provision now gone, even though it has never been used in 26 years, Prop A supporters have now been revealed for what they really are — CAVE people — Citizens Against Virtually Everything. Preserve Encinitas by voting NO on Prop A.

sdaly June 13, 2013 at 7:23 am

Don’t be fooled.
Mike Andreen or Jerome Stocks is the one called Xavier.
Mark Muir has campaigned for Jerome Stocks through the years and climbed the political ladder to become Fire Chief (now retired pulling a hefty pension from the city). He is bought by developers and will support them to his death.

Mark Muir is making false comments in his story. There have been instances where the city council has not gone to a vote of the people. Just look at the specific plans, where the developer laden council actually went against the will of the people and agreed to build higher.

Also misleading by Muir is that Prop A will increase density height. This is not true. The No / developer side is using this as a scare tactic because they so desperately want prop A to fail. The Right to Vote Initiative (YES on A) actually upholds our CURRENT general plan and the Current building heights of 2 stories and three in a couple of places. In no way does it allow height to increase.

I am sick and tired of how desperate these people are and they should be ashamed of how they are running their no campaign. Mark Muir is aligned with the wrong people. He is not the people’s servant, he is in it for himself and his cronies.

Please don’t fall for this rubbish and instead support the residents with a YES on A vote this coming Tuesday June 18th.

Follow the money and look at the sources.

YES on A is the residents
NO on A is the developers.

That is all you have to remember.

Dody June 13, 2013 at 9:39 pm

No on A are also preservation groups and property owners (residents)

I Want to Love Encinitas June 13, 2013 at 10:15 pm

If you’re referring to the Encinitas Preservation Association made up of Paul Ecke, Peder Norby, and $13M landowner Keith Harrison among others, don’t imagine for a minute that they have the interests of most Encinitans in mind. “Property owners” Dody refers to are not your average residents.

Don’t be fooled – follow the money – then Vote YES!

Crazy not to vote Yes on A June 15, 2013 at 10:57 am

The city should stop any contribution to DEMA after the nasty and expensive PROPZILlA campaign. How much did a full color page ad costs on Coast News?. I don’t think the taxpayers and certain members of DEMA will take that too kindly.

Crazy not to vote Yes on A June 15, 2013 at 11:02 am

You mean Large property owners that have a speculative mind and want to be able to up-zone their parcels?
I leave on an R-8 property, understood when I bought it it was R-8, that I would not and should not be able to change that.
PROP A takes the fun out of land speculation and put the control back with the voters of Encinitas. It’s a good thing. Residents may not be certified planners but they sure know what they don’t want.

Downtown Encinitas can be and will be a thriving area without R30 and 3 story buildings.

I Want to Love Encinitas June 15, 2013 at 8:53 pm

It already is – just ask long-term merchants who have thrived for decades!

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