The Coast News Group
Community Commentary

Why I’m not running for council

I have chosen not to run for the one City Council seat open 2014 and look forward to the opportunities in the 2016 election. First, I want to thank all of you that offered support; it has been very gratifying. As a member of the city’s Strategic Planning Economic Development Team, I get to work with representatives of all the communities of Encinitas to improve the city in which my family and I have chosen to make a home. I will continue my involvement in improving Encinitas, which stretches back to the late 1990s, when I was part of the consulting team that completed the Community Character Report. Some of those recommendations have been implemented; some still need to be incorporated.

Since 2002, I have lived in Leucadia. My three children are enrolled in the Encinitas Union School District. At Capri Elementary, I am serving my second term on the School Site Council. With my daughters, we have enjoyed the Ecke YMCA Adventure Princess program for five years; it was a privilege participating as our tribe chief last year.

For those of you worried that your issues aren’t being heard, I hope to alleviate those concerns in the future. The city is now dealing with the changes to the code and how it relates to the unfunded state mandates. Prop A was a realization of grassroots city planning. There are positives. The city is currently addressing density bonus issues and City Planning Guidelines. There are negatives. The owners of smaller lots in our commercial areas have had the value of their property reduced with the elimination of their vested property rights without compensation.

Prop A didn’t fix some of the issues that still reside in the planning approvals that continue to be approved without the use of the proper community character lens. New subdivisions currently being built really don’t fit the community character; future developments need to embrace and welcome the surrounding neighborhoods, not block them off. Split face cinderblock has no place in a residential setting and should not be allowed as a building material on a street facade.

El Camino Real is a planning disaster care of the county. Its development was one of the reasons that Encinitas took over local control more than 25 years ago. This corridor needs a planning makeover to improve the route to and through this commercial center for pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles. I understand these problems, issues and opportunities. At Leucadia 101, I am a founding member, a three-term president and currently, vice president, design committee chair and past economic development chair.

We have motivated our businesses and community to speak out for what they want. My education background is urban and regional planning, public administration, landscape architecture and finance. I am a licensed landscape architect. I am an accredited professional in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Building Design and Construction advocating for adaptive reuse of existing buildings. I have been working as a consultant, managing many local projects ranging from the transformation of a toxic superfund site into a state of the art public park to the modernization of local public schools.

I believe that we are all entitled to live in Encinitas to the fullest extent of our rights, both personal and property, and that we need to hold our elected officials and city staff accountable to their commitments. I look forward to continuing to serve my community and city in the coming years, and I eagerly await the candidate forums this year to hear the opinions and solutions of those who seek to serve this community we call home. I am usually working the Leucadia 101 events, so please come by to chat.

William Morrison is a Leucadia resident and founding member of the Leucadia 101.