This Wednesday night’s Encinitas City Council meeting is shaping up to be another milestone in the Pacific View saga.
The October 22 session will determine what happens next for the newly purchased Pacific View property when the council votes on three recommendations submitted by its Pacific View Site Activation Plan Subcommittee.
The subcommittee, comprised of councilmembers Teresa Barth and Lisa Shaffer, held a meeting on October 6 with members of the city staff and public during which details of the path forward were discussed. Their resulting report to the city council (downloadable here) recommends that the council approve:
- Using taxable bonds to finance the Pacific View purchase instead of the slightly less expensive but far more restrictive tax-exempt bonds.
- Designating the site as an Arts, Education and Community Gathering Place for both long-term and interim use, which will comply with the existing Public/Semi-Public zoning.
- Directing the Engineering and Public Works Department to evaluate the viability of the existing structures on the property, based on its suggested use.
Pacific View supporters are encouraged to ask the city council to approve the recommendations by emailing councilmembers at firstname.lastname@example.org and speaking at the October 22 meeting at City Hall. The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 505 S Vulcan Avenue in Encinitas.
The Wednesday, October 22, meeting agenda can be viewed here. The Pacific View item is 10B, and 10C is the item pertaining to the type of bond to be selected and the portion of the $13 million that will be taxable vs. tax-exempt. The Finance Department’s bond recommendations are here. (The $13 million bond includes $10 million for the Pacific View purchase and $3 million for the construction of a new lifeguard tower at Moonlight Beach, which will not require taxable bonds.)
Barth and Shaffer have also initiated Item 12A at the meeting, which asks that the council send a Letter of Interest to initiate a possible grant of up to $500,000 from ArtPlace America to fund a Master Plan for the Pacific View site. In their report to the council (available here), they observe “This is a highly competitive process, so there is no assurance of success, but it seems to be a good fit with our Pacific View needs.”
The Activation Subcommittee’s report contains pages of supporting data, comments and suggestions from the public, and this explanation from Barth and Shaffer about their suggested uses for the property:
The overall approach recommended by the Subcommittee is to seek Council agreement on a high-level vision for the long-term use of the Pacific View site. Interim uses should fit within that long-term vision and be selected in part for their potential to help move the community toward that ultimate set of uses. The Subcommittee recommends that we agree on the themes of Arts, Education and Community Gathering Place with an emphasis on Theaters, Museums, Education, Outdoor Sales/Swap meets and park/recreation space for both the interim uses and ultimate vision.
We considered different strategies for deciding which interim uses to pursue, i.e., maximizing short-term revenue or maximizing community benefit and progress toward the greater vision. There was strong support at the Subcommittee meeting for the latter strategy. Several speakers expressed their view that outside funding for an arts/theater/education facility could be accomplished fairly easily if we can define a clear vision and a path forward. Spending effort now to raise short-term funds could be a distraction and harm longer-term success.
There was concern expressed by some small nonprofit arts organizations about the cost of a minor or major use permit. The Planning Director confirmed that it could be possible to secure one major use permit that encompassed multiple activities on the site, even if they were conducted by different organizations. So if one entity could coordinate the effort, all the uses could be covered in one permit. The Subcommittee is confident that private funding for permitting costs is very do-able, and initial commitments have already been made to cover the permit fees. We propose to organize a meeting of the Subcommittee to focus on how to organize and pay for the needed permits, assuming Council support for the overall approach. We hope to be able to process a permit in parallel with site clean-up efforts.
There is a strong desire to get some activity going on site as soon as it is legal and safe to do so. Community arts organizations offered to organize a free concert as part of the opening celebration that the Subcommittee proposes should take place as early in 2015 as possible. The event should be a combination of a celebration and a work party where residents can help with site cleanup and sponsors may be found to donate materials. There is much work to be done, but a strong and positive energy in the community and an eagerness to move forward.
Tony Kranz and Catherine Blakespear will see Pacific View through
In November 4th’s crucial election, Encinitas Deputy Mayor Tony Kranz is running for mayor and Catherine Blakespear is a candidate for the open seat on the Encinitas city council.
If, like us, you dream of present and future generations enjoying the Pacific View site, both Kranz and Blakespear certainly deserve your vote.
The dramatic last-minute rescue of our historic Pacific View property from the clutches of developers would not have happened without the vision, political know-how and bold leadership of Kranz on the city council.
Blakespear repeatedly championed Pacific View in appearances before the Encinitas City Council and the Encinitas Union School District Board of Trustees.
Kranz and Blakespear are the only candidates who unreservedly advocated the Pacific View purchase and they’re still working tirelessly to make it happen. They remain committed to seeing this treasured blufftop site reach its fullest community potential.
There are still those who vocally oppose the city’s purchase of Pacific View and would like to see it fail. Nearly all the city council votes that enabled us to buy Pacific View passed by the narrowest of margins, 3 to 2.
The makeup of the city council will change after the election, and it’s vital that our pro-Pacific View majority remain intact to shepherd this complicated acquisition to its conclusion. After the purchase is completed, Kranz and Blakespear will ensure that the public’s wishes for Pacific View are fulfilled and that its financial foundation is sound.
In the big picture, both Kranz and Blakespear are longtime Encinitas locals who stand for the things that most of us want– preservation of our community’s unique character, improving our roads and infrastructure, transparent and participatory government, and leadership with integrity.
Kranz and Blakespear have already proved that they run much deeper than just platitudes and slogans– they actually know how to make the right things happen, expertly navigating through a local and regional system that can be maddeningly slow, frustrating and illogical.
SavePacificView.org relied on Kranz and Blakespear’s support and advice during the pivotal citizen-fueled email campaign that helped turn events around earlier this year, and we continue to count on them as the twists and turns of this purchase process continue.
In a compelling endorsement of Kranz and Blakespear, Encinitas City Councilmember Lisa Shaffer writes “I support Tony Kranz for Mayor and Catherine Blakespear for Council based on their competence, commitment, and collaborative capacity.” Her complete thoughts are worth reading here.
SavePacificView.org urges you to vote for Tony Kranz for mayor and Catherine Blakespear for city council. We need them to see Pacific View through.
SavePacificView.org will stay on top of developments and send email updates when new Pacific View events occur. You’re also invited to stay up-to-date on Pacific View news by joining the SavePacificView.org email list here. Your name and email address will only be used by SavePacificView.org. The SavePacificView story as told by local media can be read here.
What are your Pacific View ideas? Click here to Share Your View!
The discussion about what we’d all like to see happen at the Pacific View site has begun in earnest.
You and your friends are invited to have your say and Share Your View on the SavePacificView.org website. You can login there directly or use your Facebook, Twitter or Google+ ID to post and comment. Your input is much appreciated, and essential to helping create a place that can be enjoyed for generations to come.