In a major step toward realizing the Pacific View property as a jewel of the community, the Encinitas City Council approved all three pivotal recommendations from the Pacific View Activation Subcommittee at its meeting Wednesday night, October 22.
City staff will be directed to move forward with taxable bonds for the $10 million purchase price, the site will be designated as an Arts, Education and Community Gathering Place for both long-term and interim use, and the Engineering and Public Works Department will evaluate the viability of the existing structures on the property.
The financing item passed on the traditional Pacific View vote of 3 to 2, with Mayor Kristin Gaspar and Councilmember Mark Muir voting no, but Gaspar switched sides to support the activation plan. Muir voted against the plan based on the taxable bond component, explaining “I’m more of a tax-exempt kinda guy.”
Gaspar and Muir both said that they hoped these would be their last “no” votes on Pacific View and that they look forward to proactively assisting with the visioning process for the property. Escrow could close in a month, after which Encinitas will officially own Pacific View.
In addition, the council unanimously voted to send a letter of inquiry to ArtPlace America in hopes of obtaining a grant of up to $500,000 to fund a master plan for the site. Staff will be asked to keep an eye out for further grant opportunities that might benefit Pacific View and the arts in Encinitas.
Finance Director Tim Nash had good news for the city in the form of an anticipated $5.9 million budget surplus, based on more revenues and fewer expenses than budgeted.
In contrast to Gaspar and Muir’s repeated contention that core services are in peril because of the Pacific View purchase, Councilmember Lisa Shaffer congratulated the city “on the good financial situation. We can afford this. It’s a great investment for the community, and we will have money to do other things as well.”
Deputy Mayor Tony Kranz added, “This is some great news. This is another step in a historic journey to keeping [the] Pacific View property public. I look forward to getting these bonds issued, and getting this closed and the celebration started.”
A combination public party and community cleanup is tentatively scheduled at the site early next year, subject to liability and safety considerations.
Kranz suggested that the portion of the timeline that determines when the site’s interim use will be decided be extended so that the viability of the existing Pacific View buildings can be factored into that decision, and the council agreed.
Because she’ll be leaving office this year, Councilmember Teresa Barth asked to resign from the Pacific View Activation Subcommittee, recommending Kranz as her replacement, which the council approved. The subcommittee will now consist of Kranz and original subcommittee member Lisa Shaffer.
Several residents spoke to the council about their support for the activation plan. Bob Bonde and Don McPherson offered specific use ideas, while attorney Felix Tinkov suggested adding a covenant to the sale which would restrict future commercial use in the event community goals change.
$3 million for a new lifeguard tower at Moonlight Beach was also approved as a part of the bond package, which will be split so that the tower bonds are the less-expensive tax-exempt type. Shaffer said she “will keep pushing on the city manager” so that the tower can be built for less that the budgeted $3 million.
The agenda for the October 22 city council meeting, including links to all the presented Pacific View reports, can be found here. An Encinitas Advocate article on the Pacific View votes is here, and a San Diego U-T story is here.
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.
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.
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.