World v. Prop. A
Jesse Marx, March 20, 2019
is through with its own slow-growth rules.
Coast News reports that the City Council wants to ask a judge
for permission to invalidate or amend Proposition A
a local law giving voters veto power over major land use changes
to comply with the ongoing demands of state housing
last week, Encinitas was the only city in San Diego County
that had not adopted a plan identifying sites for housing
development of all income levels. It was not for a lack of
trying. Prop. A required that voters get the final say on
housing plans, and in 2016 and 2018 those plans went down
developers and renters sued, the San Diego County Superior
Court in December suspended Prop. A, citing the law as the
reason Encinitas was continuing to defy California rules.
Mayor Catherine Blakespear was then summoned to a meeting
with the governor and effectively shamed.
situation is untenable, she told me. At a City
Council meeting in February, she encouraged her colleagues
to rip off this Band-Aid.
As defenders are not going to let the law die so easily.
that the city hadnt adequately defended their interests
in court, attorney Everett DeLano attempted to intervene in
the cases, which had been initiated several years ago, on
behalf of a group called Preserve Prop A.
court on Friday said nope, too late, good luck.
elected to sit on the sidelines and watch as the lawsuit as
unfolded, wrote Judge Robert Dahlquist. Now, after
the merits of the lawsuit have been fully adjudicated, [Preserve
Prop A] wants to jump into the fray and re-litigate the case
all over again.
told me he and his clients will continue to defend Prop. A
wherever its long-term survival is at stake, because they
do not believe its in conflict with state housing law.
Prop. A may make the process of passing a state-mandated plan
harder, he said, but theres a good reason for it: Some
city councils were not responsible to voters concerns,
so they felt they needed some protections.
the ruling came down, Charlie McDermott, an Encinitas resident
and corporate exec, told me that he and his allies have long
considered Prop. A a check on housing plans that only benefit
well-to-do people. If the city was serious about housing low-income
people, it should force developers to actually build more
affordable units, he said.
not immediately clear to McDermott or to me
what types of rules the city could draft to get there. But
well be living with this tension for a very long time.
think we need to clear out the mayor and Council in the next
election, McDermott said. You dont win every
battle, but there are some things we know now that we can
begin layering in, and there may be another initiative.