Encinitas has placed itself in a tough legal position. Local voters could reject the city’s plan to accommodate new housing – a plan required by state law. Encinitas is the only city in the county, and one of a few in the state, without a legal housing plan.
The Encinitas City Council met last week to approve a plan, required by state law, to show how the city will make way for enough new housing to accommodate a growing population.
Many residents offered Council members a different option entirely: What if we just ignore state law?
Mayor Kristin Gaspar put the idea to the city’s legal counsel. Can we just not do the thing the state says we need to do?
“You are in the breach of something very consequential, and if you choose to simply say, ‘We’re not going to,’ please don’t believe that that is the end of the day and all things went well,” said Mike Durkee, the attorney.
Encinitas in 2013 passed Proposition A, which mandates that voters must weigh in on any land-use changes in the city. Meanwhile, every city in California is required to update its housing element, a plan that shows how it will meet the growing demand for housing, every four years.