The Encinitas group appeals the Commission’s approval for the Marea Village project
ENCINITAS – Despite being branded a “model project” by urban planning commissioners, the sister development of the luxurious Alila Marea Beach Resort in Leucadia has officially suffered a local setback.
The local group Friends of Seabluffe challenges the Encinitas Planning Commission’s recent approval of developer Larry Jackel’s Marea Village mixed-use project, which consists of 94 rental apartments, 34 hotel units, four mixed-use commercial buildings and two commercial buildings, and connects to the neighboring resort.
“In terms of efficient use of this property, this is the right place for the project on a commercial and residential level,” said chairman Kevin Doyle during the June 16 meeting.
Represented by agricultural lawyer Everett DeLano, Friends of Seabluffe claims that the 110,000 square meter Marea Village development will have a negative impact on aesthetic value, land use, neighborhood character, traffic and air quality. The group hopes to appeal the project and its “deficient” final environmental impact report.
In a letter to the city on June 27, DeLano writes that the approval of Marea Village is in violation of land use requirements under the city’s local coastal program, and that the city failed to address relevant comments on the final environmental impact report.
The development is set for the Coastal Overlay Zone and must comply with Encinita’s local coastal program, DeLano wrote in its appeal to the city.
DeLano claimed that the project presented is inconsistent with the city’s general and specific plans for development in that area. An important factor is several requests for height increases, the largest of which is a 10-foot-6-inch allowance for a mixed-use, flat-roof building.
The proposed height of the development far exceeds the “existing social conditions and is thus not compatible with existing development in that area,” DeLano wrote.
“As demonstrated by the project plans, the bulk and scope of the project is out of character compared to surrounding structures and communities,” said DeLano.
Leucadia resident Pete Albanese, who is not in favor of the project, agrees with DeLano’s position.
Albanese has lived off nearby Europa Street for almost a decade, saying the coastal community may not be the site of the extensive development of Marea Village.
“I think the big problem here is the location they put in density,” Albanese said. “Leucadia infrastructure is not supportive. This is a beach community with old infrastructure.”
Marea Village Final Environmental Impact Report notes the potential for significant negative impacts on carbon emissions, traffic and biological resources that can be reduced through intelligent planning.
However, on behalf of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, Pasadena-based lawyer Mitchell Tsai claims that the project’s environmental impact report, which claims no significant emissions impact, is “legally inaccurate”, as the study was based on offset-reducing methods to reach its conclusion. .
Tsai said the environmental impact report must be recycled to reflect the city’s extra observation of traffic conditions in that area.
Traffic and preservation of public infrastructure is a concern among both residents and the public. Albanese said La Costa Avenue, next to the site, is “a disaster.”
“The [final environmental impact report] concludes that the impact of the projects [mileage] will be significant,” DeLano wrote in a letter to the city on June 15. “Despite the recognition of a significant VMT impact, the final EIR failed to consider possible mitigation measures that would reduce VMT impacts.”
Another cause for concern is the project’s Density Bonus designation. The entire project site is subject to the requirements of Senate Bill 330 and is eligible for certain incentives – such as mildness in height.
Although Albanese is not opposed to unitary development, he feels Marea Village is not suitable for the coastal corners of the city. In his opinion, the city can seek to worsen traffic.
“They want to make us stop,” Albanese said of the congested area near the project site in Leucadia. “They want us out of our cars, and more development will create more problems.”