Desert Rose v. City of Encinitas
Group stands fast in fight against high-density
Owen Cobb, December 11,
of Olivenhain, a community within the City of Encinitas, east
of El Camino Real, continue their fight against a proposal from
Woodbridge Farms Estates, LLC, to raze 7.87 acres of parkland
at Desert Rose Way for a high-density apartment complex. The
fight will last well into the new year, as a recent court hearing
scheduled for last Wednesday, December 4, was vacated.
let Olivenhain become this,"
reads the Save Desert Rose website.
group spearheading the litigation, Save Desert Rose, maintains
that the proposed development will have significant negative
impacts on the environment and quality of life in the area,
potentially ruining one of the few rural communities in the
site currently consists of an equestrian facility with stables,
riding rings, as well as a natural creek running along the
northern and eastern boundaries. If the development moves
forward, construction crews will cram 17 homes onto the site,
despite current zoning laws that allow one lot for every one-half
acre a density increase of two housing units. Increasing
the density, say residents, would bring more traffic and less
street parking onto an already narrow street.
addition to traffic and parking impacts, members of the Save
Desert Rose group feel that the City of Encinitas violated
the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA")
when approving the proposal. They say that the developer should
have never been allowed to increase the density of the area.
other things, the City failed to adequately consider the environmental
impacts associated with the project, failed to prepare and
circulate required environmental analysis, and failed to consider
feasible alternatives to mitigation, reads the petition
filed in April of this year.
the approval process, residents and environmental experts
complained about the lack of public input and the failure
to adequately study the impacts to biology, water quality,
storm water, drainage, soils, geology, aesthetics, parking,
public health and safety, traffic, lighting, noise, and land
Rose faces the risk of losing its identity, declares the group's
website. A place where trails are the links between
neighbors; trails that are shared by walkers, people on horseback,
bicyclists, joggers, gentle athletes, our four-legged friends
and children walking to school.
DeLano, the attorney representing the Save Desert Rose
group, specializes in land use and environmental law. He says
residents opposed to the project are showing no signs of relenting
in their opposition; whereas, during the initial hearings,
nobody, "not one" person was there in support of
plans to file an opening brief on January 6; the December
4 hearing was postponed to March 21.