Encinitas exploring 'retail-only' regulations
By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer
ENCINITAS -- Determined to retain the viability of its downtown business district, Encinitas is exploring a "retail-only" restriction for the ground floors of buildings on South Coast Highway 101.
In a report to the Encinitas City Council Thursday, Planning Director Patrick Murphy recommends amending planning documents to specify the kinds of businesses that would be allowed along 101.
The council will consider the report when it meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 505 S. Vulcan Ave.
Attached to the report is an analysis prepared by the Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association. The analysis lists reasons why seven other California cities have enacted similar restrictions.
Maintaining a pedestrian-friendly environment and reserving space for businesses that serve residents and visitors are among the reasons the cities of Alameda, Arcadia, Atascadero, Coronado, Redwood, San Luis Obispo and San Mateo cited when regulating commercial space in their business districts.
"The concept is something I can support," Councilwoman Teresa Barth said Thursday.
Closer to Encinitas, the city of Del Mar recently adopted an emergency ordinance to encourage more retail and fewer offices in its small business district. Real estate, financial and legal offices occupy much of the valuable space.
"They lock the door at 5 p.m. and inadvertently take the life out of downtown," Barth said.
"The whole success of downtown is vibrancy," she continued. "That vibrancy is in the evening and the weekends."