The following is an email sent to the Encinitas city council regarding the Pacific View property:
I am deeply saddened by the course of events that took place during the discussion of the Pacific View property at Wednesday night’s Encinitas City Council meeting. For the Council not to direct the staff to seek a qualified appraisal of the property and explore possible funding and/or exchange options with the Encinitas Union School District using one or more of the 126 properties currently in the City’s real estate portfolio is, I believe, contrary to the wishes of the majority of the people in Encinitas. Thank you Maggie Houlihan and Teresa Barth for trying to represent your constituents; shame on you Jerome Stocks and James Bond for you appear to care more about the developers who support you than the citizens who elected you.
The land between E and F Streets and Third and Fourth Streets was deeded to the Encinitas School District in 1883 by the town’s founder, John Pitcher, for the children of Encinitas. Now, due to declining enrollments and budgetary needs, the school district is giving the City of Encinitas the opportunity to purchase the site. Since the EUSD received this parcel of land without cost and given the historical significance of it, they should be flexible, accommodating, and negotiate in the best interests of everyone.
The City’s own Planning & Building Department in 2008 proposed a Historic Overlay Zone within the Downtown Encinitas Specific Plan area (which includes the Pacific View site) to “help preserve historic and cultural resources in the downtown area”. The City talks the talk, now it needs to walk the walk.
The 1883 schoolhouse has been saved and restored, and in the words of Ida Lou Coley in 2004, “we must also value the site’s land and join together to preserve that site, not just for today, but for future generations of children”. It is the most significant historical site within the City of Encinitas and represents over 125 years of history. The land the Pacific View Elementary and the 1883 schoolhouse sit upon should be saved from annihilation by developers and preserved to honor the City’s history. It should become a resource for the entire community, for today’s children and future generations, and for visitors as well, to see and learn about Encinitas and its origins. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. If the City of Encinitas passes on this, it will never have the chance again and everyone loses.
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