I read with great interest your recent coverage about the Marea Village Leucadia project appeal of the Encinitas Planning Commission’s recent approval of the project.
Thank you to The Coast News team for providing cutting edge reporting and timely and important local news over the years.
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At 6 p.m. on Aug. 10, the Encinitas City Council will consider a community appeal of the super-mammoth Marea Village project on Coast Highway 101 in Leucadia.
The project boasts a 30-room hotel, 92 apartments, parking for more than 250 cars and retail and commercial space next to the new Alila Marea Beach Resort.
In my view, ALL of the members on the City Council should recuse themselves from the vote, and leave the appeal instead to the California Coastal Commission.
After all, the city has surrendered “local control” of zoning and development to Sacramento politicians and “state housing law.”
Let the Coastal Commission decide if this project checks all the boxes for the environmental impact report, CEQA and safe public access to the beach.
The recusal by our local elected officials seems necessary not only because Mayor Catherine Blakespear received campaign contributions from the project’s developer, Larry Jackel, but Councilmember Kelli Hinze also received campaign contributions from Jackel and his wife in the 2020 election.
Additionally, perhaps it’s cozy relations with the Marea Village developer that has prompted the mayor and council to hold the annual State of the City event for the second straight year at Alila Marea Beach Resort in September.