Encinitas is breaking a state law that says all cities need to plan for how they’ll provide sufficient low-income housing.
It’s the only city in the county that has yet to complete a required plan that would allow for the construction of subsidized housing in the city, according to California’s Department of Housing and Community Development.
The state requires all cities to make way for housing options affordable to low-income residents in their regularly updated growth plans.
Thanks to a proposition passed in 2013, all Encinitas land-use decisions must be approved by voters. Encinitas officials hope they can put together a housing plan that would satisfy state law and go before voters for approval in November 2016.
In the meantime, the city can’t apply for grant funding from the regional planning agency SANDAG, and more importantly, is on precarious legal grounds and vulnerable to lawsuits from developers and affordable housing advocates until its housing plan is approved.
Pleasanton, a Bay Area city of 77,000, settled just such a lawsuit in 2011 after spending $3.9 million fighting its inadequate housing plan, based in part on a previous decision to cap new units.