North County Report: Carlsbad Councilwoman Wants the City to Open Its Own Safe Parking Lot - Voice of San Diego

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North County Report: Carlsbad Councilwoman Wants the City to Open Its Own Safe Parking Lot

Carlsbad Councilwoman Cori Schumacher said the 25 spots in a parking lot for homeless residents that recently opened in Encinitas is not enough capacity to serve all people living in their cars in North County.

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A Carlsbad city councilwoman hopes her city will host North County’s second safe parking lot for homeless individuals and families who live in their cars.

Carlsbad Councilwoman Cori Schumacher told Voice of San Diego that after volunteering for the point-in-time count in January and talking to Carlsbad residents who live in their cars, she realized the 25 spots in a parking lot for homeless residents that recently opened in Encinitas is not enough capacity to serve all people living in their cars in North County.

Schumacher currently occupies an at-large seat on the City Council but is running for the District 1 seat. She said she’s using her campaign platform to elevate the need to help the homeless in Carlsbad.

Schumacher said she’s in talks with nonprofit Dreams for Change, which hosts two other safe parking programs in San Diego County, about working together on establishing the program.

Kelly Spoon, a spokeswoman for Dreams for Change, wrote in an email to VOSD that nothing is confirmed yet. Schumacher has suggested the lot could be located on the city-owned Farmer’s Building off of Faraday.

Schumacher wrote in a VOSD op-ed Wednesday she also thinks it’s time for Carlsbad to declare a shelter emergency to better serve homeless individuals and families in the city.

“By declaring a shelter emergency, Carlsbad will be able to rapidly move forward with two important items: increasing the number of shelter beds and implementing a safe parking program,” Schumacher wrote.

I asked Schumacher whether she’s worried about encountering tension from her proposal, following the intense opposition that erupted to the lot in Encinitas. She said there’s adverse reaction from politicians in North County, but not from the community.

“I’m the only one doing it now and I’m pushing the entire Council in this direction. I align with folks in the community saying, ‘We need to do something now to try to put political pressure on folks,’ Schumacher said. “I’m basically trying to pull North County to the table to do our part. Encinitas did it, but that doesn’t mean we’re done in North County.”

  • The Union-Tribune checked in on Encinitas’ new safe parking lot after it opened and found it’s running less than half full, but organizers say it’s expected to be at full capacity soon. The paper also found that many of the people using the lot are employed. (Union-Tribune)

Encinitas and the State Are Still at Odds Over Housing Law

Last week, the state Department of Housing and Community Development wrote a letter to the Encinitas city manager informing city officials that Encinitas is out of compliance with the state law requiring it to have a plan for how it will accommodate future growth, called a housing element.

That was a surprise, considering the city believed it was finally, after years of violating the law, in compliance.

The letter also lays out a number of other issues with how Encinitas approaches housing, including that it “evades its obligation to facilitate the production of the additional hundreds of affordable units the city needs.”

State regulators warned city officials that its existing “policies perpetuate segregation on persons in protected classes.”

Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear wrote in a newsletter over the weekend she believes the city is fully compliant and that the Council will be meeting with the state this week to discuss the issues they have.

Read These Before the Election

Measure A on the March  ballot would require San Diego voters countywide to approve general plan amendments that increase residential density in semi-rural and rural areas by six or more units. Stakeholders on both sides of the measure seem to agree on one fundamental fact: that San Diego is in the midst of a housing crisis. But they differ on whether SOS would make the problem better or worse. Measure B would allow for the creation of Newland Sierra, a community that developers say will create 2,135 homes, a school site, retail and parks north of Escondido in the Merriam Mountains. I broke down what you need to know about those contentious housing measures back in December.

Scott Lewis and Jesse Marx sat down with the two Democrat candidates vying to take on Supervisor Kristin Gaspar in the County Board of Supervisors District 3 race in a recent podcast. District 3 encompasses the cities of Encinitas, Escondido, Solana Beach and Del Mar.

Marx reports that on the major issues — housing, transit and homelessness — there’s plenty of overlap between both candidates, but they emphasized different things in our interviews.

Both candidates support Measure A and acknowledged the need to cut down commutes and build more housing in urban areas, but Escondido Councilwoman Diaz called for higher design standards and the need to be conscious of historic preservation and Terra Remer-Lawson, an activist-turned-academic with ties to the Obama Treasury Department, leaned harder into environmentalism and the economy, Marx reports.

Gaspar declined our invitation to record a podcast interview, but we talked to her last year about border issues, the future of Republicans in San Diego and North County’s tension with the San Diego Association of Governments.

And if you’re voting in the Poway Unified School District, Ashly McGlone broke down the district’s new school bond proposal, and fact-checked district officials’ claim that Poway Unified gets far less money from the state per student than San Diego Unified.

In Other News

  • The San Diego Union Tribune editorial board endorsed a no vote on Measure A and a yes vote on Measure B.
  • Nearly every San Diego County school district is spending more than they have or they will be. Vista Unified, along with Dehesa Elementary and San Ysidro Elementary, may not meet their financial obligations this year or in the next two years. (Union-Tribune)
  • Oceanside parents called on the Oceanside Unified School District to
  • Two executives  — the dean of extended learning and senior director of philanthropy — — at Cal State San Marcos abruptly left the university  before the release of an audit examining how and how officials at the school used state funds for lavish spending on first class flights and five-star hotels. The audit found the dean of extended learning used university funds for personal use. (Union-Tribune, NBC 7)
  • Federal funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was OK’d last week to secure coastal bluffs at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas and Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach. (Union-Tribune)
  • The Coast News profiled Julie Thunder, the Cardiff resident who’s running for Encinitas mayor in November. Thunder told a reporter that as mayor, she’d like to find a new path to the housing requirements that are being “shoved down our throats” by the state. (Coast News)
  • The North County coastal area mayors appointed Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear to a three-year term on the Airport Authority Board to represent North County coastal cities. (Coast News)
  • The board that oversees the Del Mar Fairgrounds approved the return of the Crossroads West Gun Show in March. Firearms safety activists are raising concerns about “ghost gun” sales. (Union-Tribune)
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