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News & Publications >> Press & Media >> State Law Prevails Over Slow-Growth Vote in Encinitas

State Law Prevails Over Slow-Growth Vote in Encinitas

Timothy M. Hutter in California Planning & Development Report

California Planning & Development Report (December 24, 2018) For the second time in two years, the Superior Court overruled the will of Encinitas voters and has ordered the city to adopt a housing element that conforms to state housing laws and Regional Housing Needs Assessment numbers – and this time the city’s residents might not get to vote on it, as their own ordinances require. Twice in the past two years, the City Council presented new housing elements designed to bring the city into compliance with state housing laws. In 2016, voters rejected Measure T. The Building Industry Association sued the city, and Judge Ronald Frazier ordered the city to come up with an alternative to Measure T. After many months of drafting by the Encinitas Development Services Department, Measure U failed in November, winning only 47% of the vote. “The city was failing to meet its RHNA obligations, failing to plan for affordable housing in the city, and was well out of compliance with state housing element law,” said Timothy Hutter, a partner at Allen Matkins, which represented the BIA. The ruling “acknowledges that the city was and is out of compliance (and says) the voters of the city of Encinitas cannot be permitted to vote themselves out of compliance,” said Hutter.