City responds to housing element dispute by filing amended court complaint

ENCINITAS, CA - In an effort to bring clarity to an ongoing dispute over whether or not Encinitas residents have a right to vote on up-zoning in their community, the City of Encinitas filed an amended complaint in San Diego Superior Court Friday afternoon. 

The action concerns a part of the City's housing element called "Program 3C," which was required by the state to be included in the plan. Housing elements provide an analysis of a community's housing needs for all income levels and strategies to respond to providing for those housing needs.  

Program 3C says the City must ask the courts whether the required up-zoning can be subject to the vote of the people - which is in line with Encinitas' voter-approved Proposition A - or whether the vote requirement is preempted by state law with respect to required housing element updates. 

The state argues that no up-zoning actions, whether or not related to a housing element, should be subject to the vote of the people. 

Therefore, the City is naming the California Department of Housing and Community Development in the declaratory relief action to get judicial guidance in this matter. 

The City's action today honors its residents' constitutional right to referendum while balancing compliance with state law.