Why is Encinitas one of the most beloved cities by its residents and perhaps one of the most prestigious addresses in California? Arguably, we are blessed with perfect weather, an abundance of natural beauty, a high standard of living, proximity to the coast, and our five distinct communities whose character local residents cherish and fight to protect.
One significant resource that defines Encinitas is the incredible range of creative, gifted, and involved citizens who choose to call Encinitas home. Encinitas citizens are sensitive to beauty, health, nature, creativity, and a love of animals. All of these values are expressed in diverse ways through our unique populous. This awareness and daily expression of the best things in life is a part of our identity. Now that , let’s not forget that the park is a community resource, and as such, should reflect the needs and preferences of Encinitas residents.
Encinitas is highly identified with the skateboard community. This skating culture has helped to create industries, influence popular culture, and most importantly of all, has provided an engaging, healthy and creative social outlet for Encinitas youth. I am pleased that a skate park has been approved since the skateboard community deserves a dedicated place to call their own. As a highly individualistic group that is known to push the envelope, I hope they will be given some say in the final design of their park since they are the experts, and it should represent their needs.
Encinitas is a city of animal lovers. Almost 60 percent of all residents have a dog, yet not everyone has the ability to walk their dogs. Dog parks provide a solution for those who may have a disability or other impairments that prevents them from walks. Parks also provide and important meeting places for dog owners and their dogs to socialize. The dog park should remain a top priority in the Encinitas Community Park plans.
Regardless of political positions or personal interests, anybody could be harmed by exposure to hazardous materials. Nobody disagrees that soil in the Encinitas Community Park site has been contaminated. The disagreement is with the threshold of acceptable level, and how this soil should be mitigated. The city must maintain awareness of those who live in the area and those who will eventually use the park.
While we all have our own reasons to love Encinitas, we must not assume that those things that we cherish will stay the way that they are, or that approved plans will be built. There is disagreement as to whether there is enough funding to build Encinitas Community Park as it has been presented, and it is questionable if funds taken from road maintenance, open space, and drainage repair can be used for the park fund as city staff has indicated.
I invite every Encinitas resident to register to vote this election year and to make sure that you elect council members who represent your needs and interest. If you care about the character of your neighborhood, the quality of life for you and your family, and the public resources that you enjoy now or want in the future—get involved!