I have lived in Encinitas for more than 25 years and have been a homeowner in Cardiff since 1991. I love this area, and for the most part I've appreciated the way the city has grown. Many difficult decisions have been made by the City Council, even amidst controversy, with most of them resulting in positive change. However, there has been a recent disturbing trend with the increase in alcohol-serving establishments in downtown Encinitas: Four formerly quiet restaurants that closed between 9 and 10 p.m. have turned into bars that remain open after midnight or 2 a.m. This trend has caused a formerly safe, quiet downtown neighborhood to transform into a late-night/early-morning party scene.
One of the nicest things about Encinitas has always been—aside from the ideal weather and beaches—the wholesome character of the town. I truly cherish the unique surfer/healthy/spiritual/yoga vibe here. The downhill slide seems to have started with the opening of the ninth bar in our 7-block downtown last year.
Perhaps it is the open-air ambiance or late-night hours, but there has never been such a high level of rowdy activity in the southern part of downtown Encinitas (most of the bars previously had been clustered in the northern part of town). This stretches the drinking and carousing throughout the entire district. Rumor has it that we are turning into a destination-drinking hot spot, like Pacific Beach.
No thank you! That's not why I live here.
We are looking to our elected officials on the City Council and elsewhere to take the leadership position. Many (but not all) are concerned, so what are the results? Having meetings to discuss the issues is a feel-good measure and sending more police to the area can help after a crime has been committed—but will this alone lead to a real reduction in crime? Are the bars over-serving alcohol, or are there simply too many bars?
In the best-case scenario, our local government officials would assume responsibility to protect the citizens of Encinitas and our properties, to return our town to the serene, safe environment that we are used to.
It is important for citizens to vote in the city council election on November 6 for those candidates who will act in favor of the residents’ needs rather than those who think there is no problem or who are supporting the businesses contributing to the problem. Please, City Council members, candidates and citizens, don't let this downward spiral continue! Let’s proactively respond to our community’s issues before this goes any farther.
Thank you for your attention,
Concerned citizen in Cardiff-by-the-Sea
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