Pacific View follow-up with Encinitas council slated for April 8

North Coast Current

The Encinitas City Council is slated to hear the results of a community forum on the future of the former Pacific View School property on April 8, according to Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer.

The March 3 meeting’s primary objective was to discuss the selection of an operating partner for the site, which will likely house an arts complex. Encinitas arts organizations have expressed interest in proposing operation plans.

“I appreciated strong interest from the community, useful feedback, and I’m excited at the possibilities,” Shaffer said in a statement to the North Coast Current. “We are working on our report to the full Council for April 8, with our proposed plan for selecting an Operating Partner.”

Shaffer and Councilman Tony Kranz are leading a city subcommittee to determine the future of the property, which the city purchased from the Encinitas Union School District last year.

Scott Chatfield, who spearheaded a grassroots effort calling for the city’s purchase of the long-closed school, sounded an optimistic tone after the forum.

“A largely thoughtful and on-topic audience of 40 or so made a few suggestions and comments, mostly about adding additional criteria (art focus, structural improvement investment, etc.) to qualifications for the ‘operating partner’ application,” Chatfield said in a statement to the North Coast Current.

The meeting also covered issues such as permits for museum space and special events, and touched on the need for parking. In a presentation slideshow, the city subcommittee noted a proposal for 40 parking spaces, which it said would be more than enough necessary for museum use, in addition to accessory uses such as a cafe or shop.

The subcommittee, in its presentation documents, defined the role of the property’s operating partner — to design, construct, schedule and manage the space, which includes the buildings and grounds. The qualifications of the operating partner were also covered:

  • The organization’s financial viability
  • Its technical competence
  • Its involvement in Encinitas
  • Consistency in relevant zoning
  • Initial cost to the city
  • Its ability to serve a diversity of users and types of uses
  • Design and innovation
  • Sustainability
  • Revenue-earning potential

The subcommittee also noted that no city funds have been set aside for Pacific View, nor is there a guarantee that Pacific View as a project will be a top City Council priority. There is $500,000 in unallocated General Fund money, but it has not been earmarked for use. Pacific View’s activation will also compete with other projects for City Council support, according to the presentation documents.

A walkthrough of the property, located at 608 Third Street in downtown Encinitas, is scheduled for prospective operating partners on March 12 from 10 a.m. to noon.