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City Report: Rail Trail, marathon permit top October topics in Encinitas

Encinitas City Hall. (North Coast Current photo)

City Report is a new monthly addition to the North Coast Current and OsideNews.

During the October meetings of the Encinitas City Council, several important matters were on the agenda. Mayor Tony Kranz told the North Coast Current that the three most significant topics addressed during the month were the extension of the Coastal Rail Trail, the discussion regarding Legislative Policy and Priorities, and the deliberation on approval of the second-year permit for the Moonlight Beach Half Marathon.

Budget now includes Coastal Rail Trail construction

According to Kranz, the most critical subject addressed occurred at SANDAG, when he was successful in getting a change to the amended budget to include construction of the Coastal Rail Trail Segment Two, Phase Two.

The existing Coastal Rail Trail begins at Santa Fe Drive and extends south of Chesterfield Drive. The project would expand the trail north, connecting from Sante Fe Drive to E Street.

City Report: Encinitas“It’s a shovel-ready project, so I was very pleased that the board agreed that moving the money from the construction over at the beach access point at the bluffs in Del Mar to this project was a better use of the money for now,” Kranz said. “It will make a big difference in our biking and walking infrastructure.”

The decision is related to the conversation about bicycle safety, the most critical issue addressed in September. The Coastal Rail Trail takes riders and pedestrians off of the streets.

It will eventually extend from Oceanside to San Diego, Kranz confirmed.

Legislative Policy and Priorities discussed

“The other things that we did this month were not all that glamorous,” Kranz said.

The second most significant matter of October was the continuation of a discussion about the city’s Legislative Policy and Priorities, according to Kranz. The purpose of the conversation was to review and discuss the Legislative Program and provide direction to city staff members for changes to the current policy and priorities.

The discussion took place on Oct. 11 and lasted for over an hour.

The city’s Legislative Program is structured to enable the city to take a stance, either in support or opposition, on bills originating from the state or federal government in accordance with the city’s strategic plan and legislative priorities established by the City Council.

“This is an item that has been discussed a bit because we ordered some bills that not everyone agreed on, so there was a desire to take a look at our legislative program and possibly make some changes,” Kranz noted.

Eight individuals from the public expressed their views on this subject during the meeting. A shared concern voiced by these speakers was the problem of having an excessive number of priorities.

“There are 100-plus priorities. That’s too many,” Scott Campbell, a resident of Encinitas, said. “If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.”

Following the public’s speeches, the council addressed some of the issues raised and expressed their appreciation to those who had spoken.

“Thank you to the people who came out to talk. I appreciate your sentiments. It’s always very helpful in the public process,” Encinitas Deputy Mayor Joy Lyndes said.

The council plans to revisit the conversation in November, discussing the proposed changes.

Permit for Moonlight Beach Half Marathon

At the Oct. 25 meeting, staff presented an application for the denial of the 2024 Moonlight Beach Half Marathon Major Special Event, and the council deliberated whether to grant approval. Kranz said this was the third most important topic discussed in October.

The 2023 Moonlight Beach Half Marathon encountered some hiccups, so staff recommended that the council deny approval for the second year of the event. Reasons for the recommended denial included the late submission of supporting documents and inconsistencies between the information posted on the event website and the approval permit.

The event organizer, Steve Lebherz, addressed the council during the meeting, countering claims made by staff and outlining his strategies to improve the safety and administrative aspects of the 2024 event for a more successful outcome.

“To this date, we have put on 23 events in the city of Encinitas and we have never had one insurance claim and there has never been one injury at any of our events,” Lebherz said.

“We decided to give him one more chance, so that’s coming in the first part of 2024,” Kranz confirmed.

For additional information on these topics and others, visit the city’s website.

Alysse Dodge is a local freelance writer.