By Lesa Heebner, Deputy Mayor, Solana Beach
Solana Beach deserves City policies and laws that promote the best interests of the entire community, including any neighborhood that might be impacted. As a bedroom community, Solana Beach has always stood for the principle of protecting our neighborhoods. Prop B blatantly violates this principle.
We also deserve City policies that are flexible and adjustable so that as our community changes, so can the City’s policies. Prop B violates this basic principle as well. It cannot be changed except by a public vote. This means the delays and costs of an election will be necessary every time we need to change even the smallest element of Prop B’s policy. Think about it. Does an election allow for quick responses to pressing problems? This is no way to protect our residents or nearby businesses, and it’s no way to run a City.
Don’t be misled. There is already an existing policy in place that allows the Fletcher Cove Community Center (FCCC) to be used for private parties. The FCCC is used daily for meetings, classes, camps and civic events, and the City Council added private parties on the weekends with what’s come to be known as The Compromise Policy. The Compromise Policy balances the interests of those who wish to hold parties, the neighbors, nearby businesses and visitors to the beach and parks, reducing negative impacts as much as possible. While the current Compromise Policy may not be perfect, it’s flexible and can be modified to address unforeseen issues and changes that occur as our community changes. On the other hand, Prop B ties the hands of your elected representatives, preventing us from addressing problems that are certain to arise from its supersized policy for weekend parties.
Prop B sponsors wrongly claim that it will not change City laws.
If Prop B will not change any City laws, then why do we need to have a Special Election for it?
Common sense also tells you that neither the City’s or Prop B’s policies can assure the judgment or character of the persons who rent and party at the FCCC. This is why reasonable regulations need to be in place. But, Prop B wipes out reasonable regulation and replaces it with a permanent, hands-off policy. If you think some elements of the existing Compromise Policy should be changed, as I do, then the Council can evaluate and implement proposed changes. But Prop B does not allow this…without the delays and costs of an election.
Prop B is not the answer to setting a policy that meets the needs of our entire community, now or for the future. Governance is about fairness, responsiveness, and the balancing of interests. Prop B violates all of these basic principles. I am voting “No” on Prop B and I urge you to do the same.