Unofficial results from Solana Beach’s special election Tuesday, May 7, show voters possibly defeating a measure aimed at allowing a senior-care residential development on a property bordering the east side of Interstate 5.
The count released by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters on Tuesday night show 1,577 — 51.8 percent— of ballots cast opposed the measure, while 1,468 — 48.2 percent — were in favor.
However, the fate of the ballot question labeled Measure B remains undecided because more votes are expected to land at the registrar’s office over the next couple of days that were postmarked by Tuesday.
Measure B asked voters if they wanted to alter the city’s general plan to accommodate a senior-care apartment development with a maximum of 99 beds on a 3-acre property on Genevieve Street.
The general plan, which is the city’s master land-use guide, now limits development of the site to single-family homes on minimum 1/2-acre lots.
If Measure B passes, the project proposed by RhodesMoore LLC would still require City Council approval.
RhodesMoore Principal John DeWald said through spokeswoman Lisa Margolin that he would not comment on the election results until all the votes were counted.
The development plan generated vocal opposition primarily from residents who lived near the vacant site targeted for the project.
“We certainly aren’t claiming victory but we are pleased with the unofficial results so far,” said David Roper, president of the Marine View Homeowners Association. “I think it speaks to the fact that this wasn’t right for Solana Beach at the end of the day.”
The association represents homeowners who live in a neighborhood across Marine View Drive from the Genevieve Street property.
Among the opponents’ concerns are that Measure B would open the door to a project with far greater density than the adjacent neighborhood; would put too much traffic on Marine View, much of which is narrow and winding; and would subject the development’s senior residents to noise and pollution from the freeway.
“Our position has always been that it’s a nice idea, it’s just the wrong place,” Roper said.
RhodesMoore’s plan envisions a 77,000-square-foot structure offering 87 apartments with room for 93 beds, plus a fitness center, library, dining room, bar, gardens and other features.
The proponents contend the facility would fill a need for senior-care residences in the area.
RhodesMoore has been working for about eight years on the concept of installing an assisted living and memory care facility on the site.
At the suggestion of city officials,, the company decided to create a specific plan, which details what would be built and where, and to seek voter approval of the general plan change, based on a proposition passed by residents in November 2000.
The proposition requires that changes to the general plan allowing for more intensive uses must be put to a public vote.
Tuesday’s election, which was conducted by mail-ballot and paid for by the developer, was the first one held under the proposition since its passage nearly 20 years ago.
The inactivity probably stems from the fact that the city of about 14,000 inhabitants is almost entirely built out.
The ballots tallied by the registrar through Tuesday came from a little more than 33 percent of the city’s 9,120 registered voters.
Ballots not received by Tuesday but postmarked by that date will be accepted through Friday, Paes said.
There are some additional outstanding ballots on which the registrar’s office is seeking clarification because signatures on the submissions were lacking or did not match those on file with the registrar, she said.
The office has until June 6 to certify the final results as official, but Paes expects the certification to happen sooner because of the election’s small size.
The Solana Beach City Council is scheduled to ratify the results June 12.