Solana Beach voters barely defeat measure to allow senior housing complex


A measure asking Solana Beach voters if they would allow zoning changed on a vacant property to accommodate a senior-care residential development lost by 102 votes, according to final official results released by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.

The registrar’s office counted 1,727 ballots — 51.5 percent — in opposition to the proposition labeled Measure B, while 1,625 ballots — 48.5 percent — were in favor.

The total 3,356 ballots cast in the May 7 vote-by-mail election, including four unmarked ballots, represented 36.8 percent of the city’s 9,120 registered voters.

The final results echo the preliminary figures released at the close of Election Day showing Measure B failing 1,577 to 1,468 — 51.8 percent to 48.2 percent. At that point, registrar’s officials said there were more mail-in ballots that remained to be counted and some other ballots that needed to be examined, a routine occurrence in elections.

“At the end of the day, we’re just happy with the results,” said David Roper, one of the opposition leaders. “If it weren’t for a few individuals (actively opposing the measure), this probably would have sailed through.”

Measure B asked voters if they wanted to change the general plan to accommodate a senior-care apartment development with a maximum of 99 beds on a 2.9-acre property on Genevieve Street.

The property is bordered to the west by Interstate 5 and on the east and south by a residential neighborhood. The land is zoned to allow single family homes on minimum 1/2-acre lots.

The development firm RhodesMoore wanted to build 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 contended the facility would fill a need for senior-care housing in the area, a point the opponents disputed.

Opponents also contended the project was too big and would create traffic and safety issues, among other concerns.

To obtain the general plan change needed for the project, the company decided to create a specific plan, which detailed what would be built on the property.

Then, RhodesMiller sought voter approval, based on a proposition passed by residents in November 2000, that requires major general-plan amendments resulting in increased intensity of uses be put to a vote of the electorate.The developer’s specific plan would still have to receive the City Council’s blessing before the project could be built.

The May 7 election was the first one held under Proposition T since its passage nearly 20 years ago.

Now that the registrar has declared the results official, the final step is for the City Council to certify them, since it is a city election. The council is scheduled to act on June 12.