Voice Concerns about Goodson Wildfire Risks to Encinitas City Council on June 8

By Laurel Lemarié

June 7, 2022

On June 8, the Encinitas City Council will hold a virtual meeting to vote on the latest Goodson project proposal, a 250-unit apartment complex near the busy intersection of Rancho Santa Fe Road and Encinitas Boulevard.  While the City is expected to approve the project based on its affordable housing component, critics emphasize the project’s continuing public safety risks.   California is suffering record-breaking wildfires, burning our homes, polluting our air, and tragically taking human lives.  Several studies found that Goodson project may threaten residents’ safe wildfire evacuation.  It would be better to concentrate housing growth in communities with low or moderate wildfire risk, rather than install high-density developments bordering Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones.

Please voice your concerns about the Goodson Project either in the public comment period at the beginning of the June 8th meeting or send an email to the City Council, including agenda item number before 3:00 pm June 8th.   The Agenda describes how to comment at:  https://encinitas.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=7&event_id=3531

The Goodson Project is Action Item 10C.

While important to provide affordable housing, California must also protect communities from rapidly increasing wildfires.  The Olivenhain-Encinitas Fire Evacuation Analysis Report (Charles Weber report, 2021) found that Santa Ana-driven wildfires in the area may reach the intersection of RSF Road and Encinitas Boulevard in as little as one hour after ignition—long before residents from Olivenhain, RSF and neighboring communities may safely evacuate.

Charles Weber concluded that when flames overrun RSF Road and areas of Olivenhain, “there is a strong possibility that a large number of residents will receive severe injuries, up to and including death, from fire entrapments on evacuation routes impacted by the Project Site’s increased vehicle load on egress roadways identified as having major existing constraints and limited traffic capacities.”  This conclusion was reached without accounting for hundreds of RSF residents and horse trailers that would also attempt to use Encinitas evacuation routes, as well as the challenges of evacuating 3 area schools and a memory care facility.

As an RSF Association director and San Dieguito Planning Group member, I testified against the Goodson Project before both the Encinitas Planning Commission and Encinitas City Council. Our Association and SDPG opposed the Goodson Project.  I also joined 110+ Concerned Citizens of RSF in calling for our County Board of Supervisors to study the adverse public safety impacts of the Goodson project on RSF residents and neighboring community members who may face a future wildfire evacuation.

I am running for re-election to the RSFA Board because I want to protect RSF from rural rezoning and high-density development that threaten our community’s character, fire evacuation safety and property values.  I would be honored to receive your vote and want to hear your concerns.  But regardless for whom you vote, it is critical that future RSF Association Directors become highly proactive in monitoring and mitigating our future wildfire risk.  Taking preventive action, including conducting RSF traffic and wildfire evacuation studies, approving fire-resistant building materials and undergrounding our power lines can help to save our homes, lives and community.

Laurel Lemarié
45-year RSF Resident
Director, Rancho Santa Fe Association

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