ENCINITAS, Calif. — The city of Encinitas is taking steps to pursue a range of diverse and affordable housing options for the community.

City leaders, like many throughout California, are having this conversation after two new state housing bills went into effect July 1.

“Please bring back great ideas from either ordinances that have been developed in other jurisdictions or maybe ideas we get from either developers are members of our community,” Encinitas Mayor Tony Kranz said.

After the state laws passed, cities were able to amend its own zoning regulations to provide clarity and guidance for how these laws can be implemented on a local level.

Both Assembly Bill 2011, the Affordable Housing and High Road Jobs Act of 2022 and Senate Bill 6, the Middle Class Housing Act of 2022, are intended to permit residential development on sites currently zoned and designated for commercial or retail uses.

“To me it’s important in how we conceive of our city 100 years from now that we are still building in these walkable elements,” Councilmember Kellie Hinze said.

“If there’s a way we can incentivize preserving mature trees in place on these developments,” Deputy Mayor Joy Lyndes said.

The goal is to provide clarity by eventually amending Encinitas zoning regulations because under these laws local jurisdictions are allowed to include additional standards for building like ground floor retail and electric vehicle parking.

Residents across San Diego County have voiced a variety of concerns about how these laws would be implemented and have asked their local councilmembers to preserve certain characteristics in their cities.

The next step now for Encinitas involves city staff working on amendments to city zoning regulations, but not without public outreach and collaboration with the planning commission.

No dates have been set for that just yet.