Wednesday, July 6, 2022

VOSD Has a Habit of Getting Encinitas Housing Wrong

On March 30, 2022, VOSD North County Reporter Tigist Layne wrote, “Encinitas has consistently gone to great lengths to avoid making it possible to build more homes there, arguing it would change the city’s character, and once again, the state is taking notice.”

On April 27, Layne wrote, “Encinitas has reached a settlement with the developer of the Encinitas Boulevard Apartments, a housing project that the city rejected last year. Encinitas has a history of denying housing projects . . .”

That same day, I posted to Layne and asked her to provide proof of the city’s history of denying housing projects. She didn’t reply.

On May 16, I sent a public records request to the city. My question was, “Has the Encinitas City Council ever denied a housing project other than the Encinitas Blvd. Apartments project, the adjusted version of which it later approved to settle a lawsuit by the developer?”

Development Services Director Roy Sapa’u replied, “The answer would be no.”

Encinitas became an incorporated city in 1986. In the 36 years since, it has never denied a housing project.

VOSD’s extremely biased and often inaccurate reporting on Encinitas housing began with an article by Maya Srikrishnan on March 9, 2016. VOSD has been on a roll since.

On February 14, 2019, Lisa Halverstat, then a VOSD staff writer, now the senior investigative reporter, was one of a “panel of experts” who spoke at a Building Industry Association (BIA)-hosted breakfast meeting at the La Jolla Marriott hotel. The introduction was, “Today, the NIMBYs have a very loud voice and are halting projects around the county. Learn from a panel of experts to see what builders/developers are doing to get projects approved and how our industry must help.”

The speculation among Encinitas activists is that BIA funds VOSD. Consequently, VOSD violates journalism’s principle of objectivity to avoid jeopardizing the funding.
                                                                                                — Doug Fiske