Mediation Program

The City of Encinitas is pleased to announce the launch of its voluntary mediation program.

With actions on December 9, 2015 and January 13, 2016, the Encinitas City Council approved a voluntary mediation program for general dispute cases and land use/development cases for a one-year period.

Mediation is the confidential meeting between people who have a disagreement, and a trained, neutral mediator who guides a discussion of issues toward a mutually acceptable agreement. Through this process, the mediator(s) asks for both sides to communicate directly with one another and offers a rare opportunity to be creative in coming up with solutions. The final agreement is not legally binding and cannot be used in court. Mediators are not judges, but work with both parties to help determine a long term, mutually beneficial solution.

General Dispute cases relate to issues such as, but not limited to, blocked views, property line location, overhanging trees and/or root damage, fencing or other structures typically not regulated by the City. Resolution No. 2015-58 adopted by the City Council on December 9, 2015 establishes the provisions for the voluntary general dispute mediation program.

Land Use/Development Cases are where citizens and project applicants are able to mediate any remaining issues following the approval of a private development project. The mediation program would be voluntary and offer an opportunity for the parties to resolve outstanding differences prior to initiation of a formal City Council appeal process. Ordinance No. 2015-16 adopted by the Council on January 13, 2016, adds Chapter 1.10 to the Encinitas Municipal Code which includes provisions for voluntary land use development project mediation program.

The City has retained National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) to provide the mediation services for the program. All costs for general dispute cases will be paid by the City, during the initial one year period. All costs for NCRC mediation services associated with land use/development cases shall be paid by the project applicant; the applicant would enter into an agreement directly with NCRC. Additionally, for land use/development projects, if mediation is conducted, and an appeal is withdrawn or if a party ultimately prevails on appeal, the appeal fee will be refunded.

Next Steps

Staff is tracking the inquiries received in regard to the voluntary program as well as tracking the results of requests for mediation. In early 2017 staff will report back to Council with the results of the one year pilot program for mediation.

To request mediation or for more information on the City’s Voluntary Mediation Program please contact Diane S. Langager, Principal Planner, at the Planning & Building Department, 505 S. Vulcan Avenue, Encinitas, CA 92024 or via phone at 760/633-2714 or via email at dlangag@encinitasca.gov

General Dispute Mediation Request Form
Land Use/Development Mediation Request Form

Work Products

December 9, 2015 City Council Agenda Report
January 13, 2016 City Council Agenda Report
Contract for Professional Services between the City of Encinitas and NCRC