Encinitas residents fight to save historic land

ENCINITAS - A group of Encinitas residents plan to fight a historic piece of property from going on the auction block.

The residents will attend Tuesday's Encinitas Union School District board meeting to fight the possible sale of the former Pacific View Elementary School.

The school district and the city have been battling over what to do with the property for nearly 10 years. It's been vacant since the school closed in 2003.

Scott Chatfield, who started the group Save Pacific View, said it's a "death sentence" to sell the property.

 "We're talking about a large, amazing piece of cherished property," he said.

Chatfield and roughly 500 others who have emailed the district want the land to remain public. They don't want the highest bidder building apartments or businesses.

But Superintendent Dr. Tim Baird said the property no longer works as an educational resource.

"The real issue is that it's a very valuable piece of land. It really doesn't provide any educational value for us right now, " he said. "We believe it was a donation that was given to the children of Encinitas, which means the school district - which means that the best use of this - would be to give us money to support the children of Encinitas."

Bidding for the ocean view lot will start at $9.5 million, and the proceeds will go directly to the school district's general fund.

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