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Changing lanes for changing times

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
February 21, 2008


The community of Leucadia is many things to many people. Some call it home, most call it laid back, and those who truly understand it's unique brand of charm call it funky. And not the moldy or musty smell kind of funky, our Leucadia is the type of funky characterized by originality and modishness; unconventional.

First settled by a "hippy" bee keeper named Nathan Eaton in 1875, of the five distinct communities that make up Encinitas, Leucadia is where is all began. Originally known as Eatonville and then Merle, it was a group of British spiritualists who gave the area it's Greek name Leucadia, recognizing it as "Place of refuge." Early residents continued the Grecian theme by naming the streets after Greek deities.

Unconventional from the get go, Leucadia is still a place that measures its quality of life by a different standard, retaining its community character against the rush to gentrify afflicting the rest of coastal California.First settled by a "hippy" bee keeper named Nathan Eaton in 1875, of the five distinct communities that make up Encinitas, Leucadia is where is all began.

This is not to say the residents of Leucadia have not adapted to 133 years of change. From settlers to surfers, farmers to flower growers this place of refuge has nurtured generations of funky. Beneath a canopy of trees alongside the Southern California railroad, and later the Pacific Coast Highway, while the rest of San Diego County rushed by on the road to nowhere Leucadia was content with just being Leucadia.

To keep up with progress and population Leucadians are once again calling for change and an upgrade of the transportation corridor that runs through their community. Hardly the NIMBY naysayers outsiders deem them, residents of Leucadia merely ask they be allowed to define and determine changes to the community that nourishes their collective sense of home.

Last week I was blessed by the chance to work with friends, neighbors and a supportive City staff to begin designing the new and improved Highway 101 street scape and roadway. Over a four day period, with the involvement of hundreds of concerned citizens, it was clear Leucadians are not going to settle for anything other than a future focused project incorporating native species and green technology along a pedestrian and bicycle friendly roadway of narrow lanes, reduced traffic speeds and increased parking.

Despite those seeking big box redevelopment of the coastal corridor, and the bland gentrification currently embraced by Carlsbad to the north. Leucadian 101 will restore the historic tree canopy not only to protect its much valued community character but to also to improve the economic standing of of merchants and property owners while maintaining the quality of life of residents and visitors lucky enough to find themselves in an unpretentious slice of classic California.

Funky and proud Leucadians will not be denied!

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