For sale or lease: one used fire station. The City of Encinitas is looking for another use for the old Cardiff by the Sea fire station.
Built in 1960, the 1600-square-foot, two-truck station was the second fire station built in the Encinitas Fire Dept. The station has sat vacant since being replaced in 2012 by a larger facility just around the corner.
In March, the city formally started seeking proposals. Unfortunately for area housing developers, the zoning on the ocean-view property is restricted to public/semi-public use. A request for a zoning change would require a vote of the city’s electorate.
So far, city senior management analyst Bob McSeveney said he hadn’t received any proposals on the property on the corner of MacKinnon Avenue and Birmingham Drive. Current zoning allows for 54 specific public uses. However, due to limited parking on the property, there are only a few that might be acceptable.
One such use may come from AirCare, a San Diego–based air and interstate transport ambulance company. Greg Trippe, a registered nurse and co-owner of AirCare, was inspecting the property on April 3. As he walked around the interior, he said the building was very solid. He didn’t see much major changes that needed to be made, other than fixing up the outside. “This is the gateway to Cardiff,” Trippe said. “It’s a classic-looking building. We can make it beautiful.”
He did point out that his company would not be using sirens when dispatching their units. AirCare is not that type of ambulance service. “The neighbors have suffered enough over the years,” he added.
Others in the community have said that the city should look onto remodeling the space for offices for nonprofit community groups such as the town council, botanical society, San Elijo Lagoon Foundation, or historical society.
Interested companies have until April 30 to submit proposals to the city.