Mediation Program Launches in Encinitas
Mediation is gaining ground in popularity and a new program in Encinitas hopes to take advantage of the benefits the process offers. Through the program, residents and developers in the area will have access to professional mediation services. The Mediation Pilot Program is designed to help resolve general disputes between neighbors, as well as disputes over land use and development projects.
In disputes between neighbors, use of the mediation program will be voluntary. The services are free and completely confidential. The goal is to resolve issues related to blocked views, overhanging trees, fencing, root damage, and property line location without needing a trial. The pilot program will be used for up to six disputes during its initial 2016 pilot run.
For those wishing to resolve land use and development cases, the fee for mediation will be $275 per hour plus a $100 administrative fee, which is paid for by the project applicant. There is no maximum number of cases for land use disagreements. Land use mediations are also voluntary and will remain confidential, but if mediation creates project changes, the outcome will be shared publicly with the Encino’s Planning and Building Department.
Mediation services for both types of disputes will be provided by the National Conflict Resolution Center, which will supply a case coordinator to match applicants with professional mediators in the area.
Nearly $8000 in funding was approved by the council for the pilot program and will be used to cover the costs of the voluntary neighbor mediations, as well as the evaluation and reporting of the processes.