Sunday, August 14, 2005

Affordable Housing, Jumbo Shrimp & Army Intelligence

NCT story by Adam Kaye

Can I go one week without reading about David "Freak Boy" Meyer in my paper?


  1. The reason Meyer is in so much news is that through being a real estate broker, and through his wife, an Ecke, a developer, he is highly involved in the main business of this community: speculation, construction, public relations, always attempting to put a positive spin on the relentless upsizing of our formerly "sleepy" community.

    We know it's a financial jungle here, now. Conform or move to Montana, Idaho, Mexico, if you're luck, Hawaii. For those of us who are determined to stay, to take a stand, good luck!!

    Affordable housing is a real dilemma in this community and many others. Only a few good people chose to, or can rent out their places at affordable rates. Those few do exist. However, we do not want to be forced to have a covenant on our deed. If we wanted CC&R's, we would have moved into an area with an Homeowner's Association.

    The City should be checking the revenue and taxation codes. Certain details about properties are private, and protected by State Law. They are not to leave the County Recorder's office, except in the case of an assessment appeal. They may be public information, but those homes that have homeowner's exemptions, in particular, have an added degree of privacy. The records are to only be made avialable on a Judge's order, such as in a case of domestic dissolution, fraud, etc.

    Sounds like a pretty good deal that Barratt is being required to provide some low income rentals. Anyone who holds property for 30 years would expect to profit from their investment portfolio, Maggie. Get real.

    What happens now is that people who win a lottery and are able to buy affordable housing, can turn it over, for a big profit, after only a couple of years, according to a friend of ours who won just such a lottery. So the affordable housing is gone, for rental or purchase.

    Maggie Houlihan is better than others sitting as Council members. But she needs to stand up more for her convictions, not nit pick at the details, while letting the others push her around. We did see her vote one time in dissent. She thought the appeal fees should be raised for appeallants, lowered for applicant appeallants, to $200 instead of $250. Many people had asked for the appeal fees to remain as they were, $100 for appeallants, $950 for applicant appeallants, those permit applicants (builders) who had been denied the go ahead by the Planning Commission, after open hearings.

    This City Council has seemed to do everything it can to make life harder, not easier for the little guy. They changed a past decision and banned temporary rentals, although this issue had been previously debated. It had been decided that vacation rentals helped many retired folks to supplement their income. By making one all incompassing ban, a source of retirement income is cut off. Yet outside owners, frequent parties, etc. are not eliminated, because the big buck vacation rentals are grandfathered in.

    Give us a break!

  2. Barratt isn't required to provide low income rentals. A density bonus gives the developer more houses on a lot than is normally allowed. Using the density bonus, Meyer demanded to subdivide a small 2.04 net acres R-3 zoned parcel into 9 lots ranging in size from 5,206 to 12,154 square feet, which is substandard and nonconforming for that zone. The minimum size for the R-3 zone is 14,500 square feet. The affordable housing lot, the 5,206 square feet parcel also doesn't meet the city depth and width requirements.
    Barratt took over the development of the subdivision and is advertising the "Nantucket" houses for an estimated price from the $1,000,000s to the low $2,000,000s.

    Barratt and Meyer received other city gimmes.

  3. How low can one go?August 14, 2005 10:07 PM

    Correct. Barratt is only now required to provide low income, because of the State provided density bonus.

    Some of the lots closer to the beach are only 40 X 97 ft. Many used to own double lots, or a lot and 1/2. Few do any longer. In fill developers around here have gotten away with murder, for years, with the blessings of friends on Council. Lots over 5,000 sq. ft. would be highly desired, for a bit of open space in this concrete, stucco and wire jungle.

    Thank God for victory gardens, not the Eckes, who are enablers, facilitators of Barratt, and their ilk. Posers. Constructing lies and fabricating fantasies.

    Low income, by the way, is broken down to low-low, medium-low, and high-low. Same as middle age, maybe. HA! Question, why the huge frown on Ecke III's face in the Coast New? That ungenerous, angry glare may help our cause of holding the Eckes to their word, more than all the other efforts combined. Is a picture worth a thousand blogs?

    Similarly, R was amazed when he saw Christy Guerin's angry antics, evil glares at Council meeting where she wanted to give Eckes a total nod to developing all 200 homes. Guerin seems so biased in favor of big developers, big bucks, we wonder how, rather than if she has been "paid off." Could it be only campaign contributions, power, social status? What are the sharks in our tiny pond really seeking?

    Council, what is the sound of one hand patting oneself on the back?

  4. No developer, including Barratt is required by the state or city to provide low income or affordable housing. The developer is the one who initiates the request for the density bonus with the affordable housing, not the city. Barratt/Meyer could have build the 5 allowed houses on the parcel, but choice instead to max out with the density bonus the 2 acres with 9 houses, one being the low income housing. That's an extra 3 houses at maybe 2 million each. There was no trade off for the developer with the extra millions, but the city received non-conforming lots.

  5. That's over max on the number of houses.
    According to the city, in accordance with State Government Code Section 65915, the applicant shall demonstrate that the incentive (reduction in development standards-(substandard lots, etc.)) is necessary to make the housing unit economically feasible. How much does it cost to build a 1500 square feet house? Four to six million extra dollars from the extra houses squeezed onto the small lots minus a half million for the affordable rental housing. Is a big profit the definition of economically feasible?

  6. Remember, the Government Codes are written by lawyers, for lawyers. Such big loopholes for developers and their lawyers to squeeze, slither through!

    What Council cannot seem to comprehend, is that a large percentage of the voters, the general public do support slow growth, and are grateful for the Coastal Commission, and laws that attempt to protect and promote genuine public welfare, quality of life.

  7. Or is it hear, hear!

    Yes, it is ridiculous that City cannot live up to state and federally mandated requirements for affordable housing, yet does not require developers to mitigate their new construction with paying into a fund, or providing actual low income units. Oceanside does, with some excellent results.

    Do you know who is required to make up for the city's lack of foresight? The little guy, small homeowners trying to eek by, in older neighborhoods. The City of Encinitas is too often a bully, coercing when it can, rolling over, in submission, when it needs to, fawning to the big guns.

    We should elect our City Attorney! We need someone on our side!

  8. "the general public do support slow growth"

    Yes! But that is irrelevant when the public does not demand a council that also has the same position. Dalager, Stocks, Bond, and Christy do not subscribe to this position. (maybe it is because they don't have to commute to work).


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