Thursday, October 05, 2006
Dying the death of a thousand cuts
The City of Encinitas is currently dying the death of a thousand cuts. This ancient oriental torture method inflicted small non-fatal injury until the tortured person slowly died of the cumulative effect.
This is precisely what is happening to the traffic/development in Encinitas. The smaller developments now proposed do a traffic study that shows the traffic impact to be below 2% of the existing traffic count, exempting them from mitigation other than traffic mitigation fees. They use “background” traffic increase figures at 1% or 2% when actual counts can be multiples of that [thanks San Marcos
and Carlsbad!] or they figure other proposed projects and simply leave out any “background” estimates at all. City street designations are ignored or changed to some other standard. The City has the right to deny development when traffic conditions reach a certain point. This has never been done to my knowledge.
We can't control the development outside our City and it goes on unhindered, but we can legally control the development within the City. Why not have any up zoning of property be on an emergency basis with a 4-1 vote of the City Council and the Planning Commission? Why not speed up the building permit process for those willing to down zone their property? What about lowering the available building permits on a graduated, year to year basis?
When all the streets in Encinitas have speed bumps, roundabouts, and traffic calming devices or will be clamoring for them, will you do something then? How much is enough Encinitas?