Thursday, November 16, 2006

Even More Beacon's-post planning commission thoughts

I attended a portion of tonight's planning commission meeting about the proposed Beacon's beach trail access. I arrived at 6:15 and I left right around 8:00 pm when public comments were still taking place.

Here is my 2 minute take on the whole thing:

The conceptual plan presented by the city was fairly weak and seemed to be lacking a lot of detail. Maybe this was because they are proceeding slowly and carefully due to all the public interest.

The sea wall is a no-go. Everyone hates it, nearby bluff residents, environmentalists, surfers, beachcombers, etc. The mere fact that Surfrider Foundation will sue over the sea wall makes finding an alternative all the more attractive.

We have a grant for 2.8 million bucks for this thing but the presented plan comes out to 5 million. The city has no extra money for anymore capital projects. We just borrowed 20 million and it's all spent. Let's do a Beacon's beach access for 2.8 million. Let's work with what we are given.

My architect wifey made a rare appearance tonight and soaked in the presentation. We ducked out early and went out to dinner where she sketched out a really solid plan on her placemat. Her plan should only cost around 3 million. She is going to draw up a rough draft of her idea and submit it to the city. I will post the plan on this blog. It's a good idea and doesn't have a sea wall.

For those of you who didn't make the meeting you missed 3 oddball minutes by unsuccessful city council candidate Paul "Pablo" Martens where he ranted about hurricanes in the 1800's and paleontologist in the future. FYI, he talks in that voice all the time.

For those who stayed, how did the commission end up voting? This meeting was about the EIR only. What happened? What happens next?

And dammitt, I can't believe I missed My Name is Earl and The Office. I really need Tivo. story:
Beacon's Beach report criticized at meeting

Union Tribune


  1. Sea wall Schmee wallNovember 16, 2006 10:25 PM

    You missed an excellent edition of "Earl"...

  2. DVRs are great technology. I cant wait to see your wifes plans. I say do all the improvements, plus bathrooms without the wall. I think the City and Coastal commision will get unanimous support. Thank you public and thank you Surfrider for standing up for the public interest and mother ocean! 3 million can be spent on valuable improvements without a wall. Thanks everyone. Support sand replenishment efforts. I'll gladly donate $200 per year for sandy beaches.

  3. This Blog the hell out of short term rental jabber!

  4. Lisa that was almost a sentence.

  5. The rental ban was relevant too, lisa, and it helped at the Coastal Commission on Tuesday morning.

    Staff was unprepared tonight at the Planning Commission Meeting. Their so-called "draft Environmental Impact Report" was definitely lacking. Alternative A sounded good, but they had no data to support it. I heard no soil engineers, or any kind of engineering reports. We stood around talking after. We think Peter Costa Robles, the director of the engineering dept. is not doing a good job, and was hired, like Kerry Miller, primarily to start a redevelopment district. So much of his time went to that, that everything else is sorely lacking.

    I didn't hear mention of any consultants. I appreciated all the speakers except Charlie Marvin. He was all for the seawall, and was the only one who was. Mr. Marvin stands to profit big time if redevelopment were to go thru. He opposed the Coastal Commission and the general public's opposition to the rental ban and he supports the seawall and redevelopment, as in blighting Leucadia.

    This was just a meeting for the public and the Planning to give comments and direction to staff. It seemed premature, actually. But I'm glad they had it, as the staff went away realizing that people were not happy with the seawall alternative.

    I agree with J.P. We could repair the bluffs, do sand replenishment, and stay within our budget. We don't have to turn this into a $5 million dollar project, and we don't want to.

    The meeting just kind of ended. The newly appointed commissioner, Paul Van Slyke, said he hadn't been provided with the "staff reports."

    The meeting did seem disorganized, due to staff being unprepared, but the commissioners seemed approachable and competent. Much better than Council has been in the past. No vote was taken, JP. I appreciated Surfrider too. Everyone was friendly, and not too bossy without Bossypants around.

    Teresa Barth was the only one from Council present. I guess the attorneys told her she couldn't say anything, from what she told someone. I'm glad she's listening.

  6. Well the attorney's lied again. Barth could have said anything she wanted to. She is not a councilperson yet. Even if she was a council person she can state her thoughts to anyone anytime.

    Her only restrictions are: She can't meet with a majoroity of the council and make decisions outside of noticed meetings. She cannot reveal what was siad in closed session.

    Other than that she is a free person and can state her mind anythim. Now she may choose not to do that but that is her decision not our overpaid and normally wrong city attorney.

  7. I was at the Commission last night and I appreciate all the public comments. What I heard Charlie Marvin say was that Leucadia 101 Mainstreet Assc.feels that it is very important to buisness and residents alike to keep the Beacons Beach access open, whatever it takes. In fact, several times I heard Mr. Marvin say that if there is a alternative to seawalls that would be more desireable. I am not a advocate for Charles Marvin, but I don't feel that anyones interests are served by choosing and attacking personalities. Lets stick to the principals and come to a solution that most can be happy with.

  8. From what I understad the next time Charles Marvin goes to Beacon's will be the first time but he is right about one thing; Beacon's is critical to the Leucadia economy.

  9. Beacon's is critical to Leucadia economy!! You have to be kidding. For it to be critical it would mean if beacons closed Leucadia would crumble. I submit, that is hogwash. Although Beacons is a beautiful beach and should be maintained by the city or state parks it is not CRITICAL to any economy. Do you think that everyone that surfs Beacons runs out and spends hundreds of dollars in Leucadia? I suggest that isn't so.

    I would love to see an independent survey of Leucadia shoppers to see if they all use Beacons.

  10. Beacon's surfers spend money at the Leucadia restaurants, donut shops, gas stations, surf shops, etc.

    Beacon's is an important attraction for visiting Leucadia motel guest.

    All this adds up to tax revenue for the city and provides a living for the local small business owners.

    If you don't think the beach is important to the local economy then you have been sniffing too many poinsettias.

  11. The Planning Commission meeting last night was only to take input from the public. There was no vote. The city staff was woefully unprepared. And there seemed to be a rift between Engineering and Parks and Rec. Masih Maher looked very unhappy and said very little, and this for a project demanding engineering input. The proposal involves major consolidation of the upper bluff soil. There was not a peep about how this is to be done.

    There was also an unrealistic discussion about handicapped access with a shallow sloped ramp and closely spaced resting areas. It seems to me only a tramway or elevator will suffice, if ADA law applies here.

    Gene Chapo, head of the Commission, concluded by thanking the public for their informed comments. There were guffaws from the audience because the public seemed to know more than the staff. Chapo was very flexible in allowing public comment and seemed sincere. He has not always been this way. Is he out from under the thumb of Kerry Miller? I was stunned to hear that new Commmissioner Van Slyke had not received the full packet of information from staff. Not a good night for the city.

  12. My guess is that the number of surfers is equal to or less than the number of nonsurfers that use Beacons over the course of a typical week.

  13. A few observations about the Beacons meeting:
    1. No one was clear on whether the city had to put in ADA access paths to the beach to
    keep the grant money. If the paths have to meet ADA standards the project is going way over
    budget. If we only have to make a topside wheelchair area for “enjoying the experience” we are
    probably OK.
    2. It was unclear and Scott did not seem to know, To get the state grant do we HAVE to
    put in the seawall? I will have to check with Parks and Rec to find that out.
    3. The more extensive plan with the seawall has the city removing AT LEAST the top 5-
    6 ft of decomposed sandstone from the bluff face, re-blending it with soil and additives and then re-compacting the
    product onto the bluff face. Personally, I am skeptical that the new mantle of composite soil will
    adhere to the bluff face and not slide down the first big storm carrying non-bluff soil onto the
    beach and into the ocean.
    4. The pipe that goes from the pocket park that floods and dumps storm water right into
    the surf zone disturbs me.
    5. Of course, the continued lack of bathrooms disturbs me.
    6. Charles Marvin disturbs me. What a hedge-toad. From his speech you couldn’t tell
    what his position was except that it should benefit leucadia commerce.

    Things I found interesting:
    a. The bluff problems were less when tomato plants covered the bluff. As a farmer I can
    tell you that tomato plants have been known to send roots down up to 15-20 ft.
    I know that they are not native flora but they do have an extensive deep root system.
    b. The term “depth of closure”.

  14. The report says 170,000 people use Beacon's a year. Most of those people are surfers. Are you telling me that none of the those 170,000 spend any money at all in Encinitas?

    Get real.

  15. The first post under Beacon's Beach Part 3 sounds very similar to what Charlie Marvin said last night at the Planning Commission meeting. Only he cleaned up the language. I now also think that Roadside Park Bum is Marvin.

  16. What was said at the meeting, that 170,000 people used Beacons per year was corrected to "the beaches." I don't know if this means Leucadia Beaches or Encinitas Beaches, in total. The "report" was unclear, and staff didn't help, really, to clarify.

    I was glad to see people in attendance, and to see the Commissioners being so attentive, open to public comments.

  17. Depth of closure is defined as the depth where sand movement is unaffected by waves. In order to nourish a beach properly, the profile of sand must go all the way to the depth of closure. In this area it is estimated to be 10m or about 30ft. The study from the city only quantified sand nourishment interms of meeasuring the width or height of sand on the dry areas of the beach and did not account for how much sand is required to be placed all the way to the depth of closure. This is substantially more than what was studied.

    The point being that sand nourishment is required to offset the seawall impact in narrowing the beach. If insufficient sand is placed to offset the impact-there will be no beach.

    Yes I was the guy who presented at the meeting.

  18. Gil ... I'm disappointed in your personal attack where you compared Charlie Marvin to a Hedge Toad. You've insulted hedge toads everywhere. Seriously, let's avoid the personal attacks and focus on what was said, not who said it.

  19. What did I do?

  20. Look - I support repairing beacons, protecting the bluffs, protecting the homes on the bluffs, protecting and supporting growth of our local businesses. I did not speak at the meeting because I was not informed enough to speak to the subject. Most of the speakers were very informative and I appreciated that. I don't mean to attack and be negative about Mr Marvin, but sometimes it seems to me that speakers speak because their like to hear themselves talk. If Mr Marvin or the hedge-toads were offended I certainly apoligize for I wasn't intending to slur man or beast.

    Boy, what a beautiful day in paradise!!

  21. I thought I posted to this last night, but I guess I didn't "publish," as I don't see my remarks.

    This is a blog. People are allowed to have diverse opinions, to talk about rumors, to speculate, even. It can get rough, sometimes, due to human nature, and yeah, some people are mean.

    However, I don't think it's going too far, at all, for Gil to say he thinks Marvin is a hedge toad. lol. He would profit if there was a redevelopment district because then he could sell his businesses with much better tax consequences. Also, almost all of the property taxes from the area would go to redevelopment of infrastructure, rather than to schools, police, other county needs. It reproportions the taxes paid by us all to benefit the business owners and developers. Plain and simple.

    We would lose out, and it would furher divide our community.

  22. I spoke to city staff after the meeting and in all fairness to them, they came to the meeting just to listen to comments on the draft EIR, not answer questions on engineering or other technical issues. That's why engineering staff and consultants were not part of the meeting. City staff stated this in their presentation, but the planning commission decided to go against staff's wishes. I was told that other public agencies rarely have these type of comment meetings and if they do, it's not appropriate for staff to respond to comments while the EIR is still under public review.

    I was not impressed with the commission's comments. I read the EIR throrougly and it was evident that the commissioners had not based upon their comments. The commissioner who was the most critical finally had the sense to cut himself off after realizing his comments were going nowhere. He was critical that the EIR had not addressed a "No Seawall" alternative when it did. And what about the commissioner who stated at the end of the meeting that he didn't have a copy of the EIR?? Talk about not being prepared . . . what business did he have making any comments on the EIR??

    Based on the slope failures at Beacon's and all the other existing seawalls in the area, it doesn't take an engineer to see that the community will need to support one of two options: a seawall with continued public access to Beacon's Beach or no seawall with the future loss of public access.

  23. Don't shoot the messenger!! Have just left Parks & Rec. The project grant from State specifically states: "...and seawall to restore and protect Leucadia State Beach and the bluff."

    I will try to get it to JP but I'm not togood on scaning and attachments to email.

  24. also...does not have to provide ADA access to beach only to parking lot.

    Storm street runoff/sewage discharge pipe from park is to remain.

    also, Parks and Rec only gave me one sheet and said anything else was just signatures. I see now that this is one of eight pages. I will return to Parks and Rec as i find it difficult to believe that the other seven pages were all signatures...maybe, but I need to see for myself.

  25. Anonymous about Planning Commission not being prepared and not reading the EIR for the Beacons Improvements...

    Why don't you apply for the position next time around so you might volunteer hours of your free time to consider all the possibilities, exercise the wisdom of Solomon, alienate all your friends because they may not agree with your point of view (and there are many), and be expected to please everyone all the time, all this for free!. And then on top of it all, they have to impress you!

    Its so safe to sit back and lob free shots at those trying to make this city a better place for us all.

    And, to do it anonymously is especially cowardly.

  26. The other seven pages were not just signatures as expressed by the Park and Rec dept.

    Page 1 of the Grant Contract does in fact say a seawall is required. But the other pages, which spell out the provisions of the contract, do appear to allow some wiggle room as long as the beach access stairway, lifeguard tower, parking and lighting improvements are completed AND something is done to restore and protect Beacons State Beach.

    On Page 2/8 - Under General Provisions B.-1, paragraph 2, If the seawall was not constructed, it would be necessary to notify the State of the "modification or alteration in the project as set forth in the application on file with the State and be submitted to the State for approval".

    On Page 1/8 the project performance period is 07/01/01 through 06/30/09, so again, we are not yet at the 12th hour but are rapidly approaching it.

    On Page 3/8 at B.-3, it clearly states that the City must comply with CEQA and the Coastal Act of 1972.

    On Page 7/8, at I.-1, Application Incorporation. Inclusion of this section would appear to acknowledge that changes or additions to the project description COULD be allowed, and that such changes would be incorporated into the existing Grant Contract. (No Foul-City retains the grant.)

    So obviously, the three questions are (1)"Can the Project Description be achieved without a seawall," (2) "What are the alternatives if the State decides to rescind the Grant without the seawall." (3)"What are the consequences if the Planning Commission makes a finding that economic, social, or other benefits of the project outweigh the unmitigated impacts and therefore the unmitigated impacts may be considered acceptable." (#3-City Staff wording)

  27. The public Review period for the Draft EIR will end on November 23. If you want to speak to the draft EIR after the review period in some area, it would be a good idea to submit SOMETHING in writing to: Scott Vurbeff,Environmental Coordinator, Planning and Building Department, City of Encinitas, 505 S. Vulcan Ave., PRIOR to close of business Wednesday Nov. 22. or email him prior to midnight Nov. 23.


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