Sunday, November 12, 2006

Keep Your Eyes Peeled


  1. I saw him surfing a surftech at Beacons.

  2. The last blog was getting long so I have jumped to here for:

    Chap. III - Why it is important to keep short term rentals? What bigger picture?

    A.) “Community Character” - A number of years ago an issue came before the council to address the “character” of our communities. The initial intent was to control size of the
    ‘footprint’ on some of the parcels in our communities. The easiest or most difficult way to do
    this (depending on your point of view) is by tweaking the FAR (floor area ratio). Now developers, builders, real estate agents, city councils and staffs interested in the highest 1% tax possible on all new construction hate lowering the FAR. So do some homeowners.

    Other homeowners consider the every increasing size of some of the new construction as an infectious disease slowly destroying the real charm and character of three very unique miles of California coastal communities. I do.

    Why did I work to defeat this general plan addition? The forces that were and are, added so
    much garbage, like uniform mow strips and wanting to use Belvedere, Ca., as a model of what
    our town should be like. I know Belvedere and I know Carmel and that’s not who or what we are. I would still support lowering the FAR.

    Developers, builders, real estate agents have the ability to obfuscate and influence the direction of staff and council almost invisibly. If the community character issue had been a simple, clean lowering of the FAR, it might have progressed to something important. As it was, designed with
    something everyone could hate, it died a death along with the FAR reductions.

    Some current homeowners as well as future homeowners may depend on short term rentals as a means to remain in the community. It may supplement retirement income, pay property taxes, pay a ballooning interest payment, rebuild a kitchen, put on a new roof, provide the money to send their kids to college, and this list could go on and on. I do not want the demographics or character and charm of the communities to change dramatically quickly. It’s going to change, but I want it to happen slowly enough so the change is manageable and satisfying and we don’t look back in 15 years and say, “What Happened?”

    B.) Redevelopment. - In considering a redevelopment district, one of the factors weighing into the equation is “Fair Market Value” for properties taken. One of the factors that has to be considered is owner income - current and future - lost with the property. The ability to rent short term might increase the “Fair Market Value” of any piece of property in any of our communities. In some cases it might increase the value to more than the ‘StrayBucks’ is willing to pay to play. Because this ban potentially effects the “Fair Market Value” of every piece of property in every
    community, essentially a C C & L for all of Encinitas, it most certainly should have been put to a
    vote of every homeowner. This is where Encet should have directed their contributions. They
    could have gathered the required number of signatures and put the issue to the voters for a
    definitive answer, and one I could support.

    C.) The Keebler Elves. - They didn’t. Instead the elves began approaching the council members
    in restaurants, supermarkets. and malls, calling at all hours to complain about short term rental
    problems in their neighborhoods, problems that could not be verified. They didn’t file reports
    with the Sheriffs, they didn’t contact their own private security guards. Instead the elves
    attempted to persuade our council members to take property rights away from an entire city on
    here say. . .and they appear to have succeeded.

    D.) “Lobbing Grenades To Kill Mice On The Taxpayers Dime” - Some members of our council have become politically savvy very quickly. The Coastal Commission is composed of people just like you and I. Yes, they are chosen and appointed by different government bodies for the skills that they will bring to the table, but they aren’t gods or demi-gods. Their workload and that
    of their staffs is immense and historically underfunded. This creates a situation where a good
    lobbyist can really make a difference. The city council and staff have a very good lobbyist and
    that, coupled with a Mayor, “speaking for the communities,” is difficult to ignore. And it makes ignoring the fact that they is no supportive law enforcement evidence in the package more palatable. Many of the members of the Coastal Commission acknowledged ex parte communication with either the Mayor, city lobbyist or both. The lobbyist is doing a good job and only costing the taxpaying citizens $10,000. - $15,000 out of the General Fund to restrict their property rights. Course everyone knows that.

    IMO this loss is greater than the gain because of the Bigger Picture. The potential residual
    damage from this loss of property rights far out-weights any realistic gain, and benefits the few at the expense of the all.

    I just cannot support it and do not understand how the communities can allow it. I believe they just do not know.

    The original package with the letters from citizens does accompany this agenda item. It is old material and may or may not be weighed by the Commission.

  3. Gil-

    I dont agree with your logic. I think banning short term rentals is good for all of Encinitas and will increase property values by keeping Encinitas a more peaceful family orientated beach community. Not a PB or Redondo Beach. I support what ever the City does to curb short term rentals. If anything the existing short term rentals should pay TOT taxes for the extra Enforcement needed to allow the land use. Short term rentals suck.

  4. I think he's renting a short term rental on Neptune. That one concrete bamboo panted place looks like a Osama Castle.

  5. The Coastal Commission website is down. It has been down since Friday.

  6. I agree with Gil on this. He made excellent points, which lisa does not address.

    It's the same old fear based manipulation that we will turn into Pacific Beach or Manhattan Beach.

    Gil put a lot of effort into writing three excellent pieces about this. I wish the Coastal Commission could see that info, Gil. And it's too bad that our General Fund has to pay for a lobbyist that the majority of us do not want, including the majority of the owners at Sea Bluff Condos.

    This is Council's biased and uninformed way of listening to those who make a big noise, and ignoring the facts that there are not verifiable reports of a pattern of complaints, Council's close-minded manner of ignoring the fact that the biggest proponents of the complete ban are those with rental properties, like motels, who do not want competition, and those who are trying to go "over the head" of their homeonwer's assocication.

    LISTEN! The people that you are complaining about will not be affected by the ban. These units are considered legal, non-conforming, as pre-existing rentals. So please, don't try to pull the wool over our eyes.

  7. Lisa - I wish that were true. Currently in the immediate coastal area the number of "families" is becoming fewer and fewer. There was a time when there were enough families with children to keep Pacific View as a school. As the property values have climbed many potential residents are forced to choose between a dream beach home and a home someplace else where they can raise kids. I wish that the current trend toward MacMansionism meant that the families could move back into the coastal community but I just don't see it. The future families that can afford to move into the coastal areas will more likely than not send the kids to some private school, many will be able to afford that if they can afford to build a MacMansion.

    Again this will never be PB or Redondo Beach with only a small enforcement effort. Certainly less than the 1-1/2 new officiers we added to the budget last year to patrol our coastal zone.

    Curbing is not a clear enough word for me. Regulating, controling are words I can get a handle on and for which concise rules can be established. I am not against this.

    TOT taxes. Even here I have no problem. If a residence is without an owner resident and is rented for more than 151 days(length of our summer season) then I think it should pay TOT taxes. If a residence is rented for less than 151 days and is occupied by the owner the remainder of the year, I do not support TOT taxes. I do not want any resident or senior that declares the use as 'passive income' to be denied that worry free income stream.

    I have still not been sold on the need for "extra Enforcement" to deal with a land use that has been in existence for years and years.

    On the other hand I would not be surprised if the new Con-tel at the foot of La Coasta and the freeway motels in our community end up requiring much, much more "policing" than all the other short term rentals in the city. When people rent a hotel/motel room they do not have the same mind set as a family renting a private home. Tis true.

    I am sorry you feel so negatively about short term rentals but I do not feel that they suck from the communities, rather they add an interesting element to our coastal cities as well as provide a necessary revenue stream to our businesses.

    I spend some time in old Encinitas and the number of visitors that I talk to (if they speak English along with their native German, French, Japanese, Chinese or whatever,) who are renting a house for a week or two and talk about how wonderful a city we have makes me proud and if they respect our paradise, we should be willing to share it.

    We owe it to the world, to maintain access to our coastal environment.

    So it is written.

  8. We have access to the coast. I agree with banning short term rentals. 30 Days is short enough or go spent the time in a hotel in a business district. Not a land use that is inconsistant with inconsistant with Residental Zoning.

  9. I agree Ban Short Term Rentals they are damaging to our City.

  10. I think Gil is wrong. I think its only a small group of landlords selling out Encinitas for a quick buck. Gil is you are so confident about what the City wants, let petition the City Council to put the issue to a vote. Allow short term rentals or not. Let see the outcome. I vote "not".

  11. Short term rentals are not a problem. Rowdy people are the problem. Rowdyness can happen in an apt or a house. It can be dealt with by calling the Sheriff's Department. You complainers are not calling the Sheriff's Department. I followed up with what gil said he did and found NO complaints in the past 6 months about people at "short term rental units" I could identify. As Gil pointed out this is a samll group of people that have had a problem but their lobbying of our city council will effect everyone.

    If we are so interested in keeping visitors from our city lets wall it off like Fairbanks Ranch.

  12. Osama was here, but only for a week. He wasn't very rowdy.

  13. Did he and the five kids stay at a hotel in a business district or did he stay in a short term rental? If a short term rental I'm sure he was very quiet.

    You get a real feel for our coast in a business district hotel.

    I wish ENCET had spent the money they used to lobby our council members to circulate a petition and put the issue to a vote, it would answer some of my concerns. But quite frankly I'm not even sure ban supporters could gather the required 10% of all registered voters to place the issue on the ballot. Perhaps this is why ENCET approached the council members directly.

  14. Your city staff believes there are about 110 short term rentals in the entire city, out of 20,000 homes. So I am to believe that .55% of the residences are damaging our city? Please, give me a break...left or right is fine with me.

  15. Previous poster, you are inconsistent. lol.

    Most folks in this community support our being able to have short term vacation rentals. There are a few, who are a very vocal minority, who feel otherwise.

    Renting out rooms or units is consistent with residential use.

    Just recently a teenage girl was presented with a scholarship through Leucadia Town Council during a City Council Meeting. She said she had become coming to this area, with her family, years ago, every summer. They liked the area so much they moved here. Now they are upstanding citizens. If short term vacation rentals were banned, people like her would not have access to affordable rentals in our community, for an enjoyable family vacation.

    Also, people who need some extra money for retirement, or to make ends meet during challenging economic times, should have the option of offering, a few weeks or months a year, short term rentals, although they may not have done so in the past.

    To restrict this to west of 101, or only to those already renting out, is discriminatory and unfair.

    Yes, there could have been an advisory vote on the last ballot, but Christy Guerin and her coharts on Council would not consider that! If we voted, you would find that most people would like to have that option open to us and future generations.

    Also, this law could well be challenged in court, which will cost even more money. We pay about $10 million per year for police protection. By enforcing the laws, these problems can be dealt with. We don't need more restrictions which take away our property rights.

    I say NO to banning short term vacation rentals.

  16. How about an exception for Del Mar race season? I rent my place out and go to Hawaii every year during track.


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