Thursday, March 22, 2007

96k Cardiff Plan unpopular

Residents blasted a long-awaited plan for Cardiff's commercial district Wednesday, telling the Encinitas City Council that the document ignored what they had asked for at community workshops six years ago. No one seemed to support the plan, for which the city paid a San Diego-based consultancy $96,000.

Cardiff plan takes a thrashing

From the story:

No one seemed to support the plan, for which the city paid a San Diego-based consultancy $96,000.

"The Cardiff specific plan missed its target," said Bob Bonde, a longtime resident. "We do not want the business district converted into expensive, street-hugging stores, yuppie time-share accommodations or high-density housing complexes. We would like you to repair the infrastructure and clean up the six-block business district, but keep it basically the same."

Along the one-block-long Aberdeen Drive, the plan calls for structures built right to the sidewalk.

"After six years, we are still requesting a mini specific plan ---- alley improvements, sidewalks where there are none and zoning corrections to reflect what is on the ground in this six-block area," said Barbara Cobb, Cardiff Town Council president.

Council members also found little to like about the plan.

Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan said the plan wasn't what she expected to emerge from heavily attended workshops in the summer of 2001.

Among other issues, proposed landscaping includes "invasive" non-native plants and trees that could threaten views, she said.

It also lacked any analysis of historical preservation, according to Houlihan.

"There's a lot of troubling elements to this specific plan," said Councilman Jerome Stocks. "Maybe (the consultant) tried a little too hard."

Mayor James Bond said, "I'm OK with just making some improvements to the alley and the pavement and the drainage and moving on."

Even though Teresa Barth probably did the right thing by staying out of it because she lives in the area, it's kind of too bad. One of the reasons you elect a person from your neighborhood is because you hope they will watch out for it. Of course, it's a slippery slope because then you can come off as self serving.

Speaking of slippery slopes, raising height limits in an old neighborhood like Cardiff is dicey. You are really opening up a Pandora's box of potential lawsuits and view wars like in Del Mar. I don't think our city needs that kind of drama.

I have to disagree about the hating of the storefronts pushed forward towards the street, I've always hated the big parking lot in the front. Parking lots are ugly. Parking lots should located in the rear of a property most of the time. It really depends on the location itself, but for the most part I'd rather be able to see the storefront windows than look at a parking lot.

You can view the Cardiff-by-the-sea Specific Plan on the city of Encinitas website here.

Here are the lyrics to the song Cardiff-by-the-sea by the alternative rock band The Ataris:

The sea has become profoundly red as wine
The skies they bleed with fleeting passion tonight

Come sweet euphoria
Your light is blinding to thee
You feel as comforting as a mother's warm embrace
But still you're just as lonely as the sea

We gaze out upon the crashing waves
From this hillside graveyard masquerade

Sweet terrible angel
Embrace my soul with light
There's an honesty inside my lungs and its dying to get out
But still I'm helpless as an orphaned child

Can you cure this loneliness in my heart
In my heart
Can you cure this loneliness in my heart
In my heart

Euphoria, euphoria
Euphoria, euphoria
Euphoria, euphoria

See also Cardiff Town Council

*UPDATE--Good San Diego Union Tribune story on the Cardiff Plan click here.

30 comments:

  1. The CSP is not needed to have the stores move closer to the street and putting parking in the back.

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  2. Roadside park bumMarch 22, 2007 11:09 AM

    Jerome Stocks said " Maybe the consultant tried a little too hard". What??? Hey Jerome, maybe the consultant didn't try hard enough!!! Maybe only Al Gore could get it sooooo wrong!!!

    Mayor Bond said "I'm ok with making some improvements in the alley, the pavement, the drainage and moving on." Huh??? Watch out Cardiff or the 'ol Jimmy Boy will be doing to you what he has done to Leucadia. Just check out OUR alleyways, drainage and pavement!!!! Pathetic!!!!

    $96K for this study??? When I was drinking I coulda gotten the same (or better) results for a 12 pack of beer!! I would have stood on the street corner with a clip board and taken notes and asked a few Cardiffians some simple questions. $96K for this crap study, what a joke. The consulting firm should be sued for misrespresenting themselves bas intellectually qualified to do this study.

    Hey Bob Bonde, you got it wrong!!! Aren't you the head of the Encinitaas Taxpayers Association??? Well the Cardiff Specific plan didn't just miss the target, it ALSO WASTED $96,000 OF TAXPAYERS MONEY!!!! Where is the outrage about that?? You should be spitting mad about the waste of $$$, YOUR $$$$. All of you should be down at city hall this morning screaming about YOUR $$$$ being wasted!!! But noooo you sit there and drink your Starbuck or E street cafe coffee and live in a little wonderland of milk and honey!!!

    So how much more money is the city going to waste on the NEXT study of Cardiff??? Money that could be put to better uses like, bathrooms at the beaches, sidewalks, landscaping, etc,etc,etc,.

    City hall has a fever, a fever for spending $$$ with too little to show for the money spent!!!! GET MAD, GET ANGRY!!! DO SOMETHING!!!!

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    RSPB

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  3. Another good post from RSPB (although Bob Bonde is no longer head of the ETA).

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  4. Yes, and I think the ETA should raise some HECK about the phone survey that will be done, wasting $10,000.00 after the $10,000.00 that was wasted before Prop C was voted on, in 2006, for a similar survey.

    City Council, you do not need to charge us, through the General Fund, for these publicity moments, "report cards," where you are buying the people who grade you, asking leading questions, in which you know full well, you won't "lose."

    Bob Bonde has stated publically this is a "fluff" survey and a waste of taxpayers money. I agree, and most of the posters here have, too.

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  5. Why didn't the RSPB complain to the council last night? Gutter sniping by RSPB.

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  6. Hey, J.P., I just picked up a flyer for J.P.'s Surf Camp - which one are you: the very tall cute one; the shorter naughty-looking one with the curly hair, or the shaved babe? I guess Bachelor #2.

    Your wife needn't worry; I'm just curious about the wizard behind the curtain!

    Also, am I mistaken, or haven't you berated the advent of the age of the Surf Camp? Maybe my memory is failing me, but I thought it was you who said that leashes have ruined surfing. Was that you, or the burrito guy?

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  7. Has anyone got a handle on money spent on consultants by this council? This penny ante study is cheap by comparison. Why can't the staff come to work on reports like this ? Uncle Kerry is gone but his expensive legacy lives on. Suggestions???

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  8. Well, it was high drama at last night's Council Meeting. After 6 years and relatively few requests from Cardiffians as to what we wanted, it appeared as if the consultant had another community in mind when doing this proposal. From what I could gather by Tom McCabe ( a member of the Planning Commission) this project never even went through plannning. I guess Staff was that sure of itself. Jim Bond said this was just the first of many meetings. Maggie piped in and said she had come with a lot of questions and why should we wait? The crowd echoed support for Maggie. Bond just sort of sat there, not quite knowing what to do. There were approximately 100 people there and 19 speakers. Another issue on the Agenda was to spend 170,000 for some new I.T. tecnology. Turns out that the President of a local Cardiff firm , Headline Graphics, was there to speak about Cardiff. However, when he heard Staff speak about this, he asked to speak and told the Council that he could do it for a LOT less. People suggested that Council wait to approve the $170,000 and let him meet with Staff.Council agreed, however Phil Cotton said it would all have to go back to bid etc.etc.etc. In the end. Council prevailed. Another Staff request was denied. Cotton did not look happy! It was a good meeting for the people, and perhaps a small lesson to the Council that we are not going to take this ridiculous spending spree any more. A Leucadia woman also spoke and made 11 great points against the Cardiff Plan. It was cool to see our friends in Leucadia speak up. We really all need to stick together. I think they may be sensing a revolt of the citizens. I hope we can find another candidate for Council by 2008.

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  9. OK, 96K for a poorly done draft Cardiff Specific Plan. I hope the consultant is still in the deal to revise the plan as necessary, at no additional cost of course.

    Who is the consultant and were they at the meeting?

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  10. Yes, the city council took a drubbing last night. When Agenda Item #8 (CSP) came up, Teresa left the chambers. I saw Bob Bonde try to hand her a speaker's slip. She refused, not wanting to do what Planning Commissioner Tom McCabe had done at the March 1st Hall Draft EIR meeting and speak as a private citizen. She was wise to stay out of it.

    That left Maggie and the three men. Dalager didn't say much and struggled when he did speak. At one point Stocks jumped in to finish his sentences, and Mayor Bond objected. Stocks said that he was only trying to help. Dalager sure neeeded it. Stocks was petulant at the beginning, but at the end said how much he appreciated the public's comments. I guess he saw his political future slipping away and wanted to salvage something. Dalager looked like he wished he were some place else.

    Maggie was strong and supportive of the angry Cardiffians. She seemed to relish going against the three men. At the end the three men waved the white flag. Is it sincere? Time will tell. Stocks is especially good at faking it.

    When Teresa came back in for the reports of each council member, she was smiling and confidant. I think she was glad she had missed all the fireworks. Bond finished up, not with a bang, but a whimper. It's time for him to fade away, the sooner, the better.

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  11. Even though I am quite good looking I assure you I am not involved in a surf camp or a surf school of any kind. Yikes!

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  12. I think she means J.P. the firefighter and his surfin fire surf school.

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  13. Roadside Park BumMarch 23, 2007 8:00 AM

    Gutter sniping, how gutless!!! I've done more for Leucadia on this blog than you have in your 30 years as a resident!!! Keeping Leucadia ugly is what your good at doing!!

    As for why I wasn't there, I WAS WORKING!!! I work 2, yes TWO jobs!! During the day I'm at the car wash and at night I'm a security guard on private patrol.

    Show some respect for the little man!!! Show some respect for Leucadia!!!

    RSPB

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  14. I watched the re-broadcast last night, well, part of it. Good to see the speakers, who were very convincing.

    I knew, from reading the NCT, and the blog, what the outcome would be. But Teresa Barth couldn't have known, in advance. She did NOT have a conflict of interest because she lives in that area. That IS her interest. I feel she should have participated, just as Dan Dalager has voted on issues regarding downtown Encinitas, where his shop is.

    The City Attorney gave bad advice, again, telling Teresa she should excuse herself. The people who voted her in wanted her to participate. Teresa needs to step up to the plate, show courage. What was the City Attorney going to do if she had insisted, no, I don't have a conflict of interest?

    Her stepping down was unfair in that it disenfranchises the voters. I wonder if she did get another opinion besides Glenn Sabine's? I missed the first part of the broadcast on Cox 19, so I don't know what she said about leaving her seat. She did seem super happy when she returned.

    Maybe she is "choosing her battles." As I see it, one of her battles should be to make sure she represents those of us who voted for her, showing the courage to ACT FOR US by thinking for herself.

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  15. Teresa checked with other sources, not just Sabine, before she decided to recuse herself. I don't think she trusts Sabine any more than anyone else so she sought out another source. If she had stayed the whole thing might have been deemed illegal. I think she did exactly the right thing. No way the Council could fault her if she left. Before she left the podium she did say that she believed people would do the right thing for the community. Pretty gutsy if you ask me.

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  16. Agree with Dr . Lorri that Teresa did the right thing.
    DO NOT TRUST STOCKS, he talkes out of both sides of his mouth.

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  17. Agree with Dr. Lorri that Teresa did the right thing.
    Do not trust Stocks he talks out of bothsides of his mouth and his other orifice below the waist.

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  18. disappointed in BarthMarch 23, 2007 11:57 AM

    I voted for Terresa, but I am very disappointed in her. She has done nothing to support us against the city council. She should have stayed in this fray.

    I thought she lived outside the specific plan area. If so she did not have a financial interest in the outcome so she doesn't have a conflict.

    If she is a property owner within the specific plan area she does have a conflict. She should have spoken as a citizen and supported those people that voted for her.

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  19. You should not lose hope in Teresa or Maggie. They both have the interests of the populace as primary focus.

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  20. Teresa does live within the area of the Cardiff Specific Plan, as I do. She knows more about the plan than any of the other four members. I had wanted her to take part in the meeting as council member. It was not to be.

    Before she left the room, Teresa explained that she had sought other advice. She based her decision on that. She did come back into the room smiling. I hope she was thinking the public comment was sufficient. I spoke about the deficiencies of the plan and how it didn't reflect what came out of the workshops.

    It may seem unfair that she had to recuse herself. There have been violations about conflict of interest in this city in the past, just as there have been violations of the Brown Act on closed door sessions. But she has now raised the bar for the other council members. They will be forced to consider carefully if they need to recuse themselves on certain agenda items.

    Mayor Bond stated at the beginning of the meeting that there was no closed door meeting that day. That's a first in a long, long time. It appears that city is beginning to move in the right direction.

    I went to the meeting unhappy that Teresa would recuse herself, but I left satisfied that she played the whole thing correctly. I think she came out the winner.

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  21. What happens when councils must vote on a general plan? Do all the council members recuse themselves because they live in the city?

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  22. anon. Good point.

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  23. I had three areas of conflict.....I live in the plan area (law says you may have to excuse yourself if you are within 500 ft), I own property in the plan area (law says you should excuse yourself) and the finally my property was identified for rezoning (here the law says that if there is any chance of financial impact, good or bad, you MUST excuse yourself or be subject to fines and/or other penalties).

    There is an exception for city-wide changes such as changes to a General Plan but since the Cardiff Specific Plan impacts a very small area that exception did not apply.

    I can assure you I did my homework on this issue.

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  24. Way to go Teresa! You speak with integrity. I hope others learn from your example.

    I also hope a few more people like you run in 2008. Only then will we see dramatic change for the better. As Mr. Bond reminds us, it only takes three.

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  25. Christy's back!March 23, 2007 9:04 PM

    Barth was a winner. On the other hand someone needs to get Houlihan an exorcist. She has been possessed by the Christy demon.

    Earlier in the night there was another planning issue discussed. On that one Barth was the sole vote against more bad planning. Houlihan voted for it with the good old boys.

    Christy’s demon took over Houlihan and started speaking. Houlihan's demon justified the bad planning by saying a CPP meeting had been held and no one objected to the bad planning. That makes it OK, in case you didn't see the meeting.

    Christy always used the demonic excuse to vote for some really stupid things. I guess the demon needed a new host with Christy gone. Hopefully, Houlihan will be able to afford an exorcist with the money from her lawsuit.

    Good thing someone showed up to object to the Cardiff specific plan, because Houlihan’s demon would have had to vote for it.

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  26. Maggie supporter.March 23, 2007 9:25 PM

    I fully support Maggie. she is great for Encinitas. Nothing like Christy. Sorry, I just don't see it.

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  27. I wish I could have seen the entire re-broadcast. From what I saw, Maggie did fine, but that was only with the Cardiff Specific Plan issue.

    I looked up some info from FPPC, which is the Calif. Fair Political Practices Commission. I agree that Teresa certainly does have an economic interest in that she owns property in the specific plan area. However, there is an exception:

    "This exception exists because you are less likely to be biased by a financial impact when a significant part of the community has economic interests that are substantially likely to feel essentially the same impact from a governmental decision that your economic interests are likely to feel. If you can show that a significant segment of your jurisdiction has an economic interest that feels a financial impact which is substantially similar to the impact on your economic interest, then the exception applies."

    I hope that you did contact the FPPC and discussed #7, the "Generally Public" exception, Teresa. As I read this, and as I understand it, a significant portion of the public has similar concerns about the over development of Cardiff as setting a poor precedent for other projects, and devaluing the quality of life in Encinitas, overall. I feel that legally, a "significant" portion of the public has an economic interest that would be substantially impacted, similar to your interests, Teresa.

    I appreciate that you have taken the opportunity and the time to post, Teresa, and believe me, we do continue to support you and admire your efforts for the public's benefit.

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  28. anon 1055,

    Teresa has spent more time and consideration on issues regarding open government laws and ethics than the veterans on the council.

    She mentioned the exception in her post. The exception is what allows her to vote on general plan changes, for instance.

    You should continue with your research because you will find that the cardiff specific plan is a type of government action that is the target of the rules requiring government officials to step away. It is not a technicality, it is the spirit of the law. It is clear and very common for representatives to do exactly as Teresa did.

    The landowners in the Cardiff Specific Plan couldn't be more than a percent of the total number of landowners in Encinitas. Those landowners WILL experience a different impact of this government action than the rest of the population. This doesn't mean that she didn't have the same concerns about you did, but the rules that protect us can at times work against you.

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  29. Thanks, anon 850.

    I guess I understand Teresa's post and that exception better, now. I still wonder if FPPC was actually contacted, to ask them, directly. I hope so, and certainly know that the "public generally" exception is a matter of interpretation. I could have misunderstood.

    Like I said, I'm happy the way the vote went, and I appreciate Teresa, and am grateful we elected her last November.

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  30. bill arballo sez:
    Teresa did seek an opinion from the Fair Political Practice
    Commission and was advised not to participate. She requested a written opinion for her records. She may not receive one. Commissions such as this one are usually reluctant to provide written opinions.Teresa has read every sentence in the 180-page manuscript by the $98,000 consultant who was not present at the meeting. I call it a manuscript because it's difficult to call it a specific plan that took almost six years. Cardiffians finished their assignment in less tha six minths. For any one to say Teresa has done nothing is difficult to accept. She does her homework. She has requested that fewer items appear on the consent calendar particularly those involving money. Consent items are passed on a single motion without discussion. She also has requested that their be fewer closed sessions. Teresa has one vote and as Mayor Jim Bond has correctly stated it takes three to tango. Perhaps in the 2008 election residents will step forward who believe and work as hard as she does and will avail themselves of this demanding job.

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