Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Herb asks, "Wouldn't it be prudent?"

Unpublished Letter to the San Diego Union Tribune Re: Hall Park Property

by Herb Patterson

I was amazed to read your editorial on the proposed park in Encinitas as I have usually expected some kind of journalist integrity and research from the Union Tribune. Unfortunately this apparently did not happen here.

First, none of the opponents of this plan that I know do not object to a park at this location, they simply object to the current plan. A simple reading of the traffic engineer's report is all that is necessary to understand the problems here. At the best case scenario, assuming all the traffic engineers projections are correct and Caltrans cooperates fully [their plans for the I5 expansion in this area are not finalized], the projected mitigation of the traffic impacts of the park are not resolved until 2030. Even then, after a supposed full mitigation, several intersections are projected to still be at Level of Service “D” [levels of service are graded just like in school – “D” is not good]. The Encinitas General Plan strives for level “C” as a goal.

If the Appendix to the Park EIR had been checked, you would have found that the underlying traffic counts of many of the streets relied upon to make the report come from 2003 figures [ the last time Encinitas has done a a full City count]. These old figures were then “marked up” 2% a year for two years to get an approximate count as of 2005. The method of “marking up” has not proven to be an accurate method as I can document with figures from a similar location in Encinitas. The City of Encinitas is currently finalizing a Traffic Circulation which should contain current traffic counts.

Wouldn't it be prudent to wait before making a decision on the Park until after current figures can be studied ?

That's not all. There is a planned expansion of the Hospital across the street from the proposed Park, numerous schools within close proximity that are expanding or planning to expand, multiple new housing developments, etc. applying for zoning changes or building permits in the area of the proposed Park. Many of the intersections, on ramps, and roadway segments in the area are all ready running at
Level of Service D,E,or F currently. There currently is no plan to coordinate all these projects to prevent massive overload of the area surrounding the Park. Might not that be a good idea ?

The Park as presented in the EIR has 419 parking spaces. The traffic engineer envisions a worst case case use of the park for a soccer tournament [disregarding any concurrent usage] of 800+ trips to the Park. He suggests that offsite parking, trams, traffic cones, and traffic control a la the Del Mar fair will be necessary. This overflow of cars would severely impact an area that already has parking problems.
No off site parking has currently been secured nor is it known if any will be available other than in the area that will already be impacted by people coming to the Park. I don't think it is unreasonable to reduce the intensity of the possible use of the Park to somewhere around the parking capacity, do you?

In summary, we have a traffic plan the requires perfection to get to a goal set too low and relying on obsolete traffic counts, the results of projects undecided at this time, the whims of Caltrans as well as providing inadequate parking. I haven't touched on the inadequate access to the Park as planned or the impacts to the areas where the access would be nor have I touched on any of the other issues.

This park can not even be planned until such time as the City and Caltrans have finalized their on and off ramp decisions, the Circulation Study is complete and a coordination of the multiple projects around the Park is done. I wish it was as simple as “Ignore Park Opponents” as your headline read – if you had done your homework you would have known it is not that simple.

A couple of Hall Park letters the UT published link.

Encinitas' delays hurt today's youth

Leucadia!: Dan Dalager Constructs New Hall Park Statue


  1. Free Encinitas!March 27, 2007 8:33 PM

    Starting construction on the Hall property will be like invading Iraq..... Millions of dollars wasted on the special interests of a few with no exit strategy.

  2. roadside park bombMarch 27, 2007 8:55 PM

    Angry Muslims are going to blow our limbs off at the new park? That bites.

  3. Instead of a park, say hello to your new neighbor. Not just your average mom and pop developer.

    Number of warehouses: 506 (as of 3/08/07)

    Areas of operation: 373 locations in 38 U.S. States & Puerto Rico;
    70 locations in nine Canadian provinces;
    19 locations in the United Kingdom;
    4 locations in Taiwan;
    5 locations in Korea;
    5 locations in Japan;
    30 locations in 18 Mexican states

    Membership Data (as of 2/18/07): 49.0 million cardholders
    26.7 million households
    18.0 million Gold Star
    5.3 million Business
    3.4 million Business add ons

    Warehouse sizes: 70,000 to 205,000 square feet
    (average 140,000 square feet)

    Annual revenues
    (FY'06 - Ended 9/03/06): $60.2 billion

    Fiscal year end: Sunday closest to August 31

    Number of U.S. employees: 93,000 full and part-time

    Number of employees (worldwide): 132,000 full and part-time

  4. There is an exit strategy


  5. I would rather have a costco, thank you.

  6. Bring on Costco! That would be great for Encinitas and what a perfect location and revenue builder!

  7. COSTCO?!?!!!! Are you insane??!!??No to warehouse buildings and concrete.

  8. Herb the reason the UT didn't run that letter is because it's longer than most features. If you want a letter run in the paper it can't be more than two paragraphs.

  9. How about greenhouses for the Hall Property? We can raise marijunana so some of you can get a fresh supply of what you have been smoking.

    I personnaly would rather see houses than a regional sports park that caters to people from outside the city.

  10. Roadside Park BumMarch 28, 2007 8:17 AM

    Fact: As the Hall property sits now it is unusable for anyone!!
    Fact: Many of the same people that want to keep Leucadia ugly are the same people that want to stop ALL development of the Hall property.
    Fact: The city is spending over $500,000 per year in payments on vacant land.
    Fact: Traffic is never going to get better and waiting until everything is "current" or purrrfect is a bigger waste of time and $$$ than the current plan.
    Fact: Mr.Hall sold the city a white elephant, he is laughing all the way to the bank and you the citizens and tax payers of this city are stuck with the results!!
    Fact: Noone protesting this project today objected to the purchase prior to the purchase.
    Fact: You elect idiots and morons as council members and now the results are showing up daily.
    Fact: Former city manager Kerry Miller is laughing while sitting at his desk in Folson California while thinking of the rubes of Encinitas and how he screwed the city again and again and again.

  11. rspb for council!March 28, 2007 8:45 AM

    RSPB makes some good points. RSPB also tips us off that he actually has knowledge about what is going on.

    Yet, I think he should back up on "Fact: Many of the same people that want to keep Leucadia ugly are the same people that want to stop ALL development of the Hall property."

    Who are those people? Can anyone name someone that wants Leu to be ugly? Can anyone name one peron that wants the Hall property to stay vacant?

    Another point,
    I think that if the council had a more open manner of purchasing property and floating bonds we would have seen outrage over the hall purchase. We can't blame the public for that one. Voting in poor leaders, well that is up to the public if they want to do that. We CAN blame the public for reelecting those guys and gal.

  12. What part of $35 million does the UT not understand? A population of 60,000 can't afford a $35 million park and a $20 million library. This is the city that threatens to shut off the streetlights due to lack of funds.

  13. RSPB is right on. However,
    Fact: If traffic comes to a stand still at Santa Fe and I-5 the city will spend more mega bucks to fix it.

    Fact:This project as planned will forever ruin this portion of our city.

  14. Roadside park bumMarch 28, 2007 11:00 AM

    Fact: The city can not build infastructure(ie, sidewalks) to protect it's citizens from being run down.(The student going to school on Santa Fe Dr.)
    Fact: The city wasted $96,000 on a specific plan for Cardiff that WILL NOT be impemented!!
    Fact: Whatever is built at the Hall property(whenever that may be) will include BATHROOMS unlike the beaches of Leucadia, which will never see public restrooms facilities. (Thanks to the short sighted nimby's that run the Parks and Rec committiee.)
    Fact: If you cup your hand to your ear and lean to the north you can hear Kerry Miller chuckling at his desk!!Ahhhhhahaha,ahhhahaha,ahhhaha.


  15. The city is spending closer to $1.5 million per year for the empty Hall property as repayment on the lease revenue bonds. Let's not forget that there is interest on the loan. The property closed escrow in May 2001, almost six years ago. Add in cleanup costs, RJM park design, the EDAW cost of the Draft EIR, legal costs defending the lawsuit by CQL, and anything else there may be, and the total expenditures must be over $12 million. No wonder there is no money for sidewalks in Leucadia. But there was money for salary and pension increases.

  16. How dare you people question how your tax money is spent. Why won't you think of the children?

  17. The Encinitas Soccer League is a big business. Almost a half million dollars in revenue.

  18. Ex-City Manager!!March 28, 2007 3:23 PM

    $1.5 mil dollars?!?!?! Ahhhhahhhahh!

    Giant unused weed covered lot!?!?!Ahhhhahhahaha!!

    Leaving the city unable to pay for basic infastructure!?!!? Ahhhaahhahah!!!

    Knowing I'm soon to retire and leave the state taking my fat pension with me!?!?!?! Ahhhahahahahahahhahahahhaa!!!!!!!

  19. printed in SD Union Tribune 3/8/07

    In response to, “Ignore park opponents” editorial

    “...the 20 t0 30 members of Citizen for Quality of Life don’t want the park...”
    This is not true. They and many others want a community park designed for all it’s stakeholders.
    When the city purchased the property, I applauded the concept of a community park. I was impressed by the city, in a public advertisement, inviting it's citizens to design their community park. It was a noble gesture. The process proceeded and a consensus was reached for a park concept in a well organized and fair manner. It appeared to address a very fair share of park elements the community wanted.

    I am not clear what happened next.
    A very different concept was then presented.
    Now it is defined as a “Special Use Park”.
    Features from the workshop maps showing gardens, grassy wooded trails, ponds and water features and daylight creeks are sacrificed. Areas for arts/cultural/education, skateboard areas and ball courts have all been limited. When I moved to Encinitas, it was “The Flower Capital of The World’. Now we have no room for a garden in our ‘special use park’. Are we sacrificing all this to accommodate regional soccer tournaments? There should be playing fields. Maybe fifteen percent of our community plays soccer. The majority of the park should appeal to 100% of the stakeholders.
    I am not sure that this is the park concept that the majority of stakeholders want. A survey of the citizens at Encinitas Days did not want this. A Sandag report was not supportive. Council meetings comments seemed to show that this was not a popular proposal. The press did not seem to support it.
    Is this the best for the most? If it is, I support it.
    Perhaps there is time for compromise. A vote? This design is a radical departure from any public workshop concept.
    I am not a member of CQL.
    I do believe in your comment, “ Encinitas should consider the greater community good...”.
    I am not convinced the current park design accomplishes this.

    Morgan Mallory
    1038 North Coast Hwy 101
    Encinitas, Ca.
    (760) 753 8829

  20. I appreciate the excellent letters by Herb Patterson and Mogan Mallory.

    I haven't had luck in getting my letters published in SDUT, either, although I keep them to 200 words or less, so I'm delighted Morgan did get that letter published earlier this month. I don't get that newpaper, so I'm glad JP includes links, here.

    Excellent points are brought up about the traffic circulation report not being out yet. Why did we taxpayers fund this important study when we cannot use the results to help determine the traffic impact of the combination of ALL of the proposed projects?

    Morgan brings up another great question. Why were the community workshop findings twisted into something that did not reflect the consensus. Most people in this city did support buying the park. We didn't understand, at the time, the impact of the lease revenue bond, for purchase, through the San Dieguito Water District.

  21. Save the park as a park!March 29, 2007 1:43 PM

    Some regional sports complex specialty park, or be damned, poser is making the Costco posts. This area is zoned residential, with a major use permit for a park, I believe.

    The zoning would have to be changed for a Costco. The citizens would not stand for that, or houses, either. This is not an either sports complex or Costco, either/or situation. More false logic. No, this is not a question of "black or white." Other alternatives are feasible, and far more affordable, more practical.

    We can use the results of the workshops and get a better result, with less traffic, parking problems, etc, less impact on the surrounding neighborhood by eliminating nightime lighting, having a smaller portion of the park dedicated to regional sports games, less playing fields, more open, common use area.

    We DO want a park, NOT a regional sports complex for special interests. My kids played soccer, and had fields. A town of 60,000 does not need to be hosting regional soccer tournaments at the taxpayers, resident's expense.

    Save the Park as a Park, not a regional sports complex facility. Daylight Rossini Creek!

  22. Roadside park bumMarch 29, 2007 4:01 PM

    Save The Park- The Hall property is a giant white elephant, it will be a weed covered dust bowl for years to come. The neighorhood will never approve of a sport park in that area nor will they stop suing the city every chance they get.
    What you see now is how the HAll property will remain for years and years to come.

    10 years from now people will be asking why there is no development at the Hall property.( When I say development I don't mean houses, but any form of green grass or use ability by the very citizens paying the bills!) You got suckered and screwed all at the same time.

    Just keep sending your $$$$ to city hall and watch them pour it down sink hole.

    Remember that every dollar spent on the Hall property that remains unusable is a dollar that could be spend improving this cities infastructure and making this city a safer place to live and work!!

  23. It seems like it shouldn't be that hard to make some baseball diamonds and soccer fields for the gremmies. I've been to little towns in Mexico that have both and they are dirt poor. They sure don't have no $35 million bucks man.

  24. The little towns in Mexico do have soccer fields, but they are only a dirt field with imaginary goal markers. And they are dusty too. Try that on the Hall property and all the little gremmies will be sucking up pesticide-laden dust. Read the Hall property EIR. It explains how the construction workers will all need instruction in order to learn all the special precautions they will be required to take. The city could face huge liability if it opens the fields without decomtamination. I guess we could dress all the little gremmies in tyvek suits and respirators to protect them.

  25. In Mainland Mexico all the soccer and baseball fields are green grass. It's quite lush down there.

    Can we just go to Home Depot and pick up some sod?

  26. Can anyone name one peron that wants the Hall property to stay vacant?

    Yes - Dietmar Rothe wants the property to stay vacant.

  27. last poster is factually incorrectMarch 29, 2007 10:15 PM

    That's not true last anonymous. Back up your false "flaming" accusations.

  28. 60% of Mexico does not get enough rainfall to maintain green grassy soccer fields without irrigation. Part of the remaining 40% with higher rainfall has a pronounced dry season which dries everything out for up to half the year. These areas include large parts of the states of Jalisco, Michoacán, Puebla, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Guanajuato, and most of the Yucatan peninsula.

    The whole northern 2/3 of the country is dry. This is one of the big reasons for the massive immigration into the US. The rainfall is simply too low in much of the country to support a viable peasant economy with a growing population. It's only along the east coast in the states of Vera Cruz and Tabasco and along the southern part of the Pacific coast that rainfall is dependable enough for green fields all through the year.

    The rainy season in Mexico is generally May through September. Any extended trip through Mexico in winter will show how dry most of the country is. An exception is high-altitude mountain areas, which can pick up rainfall almost any time of the year. But even the cloud forests in the mountains of Chiapas near the Guatemala border, which get up to 4 meters of rain a year, still have a less rainy period in the winter. The state capitol of Chiapas, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, is hot, dry, and dusty a good part of the year. The botanical gardens there are dried out in the winter, and many of the trees lose their leaves. Ever wonder why you don't see many Veracruzanos and Chiapanecos working in the US? But there sure are a lot of Oaxaqeños and Jaliscenses here.

  29. If the state of Colima can have green soccer fields then so can we.

    Maybe we should look into that new groovy artificial grass?

  30. To J.P.
    Are you suggesting that we have Third World soccer fields in Encinitas? I taught school for two years in West Africa. The soccer field was green for four months of the years. When the rains ended, the grass dried up. The school boys used to cut the grass with machetes. Maybe we can organize the soccer moms and the kids to do the same thing. We can save a lot of money. It's not such a bad idea.

  31. I am 99% sure that Dietmar subscribes to the following vision for the Hall Property. This is a far cry from vacant land. So far that the false statement should be removed from the blog.



  32. Years ago I watched as cql talked about the community consensus vision of the park, found on the link above. Dietmar was part of CQL.

    Anon 10:11 go back to whoever misinformed you and ask for another name, because saying Dietmar is that ONE person who wants the white elephant to stay bald only makes is so much more clear which side of this issue is opperating with the honest facts.

  33. Roadside Park BumMarch 30, 2007 9:52 PM

    The city should have tested for pesticides BEFORE the purchase went through, of course there are going to be pesticides. That's a given, it was a greenhouse for plants for 50 years, how could there NOT be pesticides!!
    Also a given is YOUR city council wasting YOUR tax dollars on what is essentially worthless land. It will cost millions to clean up the dirt and people for QOL will sue the city again over HOW the city plans to clean up the land and prevent TOXIC dusts from landing on their homes and backyards!!

    Now which council members voted for the purchase of this land without provisions to clean up the pesticides??

    Just as the city didn't do a termite check when they purchased city hall( that little fiasco cost over $250,000) they didn't do their due diligence here either. Shame, shame,shame.

    Bad advice from the city attorney?? Bad advice from the city manager??

    I'm homeless and a bum and I like cheese but even I know not to buy toxic land!!!


  34. Amigo Juan Pablo (J.P.)
    No conoces México bien. El estado de Colima tiene una temporada de sequía. Nací en Jalisco, el estado adyacente. El clima es lo mismo. Excepto el Volcán de Colima (3820 metros), donde cae mas lluvia por su altura, no hay suficiente lluvia durante el año para mantener pasto verde los doce meses. Claro que hay años con más lluvia y más verdor, pero también hay años con menos agua y menos zacate verde.

    En México el gobierno no ayuda nada. El campo de sóccer en cada pueblo es el resultado de voluntarios y trabajo comunitario o de los clubs de deportes. Los usuarios pagan y mantienen el campo. Se puede hacer lo mismo aquí. ¿Porqué no?

  35. Dietmar Rothe was one of the founders of Citizens for Quality of Life. CQL never argued for leaving the property vacant. The website makes this clear. Mr Rothe designed and maintains the website. To say that he advocated leaving the property empty is a blatant, egregious lie.

    RSPB is correct in saying that the city did not undertake due diligence when buying the property. The council approved purchase of the land. This included Bond, Stocks, and Houlihan. Dalager has said in public that he introduced Robert Hall to the council and helped with the deal. So four of the present five council members are invested in the decision. CEQA law is very clear that ignorance of enviroronmental problems on a purchased property is no excuse. So the problems, traffic and contamination being the big ones, must be dealt with.

    Costco will never be approved for this site, even though certain well-placed people are continually pushing for this. The problems include zoning, location in the coastal zone, traffic, and contamination. The last two apply if homes are built on the land. I suspect most residents would want to keep the open space and would support some kind of park development if all the problems in the EIR are correctly resolved.

  36. The Costco cult people scare me. Personally I can't stand the place and no, I don't want to hear about the wonderful free samples. (I mean please, is there anything less dignified than scrounging around for free pizza bites in a Costco on a Saturday afternoon?).

    Costco would shut down so many local stores that it's possible that we would end up with less tax revenue in the long run.

  37. Good post Jerry and RSPB. Yes, the city didn't do due diligence. I wonder if Dan Dalager got a "finder's fee," a common real estate transaction perk, when the Hall Property deal went through, and later, the Mossy Property deal. In both cases, he put the buyer, WE the PEOPLE, through City Hall/Council, in closed sessions, and the sellers together.

    It's too bad that state law has a loophole for private property negotiations in closed sessions. Because then the City doesn't get the input from the citizens on the "downside" of the possible purchases. It's just considered a "done deal" from the start.

    Before they purchased the Hall Property, the City purchased the Manchester property without doing due diligence. If they had, they would have known that this was considered a protected wet land. The city bought that property for something like two million. It was undevelopable, even for a park. About $500,000 in studies were spent. The County eventually bought the property to bail out the City, I believe for about $1.5 million. So we lost at least a million in taxpayer dollars there.

    A preliminary E.I.R. should be done on these properties, as a contingency of the deal going through. When one buys a horse, the deal is contingent on the Vet's report. When one purchases a home, one must get a termite report, which also includes information about possible code problems, too.

    It's crazy to waste our tax dollars as the City has, for years, and still is. Dietmar Rothe is a good man and CQL has done a wonderful job in helping to hold the Council and Staff accountable to California Environmental Law.

  38. Don't "stuff" the problemsMarch 31, 2007 2:49 PM

    We do care about the toxins released in the neighborhoods during construction, including grading, and the toxins that may affect the people using the park. That is only common sense. And we all care, tremendously, about the increasing traffic that has come with development, already.

    Why hasn't the traffic circulation report for the entire city been released? This is important for all the capital improvement projects planned by the City combined with the private developer projects, which seem to be driving most of City Council.

    Dan Dalager said at the candidates forum in Olivenhein that the report had been completed, back then, in late October.

  39. why don't they build an arena at the Hall site and have professional wrestling events?Encinitas could use some real culture instead of the phoney artsy stuff

  40. sort of pissed at anon 1011April 03, 2007 9:04 PM

    anon 10:11,

    Your world view must have changed when you figured out that the cardiff people (Dietmar included) aren't against a park. Why are people misinforming you? Is it to cover their screwups by blaming others?

    Have u gone back to your source to tell them they were wrong about Dietmar wanting the land vacant yet?

    What did he say when you chewed him out? Could he hear you or did he keep his professional grade ear muffs on? Or was it just a plumber that misinformed you?

    Have you gone back to your source to ask for another name? One name at least. I will french kiss RSPB if you can give us a name.


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