Friday, April 27, 2007

Peder Norby Responds

Hi J.P.

I most be a luddite when it comes to blogs. I tried to post a respones to
you on a couple of occasions but it did not appear.

So below is a response. feel free to post.


Hi J.P. and all,
Happy to answer questions but a little busy at the moment with an event for this weekend.

I don’t politic in the papers or blogs, nor do I align with “sides” but I thought I would respond to these valid questions you and others pose.

Actions speak louder than words.

I have generally been referred to by my peers as an opponent to redevelopment agencies. I have done my best to prove that you can restore a community without an RDA during the past 10 years, those are my actions, so it’s with irony that I am now labeled as pro RDA based on one article discussing the topic in the Coast News.

I am familiar with RDA because I was an active merchant, Carlsbad Danish Bakery, for 15 years in an RDA area (downtown Carlsbad) and was seeking to explain the positive points (there are positive points) and the negative points (the destruction of historic fiber as the worst one) in the article, the reporter focused on the positive in an attempt to juxtapose with other comments from other people. So, I was not not miss quoted, but only half the story so to speak.

I also believe that all ideas and opinions are valid and should be discussed logically. The atmosphere at the time and to extent still is , is how to pay for all the infrastructure needed and exploring all the financial avenues that cities use. Exploring is the key word.

As far as RDA goes I am neither pro or con per se. I look at it as a tool in the toolbox among many others. Roughly 85% of California cities utilize RDA’s, as their primary methodology for downtown revitialization. Most are miserable, some are average, some are exceptional. Most cities in my opinion abuse this powerful tool. I support O.C. Supervisor Chris Norby (no relation by the way) in his efforts to reform redevelopment.

There is universal agreement that the urban renewal demolition of large tracks of downtown in the 70s and 80s was a disaster, self defeating, and ultimately a failure as a revitalization strategy brought on by redevelopment agencies. Anaheim (totally gone), and Oceanside are good examples. Thankfully Oceanside only demoed about 8 blocks.

The key is the right tool for the right job.

As tools go, MainStreet is a hammer and chisel. Small incremental successes over the decades with the development and investment molding itself around the core culture of the district guided by stakeholders (you)

Redevelopment is more of a chainsaw (good tool for making tiki’s) inflicting large scale quick change which seeks to change a district around a new culture in a fairly quick time frame guided by a city council.

Guess which one is the right tool for Encinitas? In my opinion it is
MainStreet and always will be MainStreet. I thought that was obvious to all but I live in a bit of a vacuum.

Some of the other q’s.

Ha Ha! I hope I only have to work 40 hours a week! This week has been three nights and two 14 hour days this weekend, on top of the 9 to 5er.

I have been and will continue to work with other cities and states in a small scale way (less than 10% of time and mostly on my own time) to promote the MainStreet concept. Not for money but because I believe in both taking from the network, it has been most helpful, and providing back to the network as an obligation. It’s the story of Mainstreet nationally, helping each other out. As an example May 4th and 5th I am presenting at the California Preservation Foundation with the California Office of Historic Preservation..
on a preservation and mainstreet topic. This is a Friday and Saturday after a brutal week. Saturday is on my own time away from my family and my home both days without compensation. Why? Because I believe in it. Many times I do get paid, very handsomely I might add.

I am blessed that I am in a position to do what I love first and foremost, and not what I need to do financially. I love where I live and don’t like to travel that much. I would say 40 to 50 hours a week, many nights and some weekends is what you should expect and from anyone including me for the position. I also have other sources of income not related to my proffesion.

No power over the rail road right of way (I wish) other than to help organize locals to be more effective.

The lumberyard was controversial. In my opinion pacific station far less so. Citizens in a spark committee crafted the specific plan. On the whole compared to other cities Encinitas has retained and will continue to retain more and most of its historic fiber. I think the pacific station project is a good project on balance. I had no quarrel with Gils appeal on a few items.
More importantly I work for a board of directors and they unanimously endorsed the project. It’s my job to represent their views.

I my opinion, there exists today far more of a preservationist ethic and pride in our history, in Encinitas than existed 10 years ago. Focusing on our history and building consensus on this is a good thing and will lead to better things. As preservationist, we are used to loosing 9 and wining one.
In Encintas, We are bumping that up to losing 6 and winning 4 and one day I hope Encintias has the wisdom to win nine and loose one. We celebrate each small victory.

I am a property owner. It is America. Set the standard wherever the community desires and then follow the standards and be respectful to both the property owner and the neighbors.

I hate taxes and I pay a lot of them. I think that puts me in the normal
category J


I have visited and worked in over 300 downtowns during the past 10 years. There is no example that I can point to as a success, where they destroyed the culture and history of their downtown, replacing it with “generica”

Conversely, every successful vibrant downtown has to a large and varying degree, retained their historic structures and core culture whaile accommodating investment.

Just think for yourself places you like and why you like them.


J.P thanks for your involvement in mainstreet, I look forward to meeting
The tiki thing………..I’ve kind of been thinking that that was going to burn
itself out in a few years, I mean you can buy them at target and home depot
now! Just keeping it real J.P.

I don’t really care one way or the other if they advertise the position or award a contract. This would be a lateral move with no increase in salary for me. However, today I am the Mainstreet Director for DEMA and I have got a job to do.



*Thanks to Peder for the quick response. I would like to note that just because you can buy a piece of crap tiki made in China at Costco doesn't mean that handcarved tiki culture is dead. link

Leucadia!: Peder Norby: Hwy101 Overlord or Friend?


  1. What happened to the CZAR who helped us fix up downtown encinitas? Why did they get rid of that City staff member?

    What will the taxpayer get from this new position that can't be covered now with our current structure?

    What exactly will this CZAR be doing?

  2. I think he dissed the tiki man on his last question!

    thanks for posting Peder

  3. What can Norby do exactly that the existing staff can't do?

    If the city staff can't handle the job maybe they should be fired and Norby be hired in their place.

  4. I, too, would like to thank Peder for taking the time to post here. As my dear ol' Dad sez,"It's not what is said, but how it's interpreted."

    In the Coast News article, April 15, 2005, Peder was quoted: "It would be fiscally irresponsible if the city didn't look at forming a redevelopment agency in Leucadia".
    To me, that sounded like he was Pro RDA. I am relieved to hear he is neutral on this issue.

    I joined The Leucadia Town Council this year because I want to make Leucadia better, make it look nicer, and make it an unique showcase for coastal living. But the process is frustrating, and though the City has plans for Leucadia, it is ridiculouly slow. Although they say they want public input, I have to wonder. And I'll give props to Peder-he suggested the idea for using colored concrete for our new sidewalks and put a bee in my bonnet, so I did the research, made up some designs with Fred Caldwell, and guess what? The planning and public works staff treated us like crap and offered no help, no solutions other than grey concrete and no willingness to work with us at all. THEY are the ones, it seems to me, who want to keep Leucadia junky, and have no vision. So if I sound like a stuck record regarding my fears for a RDA, now you know why. is another site that has cool tiki stuff. Bosko lives in Escondido and has the most fabulous tiki bar on the planet.

  5. It WAS fiscally irresponsible to waste taxpayer's money investigating a financial route that is not appropriate for Leucadia. Leucadia is not blighted. Some people are even complaining about how high property values are.

    RDAs have been missued and the use of an RDA in leucadia would done the same because Leucadia is not blighted, so it was never a tool that should have been considered beyond 5 minutes.

  6. Long Time LeucadianApril 27, 2007 3:53 PM

    Great post Peder! Thanks for the clarification and welcome to Leucadia!

  7. Wow! If the DEMA director is getting $100,000 a year that is incredible. DEMA wins if the city takes over that salary. DEMA will still get $40,000 from the city and save $50,000 in salary. DEMA will get a $90,000 increase in their budget.

  8. Does Peder know that there is a tiki store on coastal Leucadia?

  9. stevo,

    its the same dude.

  10. the same dude, wow!

    But who paid his salary back then? Not the city.

  11. DEMA paid his salary.

  12. Roadside Park BumApril 27, 2007 9:49 PM

    It is very much a slam dunk that Peter Norby will be the new H101 coordinator. Everyone seems to have nice things to say about him, hell even MFleener has come over to accept the PN position on Leucadia redevelopment!!

    The bottom line though is that the city council knows PN and they will go with a know entity. He has a history with the city and they aren't going to risk $100+K on an unknown. Also he knows how and where to get the $$$ for these projects, he has a history of finishing what he starts, or so it seems. I will agree that the remake of old Encinitas has turned out nicely although it took far too long to accomplish the task. I believe the project was overdue and over budget also.(What else is new with a city project, wait until the final $$$ numbers are in for the library!!)

    Some areas that L101 needs to watch over are: Not allowing PN to focus only on finishing his baby, the completion of old Encintas H101, L101 will have to fight with DEMA for PN's time and attention.

    Will he give as much time and energy to L101's Artfest and food for thought as he does for the Taste of Encintas and the street fair??

    Also I caution the city is putting all their eggs in one basket, having PN run all 3 organizations. What happens if PN drops dead from a heart attack?? Who is his 2nd in command?? Perhaps the three organizations that he will be running can pay for a giant life insurance policy. The beneficiary would be those organizations so that the necessary projects have funding to completion.

    With the city in such good financial shape will the council squander the money on salary increases and more bennies for the city staff or will PN be able to pry open the city checkbook and get the necessary quality of life projects Leucadia needs up and running??

    Time will tell, meanwhile I continue to be the straw that stirs the drink on this blog. Eh!! J.P.


  13. Let's not forget that they only got half of downtown encinitas done. They did not finish what they set out to do.

  14. This is the guy that on his watch wanted parking meters downtown and supported Steve t
    Taxeti on his board. He has nothing to offer this city except he will try and drain the city coffers that you built up.

  15. Once again NoTaxLady, most people disagree with you. Peder is well worth the money. Maybe you should go talk to him and learn for yourself. I promise you you'll learn something from the experience. And I hope you enjoy learning new things.

  16. Peder has been a magnificant facilatator for the positive economic and asthetic improvements for downtown. We are very fortunate to have him consider utilizing his vast knowledge and energy to help guide the future for Cardiff and Leucadia.
    He cares. There would not have been the possitive improvements we see implimented downtown if city staff alone would have been utilized.
    It is money wisely allocated to contract his services. I cannot believe that there is any other person who is as knowledgable to the needs of our coastal gem and the capacity to accomplish the goals of our citizens.
    DEMA has been properly acknowledged as one of the very best Mainstreet Associations in the nation. We all should consider ourselves fortunate to have the oppertunity to have Peder's sage guidance.

  17. I don't think anyone questions the abilities of Peder Norby. His candid remarks are appreciated. He deftly sidesteps the divided opinions on the Pacific Station project and its appropriateness for downtown Encinitas. I am reminded of the remarks that Teresa Barth made at the meeting for Gil's appeal. She said directly to the developer that his project will make or break the revitalization of the area. I agree that the project will have big impacts, but I am only cautiously optimistic that they will all be positive. The traffic impacts alone are scary.

    The effusive comments above made at 8:07 am may or may not be fully deserved, but they sure could have used spellcheck to clean up the spelling. Anyone got a dictionary to loan the writer?

  18. DEMA died when the two high density projects, the artist lofts and pacific station were approved. DEMA is for high density, not for preservation. Historic downtown will be a plaque in the sidewalk next to the five story buildings.

  19. Peder maybe a nice guy but don't be fooled, he is there for the interests of business at the expense of residents. Someone aptly pointed out that he was supporting parking meters Stece Aceti(Taxeti). That put square in support of Prop C and A. He also was a spokesmen as I recall for the failed charge for lighting and landscaping fee increase.

    I believe that the imprvements in downtown Encinitas were completed by city staff not DEMA. DEMA is an advocacy group for business which includes developers. Hwence we have Pacifc Station and loss of the Artist Colony.

    I agree with on the postersz that says if city staff can't do this job why do we have them. Fire them if we don't need them.

  20. DEMA was not part of prop c, nor prop a, nor the lighting and landscape. They basicly keep to the downtown. Last issue was library and they were involved to keep it downtown.

    Quit flame throwing on sensitive issues and get your facts straight.

    Taxceti is one board member. The majority did not support either proposition.

    DEMA opposed pacific veiw because it violated specic plan as way to large.

    parking meters were one of a dozen questions on survey.

  21. Hey Peder, if I remember correctly you were in the process of building an eco-friendly home on one of the the local lagoons. Is that project finished and if so, how did it turn out?

    I know that Teresa Barth would like Encinitas to be a leader in LEED certified buildings. Maybe as head of the 101 corridor you can have a policy of creating a sustainable (new buzzword) coast highway. One that would bring Encinitas national press.

  22. anon 1041:

    Are you wrong. You had better do some research. DEMA through Taxeti supported all the props and lighting and lanscaping increase. They also supported hiring a parking enforcement officer for just downtown encinitas sa well lobbying the city council for parking meters.

    They are great if you are a business owner but they don't do a thing for the rest of us.

  23. What is a guy from Carlsbad doing on the DEMA board?

  24. Peder is not a God or holder of super natural powers. It is not fair to Peder to make him out to be the only one who can summon divine intervention for the city.

    The author of, "There would not have been the possitive improvements we see implimented downtown if city staff alone would have been utilized." should stand up say who is responsible for installing a city administration who could not accomplish this and explain where staff were unable to complete this mission. What did they lack or where did they fail?

  25. If Peder Norby is good at getting grant money then go ahead and hire him. But if he is just here to put in sidewalks and landscaping and beautify the Leucadia101 medians then we don't need him. The city, council and staff should be able to provide these simple infrastructure improvements. If Leucadia is scheduled to get sidewalks in 2010 is Norby going to bump that up to 2008? If so, how? Does Norby have some sort of special influence over Stocks, Bond and Dalager? What specifically is a 101 Czar supposed to do?

  26. Anon 8:58-

    If the businesses win, the residents win, and if the residents win the businesses win. The main customer base of the businesses is the locals. Just go ask the owner of Pannikan or any other Leucadian business. They know if they opposes things that are good from the neighborhood, it will negatively impact their business.

    Get your facts straight- Loss of the Art Colony happened because the property owner wants to redevelop the property to make some money. DEMA had nothing to do with it, and did not have anything to do with initiating Pacific Station. If the Art Colony can afford it, they can move back in. If they cannot they will move somewhere else. I hope in Leucadia. As someone pointed out before, the future of downtown Cardiff, Encinitas, and Leucadia is dictated by the area’s specific plans. Do us all a favor and read them and learn a little bid about how development works before you make more wrong assumptions.

    Unfortunately city employees are in an environment that breeds complacency through no accountability. Have you ever seen a City project that was completed on time? In the private business world, things get done or heads role. If you want creative ideas and things to get done- Peder is your guy.

  27. The Carlsbad RDA was a giant money scam and everyone knows it. Norby sounds like a nice guy but he makes me nervous.

  28. The National Trust for Historic Preservation that gave the top award to Dema and Encinitas is part of the vast right wing developer organized conspiracy. So is the National Endowment of the Arts, NEA, that has now produced two progams in Encinitas this year. It's run by the republicans that are run by big business.

    Those art banners downtown are also part of the vast right wing money grubing developers plot affiliated with the artists colony suported by Dema.

    The poetry slams at the La Paloma in downtown seek to turn us all in to little Donald Trumps by spewing propaganda.

    And don't even get me started on SRF or all the Yoga places, they are place holders for future massive projects, are owned and operated by Robert Murdoch and soon will be part of the fox empire of right wingers thus replacing the cool crossed legged lotus positioned people of Encinitas.

    Oceanside was a place that Peder helped begin a mainstreet program. I hear that as a return favor they will have Peder seek to establish a twelve story height limit in Leucadia just like Oceanside. KSL resorts on the north end of Leucadia is the mastermind behind that deal.

    be afraid, be very afraid.


  29. anon 8:36

    He deftly sidesteps the divided opinions on the Pacific Station project?

    did I miss something?

    In his post he says on balance he thinks it's a good project. Then he says his board supported it 100% and he represented that view.

    To my eyes that seems like a pretty straght talking comment both from him and his board as oppossed to a sidestep.

  30. I think you did miss something. Norby danced around the issue and made it sound like he was just taking orders. I would like to see someone with more independence. He is supposed to be preserving the best of downtown, not destroying it. That's the conundrum that he just casually blew off.

  31. Someone better tell the Council that the 5.6 million dollars downtown streetscape is falling apart. There are so many pieces of old gum stuck on the sidewalks that it looks dirty. The 101 street has many 2 and 3 feet ruts in the street side of the parking spaces. The pavement has eroded away.

  32. If peder becomes the CZAR then how does he work for DEMA, which lobbies the City, AND takes orders from the COuncil. Can he do both?

  33. If the city of Encinitas hires Peder Norby to be the 101 Czar then he must resign from DEMA. It's a clear conflict of interest (although I don't imagine he would ever clash with DEMA on any issue).

  34. JP,

    My understanding is that Peder will be in charge of all three Mainstreet associations (Encinitas, Leucadia, and Cardiff). He will be focusing on Leucadia in the next few years, and then move on to Cardiff.

    I suggest you set up a meeting with Peder and get to know him and how he operates. He always gathers community input and then moves forward. He does move forward, which is a good thing!

    We need someone with his creativity and dedication to make sure Leucadia gets the infrastructure we deserve.

  35. How is Peder going to get infrastructure? Why does everyone think Peder is the Savior? I sort of feel bad for Peder, people really believe he has super hero powers. No one can live up to those expectations.

    Also, If Peder works for the city and is the head of DEMA and Lecuadia 101 will that make those organizations quasigovernmental agencies? When that happens does Peder take orders from the council or from the board of directors for DEMA and L101 OR is this such a good ol boys town that in the end he will be run by the same people already? Will the CZAR be responsible to the taxpayer or to the merchants?

  36. JP, I'm glad you think Peder would resign from DEMA if he gets this contract job with the City. I wish he would reassure us on that, personally.

    Also, I too felt he was slippery on the Pacific Station issue. He made it sound as though he had mixed feelings, but went ahead because he had to support the other merchant members.

    I think parking will be a huge problem in the future. Not enough is provided in the Pacific Station plan for the lost spaces on the street, plus the employees of the restaurant, the pharmacy, the businesses and the retail stores, plus the 47 units, their visitors, and the general public. It just doesn't add up. It's easy to say, oh, read the specific plan; this is allowed. However, the General Plan has been modified in a way that is going to hurt the residents, including zoning changes for which we did not get to give direct input by a vote.

    Peder knows that parking meters will be necessary. Even then, we won't have enough spaces for this kind of density.

    Parking is a big problem. Pacific Station and the Chamber of Commerce's move will make parking more of a challenge.

    Peder may be a great guy, but he should continue to represent the businesses through DEMA and other merchant and developer associations. The residents need an ombudsman, too!

  37. Generation Y are we like this?May 03, 2007 7:11 AM

    Make Downtown more walkable and people will not want to park downtown they will walk.

    Bonds comments about we need more roads and wider roads are so wrong it shows how the earlier generations had no clue about important issues. The Bond generation does not think about issues such as balanced living, world population issues, and how huge DEBT is the biggest problem a government will face and will burden future generations to come. The Bond generation sold its soul and sacrificed the future of America. Now they are crying, "I want larger Social Security Payments, I want free health care, and want free drugs, but I want the future generations to pay for me while I keep my $10 million dollar property I bought back in the 50s for $30k'

    Its no wonder us X and Y generations don't respect the older generations that sold out everything good in this country and refuse to wake up and try and better the situation.

    They tell us to keep our music down or wear earphones, but then try drive around on those piece of crap noise machines called "hogs", packing there complacent fat asses in leather and grossing out younger folks. "Look at me, I'm easyrider! I'm so fricken cool. I got this groovy bike when I bought my new styling home in San Marcos."
    Everything has to be bigger, bigger, and more elaborate. I want a bigger house, I want a bigger SUV, I want a bigger golf course, I want a bigger surfboard.

    What the hell happened to common sense and simple living?

    Aaaawwww, that felt good….. I think I’ll go take a walk and enjoy the outdoors with all the pleasures of nature.

  38. You are on to something with the babyboomer generation. Their parents were the greatest generation and set them up but that wasn't enough. They are screwing gen x and y.

    You are not on to something with the walking. GIVE ME a freaking break. Do a google map review of Encinitas. Most patrons for DEMA's shop don't live within walking distance of downtown. They have to drive, especially the old people and people with too many kids to herd. Unless you plan on bulldozing those neighborhoods people are going to drive to downtown and if they can't drive most will just stay home or call for Leucadia Pizzaria to deliver.

  39. Sorry last homie, your wrong. go ask the merchants, the neighborhood is the largest customer base. The rest of Encinitas that has to drive downtown will drive to Maria Calendars our some other piece of shit place.

    Give me a break, you have no fricken clue what your talking about!

  40. My apologies. the people that bought in soulless places will order food from the cool places to make them "feel" like they belong to the class old Encinitas.

    The funkier you make it, the more the average Joe wants it.


  41. Put your money where your mouth is. Norby builds a 4000 sq ft. home in Carlsbad makes a hugh salary that receives grants to supposivly represent a Mainstreet Downtown. All Dema has done is screw the downtown resident's. DEMA could care less about the people that live downtown and would little tourist bouquets if we let them. Norby is a Carpetbagger.

  42. I am a resident and I want a prospering downtown Leucadia to walk to and support. I think DEMA has made the quality of life and property values rise for the local residents.

  43. How? How has DEMA made it better for Residents downtown? Examples: (please examples other then basic tax revenue going up to benefit all of Encinitas.)Increased traffic and congestion on our residential streets is a benefit to us how?

  44. Lovin ol encinitasSeptember 12, 2008 6:28 PM

    Are you kidding? Down town Encinitas has everything within walking distance. The weekend comes and you never have to get in your car until Monday. I call that living. Whole foods will make it even better.

    Excellent beach, restaurants, coffee, Library, movie theater, a beautiful fun town, and a fun bars... can life get any better?

    I am so glad I live in downtown Encinitas. What is your problem with DEMA?

  45. Anon: 11:51 pm needs to put the bottle down and go to bed earlier. Downtown Encinitas is great!

    Used to be 30% empty stores, ugluy streets, no lights, and 25 second hand shops. Now neighbors love to come out and hang in their downtown.

    I suppose the DEMA/Peder basher would rather have the other “super downtowns” like San Marcos (where is it?) Oceanside, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Vista Solana Beach, Escondido. Yep those are all great places compared to sucky old downtown Encinitas.

    Would not trade downtown Encinitas for anywhere else in the world.

    Beware of drunk grumps!


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