Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dozens comment on draft Ponto environmental report

Dozens comment on draft Ponto environmental report

article excerpts:

Wildlife agencies wanted more information about how coastal habitat might be harmed. The city of Encinitas said its traffic concerns hadn't been adequately addressed. And area residents and their attorneys raised a multitude of issues.

By Tuesday's deadline, the city of Carlsbad reportedly had received more than 40 letters and e-mails commenting on its new draft environmental document, which covers development plans for the south Carlsbad coastal region known as Ponto.

Now, the city must sift through those comments and respond to each before it can take its final version of the environmental report to the Planning Commission and City Council for approval.

Carlsbad didn't originally plan to do this environment report -- it was pushed toward that step after an intense public outcry against its proposed Ponto Beachfront Village Vision Plan.

That general planning document, which remains in draft form, calls for putting three hotels, a resort complex, condominiums and retail shops into the privately owned region, which is bordered by Carlsbad Boulevard to the west, the Hanover Beach Colony development to the north, Batiquitos Lagoon to the south, and the railroad tracks to the east.

In its comment letter, the city of Encinitas took issue with some of the traffic data in the environmental report, saying that there appeared to be errors in the vehicle volume figures and indicating that the Ponto development plans could have a far worse impact on area roadways than Carlsbad currently anticipates.

"No project traffic is forecast to access Leucadia Boulevard, which does not seem realistic," city of Encinitas environmental coordinator Scott Vurbeff wrote in his letter to Carlsbad.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the state Department of Fish & Game sent a joint letter asking for more details about how habitat that would be damaged by development will be replaced. Any impacts to coastal bluff scrub habitat should be mitigated by preserving other habitat that is of that same, hard-to-find type, they note.

The two agencies also wanted more information about how the endangered Least Tern nesting area along Batiquitos Lagoon would be protected given that development plans call for putting a resort next door the lagoon.

They weren't the only ones raising issues related to the lagoon. The Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation's President Fred Sandquist wrote that the city's draft environmental document "lacks specificity in certain areas, making it difficult to assess the magnitude of the impacts or the effectiveness of the mitigation measures." He argued that the document needs more information about a variety of things, including how lighting, landscaping and stormwater runoff from the proposed resort would be kept from harming the lagoon.

The homeowners association representing the people who live just east of Ponto -- the San Pacifico Area "A" Association -- also had concerns about how development might harm the lagoon, in addition to many other issues. In its comment letter, the association sought everything from hourly water spraying to reduce construction dust to more information about how peregrine falcons would be impacted by the development.

The longest letter the city received -- 17 pages of commentary, plus a dozen or so attachments -- came from an attorney representing a man who lives just north of Ponto in the Hanover Beach Colony. Residents in that area have opposed plans for a Hilton hotel, which would be directly across the street from the entrance to their development.


  1. Good Job Encinitas.May 30, 2007 8:01 PM

    Well at least Encinitas submitted comments. I would like to see what they are. Good job Encinitas!

  2. It is nice to be able to say good job encinitas admin!

    Who is responsible for making sure that happened? We should give them credit.

  3. you have it backwardsMay 30, 2007 8:41 PM

    See: Growth key to solving gridlock


    It is worth the read, because this means that the PONTO development is actually going to improve traffic for Leucadia!

  4. I dont think so.May 30, 2007 9:45 PM

    I could not find the referenced article at the referenced link. However I do find it hard to beleive that growth at Ponto will solve gridlock. Please try and explain.

  5. Leucadia 101 submitted comments. Even though they were not mentioned in the article, they also deserve credit for bringing up serious traffic issues.

  6. Backwards is backwards.May 30, 2007 10:13 PM

    I found the article and it’s not worth reading. Its garbage written by Lou Ochoa is president of the Riverside County Building Industry Association.

    My favorite idiotic section is "At the local level, new housing construction has produced tremendous investments to fix transportation problems. Since 2004, homebuilders have contributed more than $400 million in Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fees and have spent hundreds of millions more to build local roads."

    Woopy shit... that equates to about $130 million per year on all the transportation projects for all the new housing. That measly amount does not come close to the cost to build infrastructure to support the added traffic. That amount can build maybe a few freeway on ramps and off ramps, nothing more.

    That fact alone shows that once again, the developers are profiting at the publics expense.

    The article also shows that Lou Ochoa is a moron that can not write a compeling argument to support developers ramped clear cutting tract home wildfire. Thanks to them- Riverside will shortly become the world biggest slum – even about ten times worse than the current slummy environment.

    As sublime sings in April 26, 1992– ……………..Let it burn
    Wanna let it burn, wanna let it burn
    Wanna wanna let it burn
    Riots on the streets of Riverside CA,

  7. Why don't we dredge the lagoon and make it a marina with direct access from I-5. That would help with traffic on 101. It would give a place to keep our boats closer to home.

  8. Hanover Beach Colony - bunch of crying babies.


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