Monday, June 11, 2007

Local Flower Farms Wilting

Subdivision proposed on family farm

By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer

ENCINITAS ---- A proposal to build 69 homes on Saxony Road could close another chapter of the agricultural storybook in a city once known as the "Flower Capital of the World."

And if the Bahlmann family and their developer get their way, the subdivision would take advantage of state-sanctioned incentives to build more homes than local laws allow.

The late Gaylord Bahlmann, a San Dieguito High School graduate and World War II veteran, opened greenhouses on Saxony Road in 1958. His family's home continues to occupy high ground on the 21.7-acre farm.

Bahlmann left behind four children when he died on Thanksgiving Day 2003.

His only son, Bryan Bahlmann, said last week that estate taxes, labor, pesticide laws and overseas competition have made it "just too difficult" for him and his three sisters to keep the farm.

"It's a matter of what a lot of farms go through when the main person passes away," the Valley Center graphic designer and entrepreneur said last week. "It gets to the point where farming is really difficult."

The Bahlmanns will retain ownership and control of the land, but they've hired David C. Meyer to be a consultant during the subdivision and construction process.

read the rest of the article: Subdivision proposed on family farm


  1. Why does our City let this happen?June 11, 2007 7:19 AM

    The new Slogan should be the I5 Cut Through Traffic Capital of the World!

    Encinitas sure could do a better job of managing our traffic like Del Mar.

    You dont see anyone that says they get off I5 to cut through Del Mar and then get back on I5 on Carmel Valley.

    We need to make our local streets have more resistance than I5. Thats the only way to improve the situation. Reduce lanes and put up stop signs on HW101. That will do it.

  2. I posted a comment to the NCTimes that was deleted on this article.

    It is their property and no one should tell them they shouldn't use the property. They have the right to subdivide and build homes. They shouldn’t develop in a way that burdens the neighbors unduly or creates unexpected liabilities for Encinitas taxpayers.

    They should not go around saying ag is not profitable because it is. Just not as much as developing homes with a density bonus. The density bonus is a building industry scam, brought to you by the same people who tell you that more traffic is less traffic. People like David Meyer.

    The estate taxes on the property are extremely high because the property is very valuable as RESIDENTIAL. This family could have requested a rezone to AG a long time ago and reduced their tax burden. That was their choice.

    This is the point that I made in my comment that probably got the NCT comment deleted. You don't hire David Meyer if you want to be trusted by the residents of Encinitas.

  3. Did anyone happen to see what Jay Leno had to say about most Americans.He said , and I am paraphrasing, We are self-indulgent, greedy, and don't much care about others. It would seem to be true of a lot of 2nd or 3rd generation folks around here. The oldest son in an entrapreneur. Could someone tell me exactly what that means? Perhaps it means selling out for money even if it effects an entire community. Using Meyer just adds insult to injury.

  4. I attended gthe first CPP meeting regarding this project. It was conducted by David Meyer. The very first thing he did in the meeting was to turn on a video camera to record the audience. The camera never moved off us for the entire meeting. The camera never was aimed to catch his presentation nor any of the exhibits. This kind of intimidation at a public meeting is rude and counterproductive. I strongly object to this kind of treatment, but so typical of the insensitive person who hires clowns to follow around political adversaries.

  5. This project has a long way to go. To it's credit, it allows no cut thru traffic from Quail Gardens Drive, except emergency vehicles. By design it is 2 distinct projects, one exiting to Saxony, another exiting to Quail Gardens Drive.

    The project offers nothing to provide traffic calming on Saxony. At least the Ecke Project of several years ago offered a roundabout at the entrance.

    The project also has no setback from Saxony like the Pointsettia Park project does. It desperately needs this.

    Lastly, this project is presented with no architecture. They want to only create pads, establish pad elevations, but not show any homes, not even where the low income units will go.

    I really need a lot more info from David Meyer. He doesn't deliver what he says he will. Lacks credibility.

  6. I loved the quote from the owner, "We're trying to do the land development ourselves so we know what kind of product will be there," he said. "We have a high stake in the community. That is very much what we're trying to stress to neighbors."

    Then why didn't you share the "product" with the rest of us? In the meeting there were no homes shown.

  7. No. They could not have requested a rezone to Ag. The only Ag designation in this city is Ag in perpetuity. Contrary to the belief of those not in Ag, Ag as this city knew it is no longer profitable or possible unless the owner has income from some source other than Ag.

    The Ag industry tried to get those drawing up the general plan to provide safeguards to protect and preserve the existing Ag cottage industry, one of the strongest in the nation, but that is NOT what the citizens wanted. The founders couldn't have cared less that the zoning matrix, without an Ag designation was allowing development that would burden Ag unduly and that the loss would create liabilities for every taxpayer in Encinitas. The founders wanted homes, and homes, homes, and more homes is what they got and the Ag industry has been in decline ever since.

    Now those Ag properties that held on as long as they could are being developed and everyone wants to cry foul. Well folks, you're about twenty years too late. Where was little bo peep when Ag needed support? Off in the hay stack fast asleep, dreaming of homes, homes, and more homes.

    Your dream came true bo peep, quit your sniveling!

  8. Roadside Park BumJune 12, 2007 7:07 AM

    Gil tells is like it is.... and why is this project a slam dunk??? Because houses pay the bills!!!! You can't have a $200+K city manager on Ag property alone. It takes $$$$, the money that comes from the property taxes generated by houses$$$$.

    RSPB-Hey Gil, what about those porta potties for the beaches, what's the word at city hall?? Oh yeah, I keep forgetting, it's "Keep Leucadia Ugly"....nevermind!!!

  9. He's back. Gil, stay in Questhaven and quit supporting ag people so your buddies and landlord (brown development)can make a ton of money to the detriment of the community.

    let these people build what ever their land is zoned for and nothing else. no up-zoning for your buddy brown or these people.

  10. Back?? Never left Encinitas! I started supporting the Ag element in this area in 1975 and
    certainly have no intention of stopping now. I support Ag because I believe in the benefits of Ag
    land stewardship until the bulldozers arrive, and they always do.

    Anon 0715 must be a seer of great esteem to think that developments on properties used for
    agriculture translate into a ton of money unless the actual profit is based on payment in dimes
    and of course that doesn’t make cents.(pun intended)

    The real detriment to the community was the development of the existing zoning matrix without
    an Ag or Public works element that came with city-hood. Do I believe that one home per acre is
    the best use of any land in Encinitas? Homes that only the very, very rich can afford? Of course not. Do I believe that R-15/12 zoning similar to that in Park Place is the best use of land? Of course not. Do I believe that these are the only two choices? Of course not.

    Do I believe that the Brown family is set on building a project that is a detriment to the community? Of course not. This isn’t a family of carpetbaggers. There are thirty-three members of the Brown family living in different areas of Encinitas. They relocated to Encinitas in 1950. I
    have had the pleasure of being associated with this family for thirty-three years. I’ve watched
    them grow up here, attend public schools and churches here, and seen them contribute to the
    health of this community through three generations. If you believe them to be a detriment then
    you must be a hermit with no children who never attends church. This is a family that makes you proud to know them, proud to have had a son or daughter that has been influenced by them.

    Sorry anon 0715, your song is a bit off key.

  11. Gil,

    It is obvious from your remarks in your response that you support the Brown family's attempt at putting many many more units, not houses, than their land can support. It is obvious from your comments that you are supporting them because you have a long friendship with the family. It is strange, Gil, I have never seen you at my church so I assume, like you did, that you don't attend church. Not that that has anything to do with overdeveloping property.

    If the Browns love Encinitas so much they should stick with the zoning they have benefited from all these years. By your blog that would be 57 years. I've only been here since 1960 so I guess that makes a newcomer or maybe you are the newcomer. Heck, you don't even live here. So why are you so concerned with what the Brown property or any other property in MY city will be zoned. No skin off your teeth if they put up so many units Santa Fe and Birmingham are gridlocked.

  12. Anon 715

    If you have been here for 66 years, where were you when Park Place was put in by the county.
    Now there was an over developed piece of real estate, or do you live there and now that you got
    yours nothing else matters. I, along with the Browns, thought that was over development and
    thought that it would impact the family business. It was, it did, and no number of letters or
    phone calls from us were able to stop it.

    The current Brown family request is for 44 homes on 11.1 acres. That’s homes not units, although calling homes units is certainly acceptable to me. 44 homes on 11.1 acres seems reasonable to me as long as they are not wall to wall homes and they are constructed along LEED guidelines.

    My church reference had to do with the Browns’ church contributions, from playing the organ to large 5 figure donations. My reference to their contributions to the upbringing of children has to
    do with their damn fine coaching of girls and boys sports for years and years. I really could not
    care if you attend church unless you want accolades for your five figure contributions to your
    church. Clap, clap, clap.

    As for the Browns benefitting from their zoning, it is obvious you do not know what you are talking about as the zoning on their property was Agricultural 70, pre- cityhood. It was one of
    the true agriculturally zoned properties in the city before the founders eliminated that zoning and
    dropped the RR1 designation on it over the families and my very vocal objections.

    If we are going to have a pissing contest, then let’s go back further then your meager sixty years. My family has been involved in agriculture in this state since 1894, that’s 1894 anon 715. Heck,
    I don’t sleep in the city now, but I did for years and years before I relocated to the seed farm I developed in Elfin Forest, not Questhaven. Again, try to get your facts correct anon 715.
    Make sure brain is engaged before putting mouth into gear.

    As to the traffic on Santa Fe and Birmingham I suggest you set your rocker up at the corner of
    Lake and Santa Fe and record the number of cars that pass with SEH decals in their back windows. That’s San Elijo Hills, a development that impacts and will continue to impact MY city for years to come. There-in lies the cause of your gridlock. The Brown property contributed to the widening and undergounding of utilities fund for Lake Dr for years and years. That’s why
    the street is one of the few with fully undergrounded power lines. Of course I support the family.
    They have been supporters of this community for years and years even though the forced zoning matrix dropped on their property stymied their ability to upgrade the nursery facilities and now has led to the swan song for their Ag operation.

    You really have no clue. Want to discuss the issue? I’m at the Encinitas Café every morning
    that I am well, eating breakfast, come join me but please have your facts straight or don’t come at

    I love this blog. I’ve missed not posting lately. Good to be back.

  13. Gil,

    You seem to always twist facts to suit you in your postings. Many people have called you on it. You have a wierd fascination for developing agriculture land in a cityy you don't live in but apparently eat breakfast in.

    The Brown's property is zoned for one house per acre. That is exactly what should be built on it. You, Gil, have opposed other developments but you think it is alright for your buddy to upzone his. Perhaps you are the misguided one. Questhaven, Elfin Forrest, Escondido they are all very similar out there beyond San Elijo Hills.

    Your family being ag in California since 199???. That makes you a real expert on Encinitas growth. I can tell because you moved out when you didn't like the city was formed? Perhaps you should have worked harder against the city. I for one supported the cityhood so that people like Brown couldn't upzone and ruin our city.

  14. Gil, so you were against Ecke because a deal was a deal, or density, or traffic, you apparently were not the best of family friends.

    You are for the Browns and more density than is allowed, plus density bonus for even more home/units and you are best of friends with the family.

    It seems to me the test for you is who you are friends with and that sucks Gil!

    It is good to have you back posting and I too love the blog.

  15. people aren't reading my posts. i'm very clear. family was in butter and eggs in 1894 north of sanfrancisco. yup 1894.

    the ecke's made a deal. they got the development they wanted and the remainder of their land was to remain in ag forever.

    oh i supported cityhood. voted for it, lived in YOUR city then. i supported it because its the natural progression of things. fought to maintain the charm of the flower capital and surf center of the world. always have.

    not sure what facts you believe i'm twisting. the old records are available that show the brown property was AG 70 not RR1 prior to cityhood. ats a fact.

    the quality of the brown family seems above reproach but maybe you have dirt i don't know about...although i doubt it very much.

    i spent too many years at the hand of Andrew Brown, Sr, bless his soul, and learned much about the industry and integrity to doubt the intentions of this family. but if you got some juicy tidbits let's hear em.

    and your support of cityhood so the browns couldnt upzone is inane. this family has nevr been in the development business, they have always been farmers, growers.

    as for mr ecke and that family i have nothing but the greatest respect for them and their contributions to California and California agriculture. i just didn't agree with breaking the ag agreement they made with the city.

    the browns have never made such an agreement and just wanted their ag zoning left alone when the areas joined for cityhood.

    what "sucks"was the destruction of the ag industry in encinitas in general and the zoning matrix FORCED on this family with cityhood. if the property had been left zoned ag the banks might have loaned the kind of money needed for infrastructure redevelopment instead of just on-going operations. this concept may be too deep for you but again, its a fact.

    please dont tell me i twist facts just because you dont like them, tell me the specifics of the facts i have twisted. and where i can find information on when "people have called me on it."

    if i was twisting facts anons i would not be signing my name but would be spinning lies and signing them anonymous.

  16. Perhaps I am pushing my profession onto this blog, however I think that if we get on the track of who was here first, then perhaps none of us qualify, unless you are of Native American descent. My family goes back 5 California generations and DOES have Native American blood so I guess if we want to continue to play this game, ante up! Now, onto the issue at hand. Since I did not vote for the City to be incorporated, I do not know what ag land would be like under the Councty. Perhaps Gil is best educated on this, since I belive Elfin Forest is County (please correct me if I am wrong). I have lived in Cardiff for 25 years and have seen with and without Cityhood. BOTH developed land that is obnoxious(IMHO). Perhaps the main difference with Cityhood, for residents of Encinitas, is that we can more easily force the Council and Planning Commission to follow the General Plan and not upsize anything without a darn good reason. I don't know if this particular issue is a darn good reason or not, as I do not have all of the facts of the case. This is one of the many problems with this City. One cannot always get the facts. City Hall is constantly ignoring facts as well as ignoring the Freedom of Information Act, Brown Act etc. That said, perhaps our best course is to be more aggresive in our approach toward the "powers that be". By that I do not mean physical aggression but e-mails, letters, phone calls, etc. Sort of a Ghandi approach. If you don't want upzoning stand in front of the bulldozers. Yes, you will be hauled off to jail, but believe me the U.T. and NCTimes will be there asking questions.
    I guess I have ranted long enough. So folks, get going on change or stop complaining!

  17. We did speak and we have the City of Encinitas. Gil just doesn't like it now because his buddy is having a hard time making a fortune on the backs of other residents because we zoned his property RR1. Gil said that he complained then to no avail so he will us this blog to change some opinions. LIVE WITHIN THE RULES, DON'T UPZONE.

  18. Gil move to Leucadia then you will have some credibility.

  19. Gil, I still don't understand why you support upzoning for the Browns and not for the Ecke's? Upzoning is upzoning, isn't it? In the Ecke's case, at least they wanted to stay in Agriculture, unlike the Browns, who have no intention of continuing in Ag. You said a "deal is a deal" for Ecke, but why don't you say the same thing for Brown?

  20. agan some one speaks without knowledge. A.J. and Scott Brown intend to stay in encinitas. the brown family made no deal like the eckes, they have never had enough land to swing that kind of "deal". the only "deal" the browms got was from a stacked deck, they had their ag 70 zoning taken by the city and RR1 floped onto their property over their objections, kinda like redevelopment, how democratic.

  21. So Gil, let me get this straight. A vote of the people to form the City of Encinitas was undemocratic. Why? Because you and you buddy didn't get their way. Looks a little one-sided to me just like most of your blogging. My grandchildren try and use that same ploy when they don't get their way. Everyone should look at the motives behind your blogs. Heck, you don't even live in this city. I forgot, you eat breakfast here so you must have the residents best interests in heart when you rise and spout.

  22. again, getting it straight seems very unlikely. the vote to form the city of encinitas was quite
    democratic. the “taking” of the existing agricultural zoning on the brown property was not. it is
    the same way i feel about redevelopment, i do not support either. the founding members of the city did not want agricultural land in the city. why? because they did not trust future city
    councils and planning commissions. i understand this fear but it does not make it right. most of the positions that i take are made after careful reflection of the issues and impacts. i am just one point of view, as you are another. i do try to back my blogs up with facts rather than no growth rhetoric and juvenile nonsensical rebuttals. i do not sleep in this city because my job required that i move and sleep on the farm i was hired to develop in elfin forest. currently, i am in the city
    from 7am in the morning until at least 7pm at night almost every day. i make most of my
    purchases in this city, eat in this city, attend council and planning commissions in this city, and care deeply about it. i care about the ocean that touches the city, the visitors that spend time in the city, and the safety and well being of the residents. and although the analogy of a whale
    rising and spouting is flattering, i would have preferred being compared to another large endangered beast, the elephant. i often rise and bellow when my perception of the well-being of the herd or the territory is in question and i will never forget how it used to be. my motives are very transparent and my heart is very true. if this sounds like your grandchildren then i envy your
    good fortune.

  23. you win you get the last word.


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