Tuesday, September 04, 2007

More Cardiff Stuff

This landed in in my inbox over the weekend:

ENCINITAS HOMETOWN ALLIANCE UPDATE



September 2, 2007 P.O. Box 230314, Encinitas, California WWW. hometownalliance.org (760)753-7477

CITY COUNCILMEN LEARY OF 2008 ELECTION

City watchers are amazed at the change in several Encinitas City Councilmen. Some optimists believe that the election of Teresa Barth has caused the culprits to trade in their black hats for bright new white ones. We would all like to hope that is the case, but most activists attribute the transformation to the fact that these so-called representatives are realizing that their reelection won’t be a walk in the park come November 2008 and are temporarily playing to the crowd.

After so many years of disrespect shown the public and the taxpayers, it is probable that there is little these individuals can do to redeem themselves.

Have you noticed that more and more people are standing up for their rights and are demanding to be heard? What was in the past just a whimper from people who had been stepped upon has become a roar of discontent. Residents are finding hope that by organizing they can overcome the moneyed special interests and upset the power base in city hall.

The 2008 election strategy is being formulated and workers organized. Volunteers to help assemble city council voting records and lists of wasteful city actions are being solicited along with an army of walkers and talkers to assist in the local grass roots campaign to take back our hometown.



CARDIFF SPECIFIC PLAN



The first couple of meetings were productive, but 5 Cardiffians on the Encinitas Planning Commission Specific Plan review committee members want to protect Cardiff as it is and do not want to give commercial and office zoned property owners millions of dollars of non-revocable mixed-use high density development rights. The representatives from Cardiff Town Council and the Cardiff Chamber of Commerce, the Olivenhain and New Encinitas planning commissioners, a property owner that could benefit from the decision, and 2 resident committee members voted to approve the upzone.

A new group called Cardiff Protection Association (CPA), lead by Andrew Audet, has done a spectacular job of informing the public about the pitfalls of the Draft Specific Plan and methods to correct it.

CPA representatives stood before Starbucks and walked neighborhoods and polled residents about what they felt about upzoning the 6 block downtown Cardiff business district to allow more residential units above offices and commercial areas. CPA reported that at a ratio of about 300 to 1, Cardiffians wanted to maintain Cardiff’s funky character and the scale and size of existing buildings. The 1,000 plus Cardiffians contacted were against high-density development, mixed-use, more traffic and spot zoning.

CPA presented this fact to the committee along with overflow crowds of concerned citizens but the Review Committee ignored the facts and the people and voted 6 to 5 to proceed with mixed use development on smaller lots in the heart of the community.

It should be made clear that property owners do not now have the right to develop dwelling units in the Specific Plan area. What the majority of the committee is doing is granting these owners a benefit that could increase the value of their property many times over with the city receiving nothing in return. The result will undoubtedly be that owners will scrape their lots and build new lot line to lot line cookie cutter buildings similar to those constructed in every other “Smart Growth” community.

The Coastal Commission supports short term beach rentals and can override city regulations. Consequently, there is no doubt that most of the rental units proposed to be built over commercial space in Cardiff will be occupied wall to wall with vacationers and outsiders.

It is not hard to understand why the two planning commissioners, who do not live in Cardiff and are beholden to the city council, would support high density development and traffic, but no one can figure out why the 5 Cardiff residents are going against the city’s general plan and their neighbors wishes.

Some residents believe that the reason the city has hired 3 high priced consultants to push mixed-use is because it’s hoped that such units will help the city meet its low income housing quota. Others feel it’s just a manifestation of the city council’s disregard for Cardiff.

BROWN NURSERY DEVELOPMENT

The Brown group has supposedly resubmitted its application with the City of Encinitas to develop its land at the corner of Lake Drive and Santa Fe Drive. They had previously requested 15 units per acre, this time they are asking for an upzone from 1 unit per acre to 5.

A developer confirmed this week what most residents had always suspected. He said that builders always ask for far more than reasonable so that neighbors think they have won when a lesser number of units is approved. The game seems to be working to a degree as some neighbors seem to be falling for the ploy.

To try to avoid going to a vote of the people, Browns have submitted a development agreement to the city. There is speculation that they will try to meet with the city council behind closed doors to discuss the merits of their agreement sometime in September.

An effort is being made to formalize the Neighbors of Brown into a powerhouse organization, complete with officers, bylaws and budget. Expect an announcement shortly.




CIRCULATION ELEMENT



This item is scheduled to be heard by the traffic commission on September 10, 2007 at 5:30 at city hall.

It would be beneficial for all to consider attending this meeting. Somehow we must insist that the traffic commission become involved early in the process and be allowed to screen all general plan amendments for traffic impacts before the items go to the city council.

HOUSING ELEMENT

Staff is working with the state housing authority in an effort to achieve compliance with state requirements. It submitted a draft proposal to the state on 8/9/07 without clearing it first with the whole city council. It is feared that some of the appeasements included will be contrary to the wellbeing and quality of life for Encinitas residents.

The staff expects a response from the state within 60 days. Citizens must be standing by to act quickly once the Sacramento shoe falls.

SANDERLING SCHOOL

City staff is bogged down working on the Hall property EIR and has not had the time to work on the school project.



MOBILE PARK STUDY

No new developments in the city effort to classify the mobile parks as affordable housing. This looks like another misdirected effort on the part of city as just the space rental alone in many parks exceeds the amount allowed for low or moderate-income households.

LA COSTA VISITOR SERVING PROPERTY

The city council unanimously voted down a rezone of the piece of property on La Costa Avenue west of the gas station next to the I-5 freeway from visitor serving to high-density residential.

ORPHEUS REZONE

On Wednesday, August 22, the city council voted unanimously to reject the application for a rezone at 945 Orpheus. This is the property adjacent to the Texaco gas station property just west of I-5 and north of Leucadia Blvd.

The owner had applied for a General Plan amendment to change the zoning from Ecological Resource/Open Space to Office Professional. A similar request was rejected in 2005.

SCRIPPS HOSPITAL EXPANSION

No date for the completion of the master plan EIR has been set.

ADES AND GISH

It is reported that the developer appears to be willing to work with neighbors. Although it appears a little better than first presented, the applicant is taking full advantage of the dastardly Density Bonus law and jamming in as many units as possible.

DAVID MEYER

Meyer still has not resolved his request to switch the required square footage between his two low-income dwelling units. The man responsible for the Density Bonus Law must have missed a benefit for all developers that he could now use.

CHESTERFIELD VACATION RENTALS

Applicant has an appeal in to the city council to be allowed to include transient habitation (vacation rentals) on the top floor of his mixed use building in the Cardiff business district. The appeal is expected to be heard on September 26, 2007.

If council rejects the appeal, expect the applicant to next appeal the issue to the Coastal Commission.

BLUE RIBBON ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE

The city council voted to conduct a public workshop to consider the Blue Ribbon Environmental Committee recommendations. The report from this committee had been sitting ignored for some time.

The workshop will be October 11 from 4 to 6 p.m. at city hall.

HALL PROPERTY

The latest word is that the EIR report should be completed in fall 2007.

Three groups supporting a community park and not a regional soccer tournament facility held a very successful public awareness event on August 11th. The event drew good TV as well as press coverage. The timing was perfect because lots of people were out for the Dog Days of Cardiff as well.

ENCINITAS OFFICE BUILDING

This project is located at the old Sunshine Gardens site. Application is scheduled to go before the planning commission on September 6, 2007

QUAIL GARDENS DEVELOPMENT

The application for this project was heard on August 2, 2007 by the planning commission. It was continued to allow a subcommittee to work out some problems with the project design. No date for the next hearing has been set.

EL CAMINO REAL CORRIDOR

If the city can suppress Cardiff, expect the next big mixed-use push to focus on the El Camino Real commercial corridor.



HOMETOWN ALLIANCE ACTIVITY

HTA members in support of various groups throughout the city have expended hundreds of hours this summer. Everyday has been filled with productive activity and the results are beginning to really show.

HTA has filed with the State of California as a political action committee in preparation for the 2008 election and possibly for an initiative to control growth and traffic increases.

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This Update is an HTA president’s report to members and interested persons. It should not be considered an official HTA publication

12 comments:

  1. The rock group THE WHO had a song many years back entitled "Don't Get Fooled Again". One of the stanzas said "Meet the new boss same as the old boss". How intresting that our "Blue Ribbon Commitee" , hand picked, managed to allow mixed-use in Cardiff. The other old addage is "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." Get involved or kiss the once beautiful comunities of Cardiff, Leucadia and Olvenhein good-bye. Old and New Encinitas have already lost The other 3 communites still have a fighting chance if we decide to fight. BTW, these are some of the same people who gave us the lovely surf sculpture.

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  2. Don't forget:
    "Pave paradise, put up a parking lot" and
    "the farms of Ohio had been replaced by shopping malls"

    Has anybody suggested that the City fix the nasty RR crossing at Manchester or are they waiting for a gridlocked car to get smashed by the coaster/Amtrak? Or is that not an important (first) element of the CSP?

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  3. On the homepage of www.ranchandcoast.com there is an article on North COunty Developments- They profile the success of new mixed use residential projects in Encinitas, referencing the Moonlight lofts, and P Station.The developer who evicted the artists to build what he previously referenced as 'very elite housing' at Moonluight lofts for 1.5-2M says that that there will be many more similar projects along the Leucadia Corridor now that the Leucadia Specific Plan is complete.

    It goes onto say that what you and I might have once called 'Olde Historic Encinitas, will soon have a new 'Anchor Tenant' at P Station, below the 40,000+ sq ft in new residential-

    As for Funky or Historic, they have already coined a new catchy phrase to describe the changes- 'Urban Beach' Cardiffians should be afraid, a glimpse of the future as an "Urban Beach' town is just around the corner.

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  4. Fear can be paralyzing or it can be a call to action. I truly hope that the citizens of this community will hear the call to action and do what they feel needs to be done, whatever that is. There are oral commnications at the beginning of each City Council Meeting. You have 3 minutes to talk about whatever is on your mind. This is one of many tools still available. You can also ask to have an item agenzized, which means put in on the Council's calendar. The may not do it, but remember these meetings are telvised and people do watch. There is an upcoming election in about 1 year.3 candidates are up for reelection so don't get fooled by their current rhetoric. Look at their past records to see if these are really the people you want making major decisions for our community.

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  5. I was really surprised that Barbara Cobb favored the mixed use in the Cardiff Specific Plan. She was an excellent moderator for the candidate's forum, the only one out of the four or five that were held where she took questions directly from the audience.

    That was much better than screening the questions written down on notecards. It was the most interesting forum, and I attended them all, I think.

    So I don't get why she seemed to "go to the dark side" on this one. Urban planning does make sense to some environmentalists, because people don't have to drive as far, and more rural land is theoretically preserved from development. It hasn't seemed to work that way, though. We've got both, here, sprawl and high density with no true traffic mitigation in sight.

    I hope the roundabouts do help. We'll see. I am concerned they may make matters worse, as happened in Santa Barbara, where some had to be removed, and replaced with four way stop signs, or traffic signals.

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  6. I am told that Barbara Cobb and Michael Clark were responsible for preparing the list of committee members for the CSP. I would like to see a public disavowal if this is not true. As far as I know there was no public notice beforehand and no applications considered. The list was suddenly sprung on the public at a council meeting and quickly approved.

    Now this same clique is pushing for upzoning from R-1 to R-5 on the Brown property at Lake Drive and Santa Fe. What gives?

    I know I will not be renewing my membership in the Cardiff Town Council. I feel betrayed. I hope others also do not renew if members.

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  7. It's funny about the overlap with the seemingly unappreciated statue, of Wilbur Kookmeyer fame, and the unappreciated long time Cardiffians.

    This Council has shown little respect for long time residents, except for those of the Eckes' ilk.

    My understanding is that Teresa did check with the Fair Political Practices Commission. If anyone is interested he or she can write or call the FPPC, and they will send you a workbook on Conflicts of Interest. A conflict of interest legal workbook is also available through the State Attorney General.

    I hope Teresa does follow through and get an honest intern to help her keep up with all the publications. It's like going back to school, learning all the ways the City is violating Govt. Code.

    Encinitas Inc. continues to do so by maintaing a status quo that has included a long standing practice of under or unreported closed sessions, closed door decisions, actions, "secret votes." This lack of transparency is the opposite of James Bond's bogus PR piece, also mailed out at taxpayers expense. Our City Council and City Managers have favored a hierarchy of corrupt and/or confused politicians and govt. "officers" feeding on us, and off the to the grave gravy trough.

    We are tired of the cover-ups and bogus lease revenue bonds, shifting money, illegally from the San Dieguito Water District Ratepayers to the General Fund by the improperly noticed closed session decision to purchase the Mossy Property fiasco.

    Teresa is the exception that can "prove the rule." The tides are changing . . . Won't give up hope in this lifetime.

    We can take a stand and sound off,
    yes.

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  8. It might be interesting to know if any of the Cardiff Specific Plan Committee members have anything to gain by voting for mixed-use, as it seems to be against many of the citizens wishes. Teresa had to recuse herself because her property might go up in value, therefore a conflict of interest. This committee was hand picked. Why? Who benefits? Just asking.

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  9. At least one of the committee members owns property (the Positano parcel) in the CSP zone and would reap a substantial financial gain with an upzone to mixed-use. Another runs a business (VG Donuts) by leasing property and could suffer the fate of Miracle's. Guess how they voted.

    I have no objection to having diverse opinion represented on the committee, as long as it reflects the broader opinion in Cardiff. But Barbara Cobb stacked the deck to gain a certain result. More transparency would benefit us all.

    As I understand it, Teresa Barth had to recuse herself from the process because she would vote on the final decision and possibly realize a financial gain. She is thus barred from the process. Committee members are only recommending when they vote. The council could choose to ignore their recommendations. This is unlikely to happen, so it does appear unfair that persons with a strong personal bias are allowed to have such weighty input in the process.

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  10. Common Fellas;

    I give two snaps up to more mix use as long as it’s zoned for beauty boutiques and shoe stores.

    Let’s get some Shoes!

    Love ya all,

    FM

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  11. FM: I think you have too many shoes

    ReplyDelete
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