Saturday, September 01, 2007
Big story in the Union Tribune today about the growing concerns about the new Cardiff downtown master plan.
Cardiff downtown master plan will shape growth
Business district at risk, some fear
ENCINITAS – V.G. Donuts & Bakery is still an institution in Cardiff. Its coffee is still 99 cents a cup, and its wedding cakes are still in demand.
But there is something different at the shop these days.
The buzz at the bakery in an aging commercial center has veered from city politics and surfing to a recent upheaval in Cardiff – its controversial downtown master plan.
It is a planning document that would dictate the growth pattern of the community's business district known for its casual, unrefined and friendly atmosphere.
Some fear a portion of the proposed plan that allows mixed-use developments with residential-commercial combinations could raze the business district – generally a four-block stretch along San Elijo Avenue – and replace it with a massive housing complex. read the rest.
A new website has been created to tackle to issue (the site design is the best local political website we've seen yet),
Save Cardiff Dot Com
*Is the issue really mixed use? Because downtown Cardiff is already mixed use. For example, the studio apartments above Pipe's Cafe.
*The main concern is that the classic and iconic VG's shopping center will be torn down to make way for a sprawling Pacific Station style development. The UT article doesn't mention who owns this shopping center. What does the property owner think? What are his/her long term plans? VG's and Besta Wan Pizza are the heart and soul Cardiff and it would be insane for the city of Encinitas to entertain razing this area.
*The new Cardiff master plan should include language that preserves the VG's shopping center. Can this shopping center become a designated historical landmark? I know the local Cardiff residents feel it is.
*The city of Encinitas has hired Peder Norby as the coast highway coordinator/czar. Technically, downtown Cardiff is not on the coast highway but it's close enough so that he should be involved in this process considering he brings a lot of knowledge and insight to the table.
*An interesting sidebar to this story is that hundreds of local Cardiff surfers, normally apathetic to politics, have become extremely active in this issue. Why? Besides that VG's is ground zero for Cardiff surf culture, the much maligned surfer statue sent a shockwave through the Cardiff surfing community. The arrival of the statue is viewed as the precursor to the yuppification of Cardiff.
*I had a conversation with a Cardiff resident recently and I told him I thought a lot of the chain e-mails circulating about the downtown master plan had a lot of fear mongering. He shook his head and said, "Be afraid, be very afraid." implying that I was naive. He also expressed frustration that city council member Teresa Barth who lives in Cardiff can't vote on the master plan (it's easy to see both sides of that issue).
*Keep Cardiff Funky?
Coast News op-ed piece about Cardiff, click here.