Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hall Park Project SOLVED

Hall Park Project SOLVED

guest editorial for Leucadia blog,

When I left in 2005 to go to Morocco with the Peace Corps, my hometown of Encinitas was in the throws of an ugly dispute over what sort of park the Hall Park was to be. Having returned almost 3 years later, nothing has been accomplished. The issue is still in a stalemate.

Who does this benefit? We have what could be a great community asset just sitting around growing weeds! Here's a thought: why don't we work together as a community and come up with a solution? We have the means to do this. A community-based, comprehensive, inclusive, rapid, cost-effective solution to the controversy over the Hall Park development is right in front of us -- so why aren't we all jumping on it?

Some of the groups involved have hired professional neutral facilitators (the La Jolla Center for Dispute Resolution ) to assess the situation and see if it might be possible to come together as a community to work out a solution that sports groups and residents alike could live with. They are trying to get input from all points of view to see where we agree and disagree and if people would be willing to sit down and talk it out.

Isn't this the most mature way to figure this out? We all have to live together as a community -- there are residents around the Park who have kids and like sports, and the sports folks aren't out to upset the residents, they just need more room.

Everybody knows this will end up in years of more lawsuits the way it's going now, so why don't we save time and money and try to get the solution that the majority can live with?

What would stop people from choosing to try a community collaborative solution?

· They weren't happy with the outcome of the community workshop held in 2003 -- There were many people on all sides who didn't like how the workshop was conducted and so were not happy with the result. But that workshop was not facilitated by professional neutrals who knew how to run a meeting with a lot of conflicting ideas.

· They have a reason to keep the controversy going -- There are "spoilers" and people who try to benefit from any problem situation -- financially, politically. You can't let them run the show.

· They don't trust the community to figure it out for themselves -- We all have to live with this, and getting the key sports people and residents to sit down and work it out is the real definition of Participatory Democracy. The City Council would surely prefer to have a plan in front of them that the majority of the community supported, without lawsuits waiting in the wings.

· They figure lawsuits will happen anyway -- Having a community collaboration on a solution involves those who might be "spoilers" and gets their concerns on the table, and so it reduces the chances of a lawsuit, or that a lawsuit would be taken seriously by the courts.

We don't have to settle for the same outcome where someone "wins" and someone "loses" -- let's take control of this situation's outcome and figure it out for ourselves!

Cottonwood Creek Park took 17 years to build -- how long do we want to wait for Hall Park?


Here's a survey the facilitators put out where everyone can give their opinion

Here are articles from North County Times and the Coast News

Amanda Wolfe
Encinitas Resident


  1. I say build it, but listen to inputs from people who live in the area. My mom works at Scripps and people on Devonshire BLOW past the 25MPH speed limit.

    I say, if possible, downsize it so it doesn't create obscene traffic issues/speeding that could not only negatively impact surrounding residents, but the safety of pedestrians and children.

  2. Because you bring it up, give credit to the citizens for quality of life for bringing in the neutral facilitators. Don't even think it is CQL that hasn't wanted to come to the table. They always have. It is a few of Jerome, Dalager, and Long's buddies that want it there way or the highway. They don't care what anybody else wants. They are the ones causing the problems. As for lawsuits, there won't be any if Jerome and Danny operate above board and with transparency.

  3. I drive along Devonshire with regularity and almost every sign says "scale back the park" and there are also Scripps security guards EVERY DAY holding signs saying "slow down" and they even have a speed sign that measures your speed.

    We'll see what happens.

  4. Until it is being used as a park ,why can't it be used for motor cross racing,giant flea market or skeet shooting range?

  5. Scale down the park.
    Plant the buffer zone now.
    Start slowly.
    Build a community park for all of the city, not just special interest groups.

  6. Build this park in stages. Open it up now as a dog park. As the city gets money they can build stages. Don't build a regional sports park that will be for the benefit of Carlsbad. Leave it as a city park with few amenities except open space.

  7. JP,

    did someone get to your voting on issues. They are all the same now.

  8. JP,

    did someone get to your voting on issues. They are all the same now.

  9. Your City is selling out our City's futureJanuary 22, 2008 6:22 PM

    The council just approved raises and benefits increase for all staff and themselves.....Only 3% of the City revenue goes to City improvement projects. The City cannot afford shit without going into more debt....

    Look at the goal setting, council is about to pull the trigger on the 2nd out 3, $5,000,000.00 dollar fire station upgrades (total estimated budget +$15,000,000. The City is going into debt bigtime like the state and federal government. Where do they thing the money is going to come from? Guess who gets to pay for it in the end. You and your kids. If your suicidal, don't worry about it. If you want to live in Encinitas over the next 10 to 20 years, worry about it.

    The City should sell 1/2 of the hall property to pay for developing the rest of the park. Downsize the park, cut it in half.

  10. The Hall property was purchased for a park. I think selling a part of it goes against everything we have been fighting to do. The CQL filed a lawsuit because the land, and the contaminents in it, would have hurt people. Is that such a terrible idea? Did you want your kids playing on land that might, in the futre, make them sick. I doubt it. Building the park in phases make a great deal of sense to me. It doesn't all have to be done at once. Please, City, don't sell part of it off for an immediate fix on the City's budget woes.

  11. cql filed the lawsuit because the city didn't follow the law. The city was obligated to find out if anything was dangerous before starting the project.


    They should have found out about contamination before buying the Hall Property from the now very rich Mr. Hall.

  12. Woulda, coulda, shouldaJanuary 22, 2008 9:49 PM

    The citizens of Encinitas should run out of town on a rail all the council members that voted for this debacle from the beginning.

    The city manager at the time should be jailed for failing to protect the city from lawsuits like CQL presented.

    WHo was on the Parks and Rec commision at the time this land was purchased?? They should be hung by their feet from the Encinitas sign!!!

    The COE should have demanded a clean bill of health for the property from Mr. Hall prior to the purchase.

    Now we are stuck with an ugly( I'm surprised this property isn't located in Leucadia), toxic eyesore!!

    Currently the Hall property is nothing more than an underused toxic waste dump!! Sell it to EDCO!! Use the funds to pay off the library bonds. There's another white elephant, but that's for another day!!!

  13. fiscally pruderntJanuary 22, 2008 9:58 PM

    Agreed. Sell it. The last thing we want is a huge park for Carlsbad residents to flock to that we pay for year after year forever.

    Sell quail gardens as well.

    Use the money for all the other projects, the City can't afford.

  14. In a city council meeting, Mayor Bond admitted that the city "cleaned up" the land without the proper safeguards or following the law because being sued was cheaper than the cost to do it right. Only in Encinitas do we have an elected official bragging about intentionally violating the law because in his opinion following the law was too expensive.

  15. The soccerheads won't even come to the table to negotiate -- that just shows their bad faith. They care nothing about our neighborhood and how our quality of life will be impacted. As the revenues dry up for the city due to the recession and falling property values, I bet part of that land will be sold to fund whatever will be built. The soccerheads refusal to compromise will be their downfall.

  16. Cardifian against City WasteJanuary 22, 2008 10:46 PM

    The City budget will grow because of the huge appreciation of real estate over the last 11 years.

    the only problem is council gave all the money to staff salaries and benefits so there is no money for improvement projects. Why does 96% of the City's revenues go to staff salaries and retirement?

    That is ridiculous.

    The City Council should be calling out the City Manager on this atrocity against the Encinitas citizens and fired tomorrow. We need a City Manager with Fiscal prudence- Not a lifer government employee who's city manager through attrition (can you say "watching the clock until my retirement day, when I get 100% of my $200,000 salary forever! Fire me Council- I don't give a shit about your fiscal problems- Just keep giving me my raise and don't ask about why we spend so much on staff")

  17. This community is suffering what IMHO is happening all over this country. The only way prosperity and success is measured is through growth. Someone making a profit is the sole measure it seems. We are suffering from the complete lack of political will to say stop.

    If we were to able to even consider, for instance, what is quality for the people of the community, the land and even the critters without dollars driving everything we'd have a different conversation. Healing this chunk of land, like healing the poor Leucadia 101 stretch of our world is a reasonable and forward thinking priority.

    But, just this suggestion will bring out the shrieking harridans and nasty assumptions.

  18. I love the sign that I have seen to counter the silly Scale Back The Park nonsense.


    Is that just to simple for the NIMBYS that bought property knowing that there was going to be a park?

  19. How does the soccer league rate so much importance? Why negotiate?

  20. Did knowbody read the article? Seriously, let's stop pointing fingers and start coming up with solutions to build a community park.

  21. This seems like a no-brainer to me. If the city can't afford a big sports park then build within the budget.

    I say, let us use it now and upgrade it later. If it's really supposed to be a community park like they've said, then let the community build it. I'll bet we could even get some people to donate, trees, etc. Let's organize some work parties and get something going. Then people who want something more can hold a bake-sale or whatever to raise money for improvements.

  22. "scale back the park" was a P.R. disaster for cardiff. The message strikes as an obstructionist message.

  23. Many time bigger sucksJanuary 23, 2008 8:57 PM

    Hardly..... the days of bigger is better in America is past due....

    Anyone with a sign saying Bigger Park More Fun is a retard and probably owns a hummer themselves.

    Like the "value meal" and the Hummer. Bigger is usually crappier! Just look at the big and super big lifeless boxes that were spewed all over Carlsbad that will drop in value faster than a 1,000sf home built in a old part of Encinitas without any HOA.

    The days of Bigger are gone like Barry Bonds and Jerome Stocks

  24. No way would go .go bonds would get a pass from a 2/3 of the property tax payers..So uncle Kerry came in with slick financing at higher interest and the council went into a 30 day all cash pay out to Hall, paid with no apprasial or escrow conditions such as ,toxic waste, traffic engineering, zoning requirements or any normal contingencies studies.Keep away government at work.Downsizing is not an option even when the balance sheet,is a lopsided joke. You are watching a 44 acre alligator eating interest at a 1.5 million dollar a year cost.

  25. Sell half the land to Jed Staley and he can build density bonus housing on it and Cardiff can enjoy his type of building

  26. Cardiff residentJanuary 24, 2008 2:16 PM

    Use half the land for a City affordable housing trailer park. We in Cardiff need alittle more Character.

  27. I couldn't click on the link. Wouldn't work, for the survey, for some reason.

    I think we should scale back the park in terms of building regional, dedicated sports fields. I do NOT think we should sell part of the land. That land was bought for a park. If it takes 17 years, so be it. Meanwhile, we could have trails and a dog walking area, at least.

    If Pacific View was shut down, and school enrollment is declining, then why do we need more sports fields? The fields we have now should be enough. The sports leagues should pay or work to help maintain the fields. This should not fall on the taxpayers. This is another case of special interests benefitting when ALL of us have to pay interest for bonds purchased with no real revenue stream. The bond issues should have been general obligation bonds, and should have come to a vote. Then one could see if a majority favored the regional sports complex model that is still being pushed.

    I feel the majority do want a park, and do NOT want to sell part of the land. The choice is not black and white. It's not either a regional sports complex, or selling off the property.

    That is more scare tactics.

  28. Looking at the picture posted the park isn;t all ball fields it appears to be something for everyone. I see swimming pools, skate park , dog park , basketball courts, trees and trails in the perimeter which doubles as a sound barrier as well as ball fields.
    Lets face it Americans are fat and sports help with fitness. I for one would rather hear kids playing than the sound of the freeway and restrictions against tournaments can be put in place.

  29. the fat fighter is fine. But you better start by fighting the fat at City hall. The Staff is gobbling all of our tax money. Fire 5 staff and look at what can be built for $1,000,000 per year.

    If you cant fire staff, sell the property- we cannot afford to improve it sell it for affordable housing.

  30. The swimming pools are on hold as the sponsors dropped out.

    Most of the controversy is about the regional sports complex, the MANY sports playing fields, and the lights and traffic impact this would bring. Also, the contamination that has not been addressed.

  31. If your fear is the City sending money that they don't have, then do something to split up the San Dieguito Water District and the City Council, cuz I feel another Lease Revenue Bond comin on.

  32. Addressing the "Hall Property" issue is really just addressing the symptom, but not the disease. The disease is corruption, and our city council and all other city organizations are terminal. We MUST get rid of all fat white guys who run every facet of this city, from the Hall Park to the salaries of the city employees.

    The fact is, the Hall property should never have been purchased for a park, for god's sake, without having to pass inspection for contaminants. Do you think the people who bought a piece of property used from the 50's through the 90's to grow plants, really gave a crap if a park ended up on it or a Walmart? No, they did not. That piece of land was the last piece of land of its kind in Encinitas. It will be whatever the City Council wants it to be, and f*&%k anyone who doesn't like it. Get ready ... the outcome will be worse than you think.

    Each and every organization in Encinitas in 2008 merely exist to exist. They provide nothing to Encinitas residents, business owners, children, sports families, retired folks, or anybody else. The only concern the FWGs have is making sure they continue to have their jobs, and we let them keep their jobs by not voting out the ones we can. VOTE THEM OUT!!! My god, could it really be THAT hard? Are they smart? No. Are they good looking? No. Charismatic? No. Polished? No. Well educated? No. WTF is our problem? We voted down Prop A by a landslide, but we can't seem to get rid of Jerome Stocks or Dan Dalager? Let's roll up our sleeves and get um!! I guarantee you that, when they're gone, all the other hangers-on all over the city who promote their agendas will go as well, and the Hall Property issue will be a thing of the past. Our votes on Prop A made a difference in our community. We made a real statement about what we would not tolerate. Let's make that same statement again. If we don't do it right now, this year, our city is completely doomed.

  33. Re/ 3:50
    Good points about declining enrollment and Pacific View shutting down. In 1995, (when I worked for the district) San Dieguito HS had the first drop in enrollment in at least the previous 20 years. There were 75 less students in '95 than there were in '94: a 4% drop. Real Estate was in the dumper that year too. People were moving out of CA in record numbers. It was hard to find U-Haul trucks to leave CA because they were in all parts of the country East.
    I wonder what the enrollment of the Academy is this year compared to last? The park does seem way too big to me. And when it comes down to maintaining every square foot of that each year, it's gotta be an astronomical expense.

  34. Here's a typical scenario from last fall at the facility on Lake St. From 4 to 6, on the lower field, two football teams and one soccer club. At the same time, on the upper field, more soccer. At six, two different football teams would start, and two softball games would commence on the upper field. All this was before girls softball started, where even more teams would be practicing. Throw in the assorted adult pickup soccer action, the field is packed. The YMCA facility is similarly packed. The schools are for the most part locked up. Where are the kids supposed to go? We need these fields now, not in 10 more years. Yes, the Carlsbad issue is a large concern and I'd really like to be able to use Stage Coach park, that's not my call unfortunately.

    How come we can't just plant some grass and call it done? No parking lot, just free-for-all, a REAL park!

  35. Does anyone know how many more jobs the 44 acre Hall Park will create with Maintenance crews, security, lifeguards etc?


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