Thursday, June 19, 2008

Nantucket Leucadia, the Plot thickens



NCT.com ENCINITAS: Homeowner to ask Council to lift affordable housing restriction

Leucadia Cares and friends:

At the city council tonight the agenda item of interest was # 4 - a report and 3 options laid out by the staff concerning the affordable housing unit on Andrew and the Barratt home located on what is called Plot # 1 - their former model home on Andrew.

The story goes: Barratt sold Plot # 1 to a customer who wants to move in (of course). The customer says he was never told the house can not be occupied because the affordable house has not be built. The customer, George Shafer, came before the CC a couple of weeks ago to say he wants to move in "with his family", he is reported to have said. The city holds what is called a "certificate of occupancy" (COO) and is not suppose to give it up until the affordable home is completed as contracted.

As it turns out: David Meyer, who was under contract to build the affordable home on Andrew, has backed out of the whole deal. The council thinks Barratt is now responsible for the affordable home.
Barratt has no money and has pulled their advertising signs off La Costa and the huge one on Andrew. There is a "for sale by owner" on the lawn of Plot # 1 home tonight.

Kathleen McMillen Lees, Jerry Sodomka and I spoke to the issue of making Barratt live by the existing contact and build the affordable home before releasing the COO to Shafer. I brought up the point that Barratt gave $ 30K to the city for the last birthday party...and now is asking for favors again. We brought up the point that all we want is the city to follow their rules. They haven't in this case.

We found out on the web and through some of you that George Shafer is actually a representative for an LLC that buys model homes and leases them back to builders. No warm cuddly family to move in. And it was vaguely reported that the # 1 house had been sold to someone else before Mr. Shafer got involved. The boys on the council were hoodwinked again, but they didn't seem to care.

Maggie and Teresa didn't buy any of it and wanted more time to figure who is who and what is what. Teresa said publicly "the whole deal smells."

The boys voted them down and came up with a very difficult plan to give Barratt the COO for Plot # 1 (the model home) and somehow take back the COO for plot # 6 and hold it in hostage until the affordable home is build. I believe the city attorney said it might be very hard to get the COO back. Good luck - I understand someone already owns plot # 6...a point neglected by the boys last night.

If ever you wanted to see one hour and 20 minutes of giving Barratt and David Meyer favors -- this was the night. It was SO embarrassing to see how the boys practically fell over themselves to accommodate the wiggly players here. Wish we had bought the birthday party.

The staff is to meet with Barratt and give them the plan of building an affordable (now probably 800 sf) home on Andrew by June 30, 2009 or the city will take over Plot # 6 as the affordable home. Sounds tough, but I have my doubts about it working out like that. It was all very pathetic. The taxpayer money that has gone into this aspect of the project alone is probably staggering.

What the CC did not discuss is what happens if these properties have not paid their property taxes and default back to a lender? Is the lender responsible for building the affordable housing? Somehow in the boys' zeal to help Barratt they forgot that biggie.

Keep a look out for more deals to come.

Ron

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10 comments:

  1. Jerome Stocks questioned Patrick Murphy last night to see if Patrick could remember any special favors the city has given Barratt or David Meyer. He couldn't remember any. Here is my recollection.

    Major give-aways:

    1. Allowed David Meyer to set the height of the home pads as the point at which the overall height of the new homes was taken - as opposed to standard city policy and code of measuring from native ground level. These homes are up to 5-6 ft higher than they should be. (Native ground level is mentioned at almost every planning commission meeting these days. If that's the case, why did we loose the appeal? Baffling.)

    2. Did not require Meyer to do an in-depth study of the potentially hazardous chemicals that could have been on the former green house sites. They required Meyer to test at 6 inches below the ground when the city knows from the Hall property many of the hazardous chemicals live at 10 ft below the surface.

    3. Allowed hundreds and hundreds of tons on untested city soil to be moved from a canyon off La Costa Avenue to the Barratt site without a permit. The city could never find the permit and said the soil was tested, but no study has ever appeared.

    4. GAVE Barratt enough city soil for their Nantaucket project - FREE OF CHARGE.

    5. Allowed David Meyer to include an already existing low income home on Andrew as the "density bonus home" for this project when the state code specifically states this has to be new construction. THERE IS NO NET GAIN OF A LOW INCOME HOME IN THIS PROJECT or for Encinitas, but Barratt and Meyer have walked away with millions of dollars in cash due to their ability to squeeze in more large homes on tiny lots. ( David Meyer boasts he help write the California density bonus law. )

    6. Allowed this Barratt project to go forward without any assurance or contract from David Meyer that the low income project would even be built. It seems like a very soft contract was agreed upon between the city and Meyer. (It will be at least another year before something is completed on the Andrew site. My bet is longer, if ever).

    I'M SURE THERE ARE MORE BIGGIES.

    In terms of an on going construction problems with Barratt, the city has in every case first defended Barratt instead of trying to protect our quality of life. (send more if you have them).

    a. In the early days of dumping soil and major grading -- a minimum of water, if any, was used on the site causing huge clouds of dirt to float around the neighborhood. Greg Shields at the city said on the phone to me that they were using enough water and their weren't any dust clouds. Two days later Barratt was using more water on the site and the dust clouds diminished slightly.

    b. Do you remember what Andrew and Sheridan looked like in those early days? A muddy mess.
    Their hundreds of trucks laid down a thick layer of mud - then dust clouds the length of the block. Greg Shields said it wasn't a problem until someone falls in the street. Two days later there were street sweepers cleaning up the mess.

    c. I asked Greg Shields why Barratt was not required to have a rock/gravel driveway coming off the site to help knock off any dirt and mud from the trucks, as is code. He said Barratt wasn't required to have this. Several days later there was a gravel pit installed.

    d. Early morning construction: Even after years of complaint to the code enforcement department the city seemed unwilling the make Barratt conform to the "hours of construction." Subs arrived as early as 2 in the morning, started grading at 6 AM (vs code time of 7:30 am) and some worked until 9 PM...weekends and holidays. The city seemed to look the other way for all those years. This is a quality of life issue for anyone living around construction sites and the city didn't seem to want to help.

    e. Some of us complained about the illegal sidewalk "accidently installed" in front of Barratt's first model home - just in time for it's opening. "It must have been poured in on a Saturday," said the city inspector. "I don't work on Saturdays" he told me. It was there about 3-4 months before the city made them take it out.

    f. The city has been unwilling to monitor Barratt's FOR SALE signs and make them conform to city codes without being pushed by Leucadia residents. Signs have appeared without permits, in city right of ways, in places blocking important views of oncoming cars on La Costa Avenue (and others), appeared to be oversized according to the code and some flags were up all night making Andrew and Sheridan look like a used car lot.

    g. The moving of Andrew avenue 4 ft to the south to allow Barratt larger lot sizes is a huge issue. The city claims they recently discovered the street was not surveyed properly back in the last century so they arranged to have it moved for Barratt. How much did that cost taxpayers?

    h. Do you remember what the corner of Sheridan and Andrew looked like for about a year? Very narrow and dangerous. I understand the taxpayers had to pay to get it corrected - not Barratt, as is standard in most cases in Encinitas. It was a sweet heart deal.

    PS - word just in from the scouts - that the Barratt Plot # 1 and low density plot on Andrew (# 8) have not paid their property taxes. It appears that 6 of the Barratt plots in Phase 2 on Sheridan have not paid their property taxes either.

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  2. I say throw the bums out. This will not stand. This aggression against Leucadia will not stand.

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  3. I sent the following email to Councilman James Bond this morning.

    Dear Mr. Bond:
    I have researched ownership and property tax status of the Nantucket I lots on the San Diego County Tax Collector website. The website shows that Lot 1 is owned by George Shafer and is delinquent in taxes. It show Lot 8 is owned by Barratt American and is also delinquent in taxes. It shows Lot 6 is owned by Fan Qi & Wu Zhao with taxes paid, and Barratt American as the owner on January 1, 2007. It appears the lot has been sold. Additionally six lots on Nantucket II are owned by Barratt American and all are delinquent in taxes. Incidentally the address given for Lot 6 (1916 Paxton Way) should read 1917 Paxton Way, as confirmed by the City's E-zoning and San Diego County records.
    Is the city creating a legal liability for itself by starting a process of removing the density bonus low income housing occupancy restriction form Lot 1 and putting it on Lot 6, when this lot is not owned by Barratt American? It seems that way to me. As I said last night, the city has had no legal liability on this whole issue. My concern is that a liability is being created. Please feel free to share this email with the City Manager, the City Attorney, the Planning Director, and the Mayor. I am only addressing this email to you, since you were the lead voice in the decision last night.
    I would appreciate any clarification you can give me on this matter.

    Regards, Gerald Sodomka

    City Attorney Glenn Sabine said last night that the city cannot willy-nilly move the occupancy restriction around. It seems to be exactly what was started last night. At this time no clarification has been sent to me.

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  4. Last I heard Mike Pattison from Barrett has fled to Arizona. He has left blight in the neighborhood. Abandoned houses that are dubbed Santa's Village, unpaid property taxes, weeds up to 6 feet high on the property.
    And our City Council turns its collective back on the problem and lets him have a bonus density unit that he will never build.
    Enough!

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  5. Mick Pattinson is businessman of the year!

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  6. Mick is the slime sucking pig developer that gives them their reputation.

    Some people give people like Mick Power. People like Jerome that gobble the jism that spews from his master orifices!

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  7. It's time for new leadership at City Hall! I'm voting for Rachelle Collier and Bob Nanninga.

    It's time to for Jerome to join Mr. Patterson in forced retirement.

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  8. I once knew a man from Nantucket.
    Is this the same guy?

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  9. www.nanningaforencinitas.org

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  10. So did Barrat forfeit Lot 6 to the city as the affordable unit or did they provide a differnt propert as the affordable unit? Who is responsible for the administration of affordable housing?

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