Thursday, July 31, 2008
Just FYI, information sharing for those interested in the North Hwy 101 street-scape plan.
I uploaded images and the presentation by Dan Burden to the L101 website this morning. http://www.leucadia101.com/Streetscape%20information.htm The images were provided by Peltz & Associates. The PowerPoint is a very large file (70megs) and I had no way to compress it so folks need to be patient downloading it.
As of yet, the city has not posted any graphics or presentation material on the city website. I am told they are working on it.
L101 has a new office as you know on Hwy 101, The office will have the large sheet renderings of the alternatives posted on the wall in the very near future, a week or two. The office will be a good place for those interested to stop by and see the concepts.
and on another topic,
Tonight is the Draft Specific Plan meeting at the Panning Commission. The CSP was crafted by the community during 20 meetings, eight months, and represents the consensus of the community as expressed by the 13 committee members. There are some very innovative approaches in the plan to promote single story development, preserve views and community scale, and deal with underground parking and potential future large parcels such as NCTD and the Cardiff school, that I think might have interest to Leucadians.
In any event, it was a professional privilege and honor to be able facilitate the meetings and work with the Cardiff stakeholders as they authored the CSP.
My sincere hope is that the collective voice and those thousands of hours donated by both committee members and the public who participated, represented in the draft CSP document will be adopted in the near future.
"I am thinking that one day, Encinitas will not be a sleepy little beach town but an urban city by the sea. "
source: ENCINITAS: Questions about state law emerge in Pacific View debate
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
In the spirit of brevity I have kept the answers short. I am open to meeting with residents individually or in groups to discuss these issues at length.
Q: Lowering the train tracks?
A: Underground and covered
Q: Pacific View school
A: Naylor Act = School House Historic park
Q: Hall property park
A: It's time to stop wasteing time and money and build the damn park
Q: New fire stations
A: The old ones are ghetto. New ones should be cost and energy efficient. And the Cardiff station should be moved to a less constrictive location.
Q: Plastic bag ban?
Q: Bike lane on 101 through Leucadia?
A: Long overdue
Q: City staff salaries and benefits?
A: Non sustainable
Q: Consultants versus staff?
A: If staff can't do the job replace the staff with those who can not consultants.
Q: Open meetings?
A: At all times.
Q: Rail trail?
A: On top of undergrounded LOSSAN Rail corridor
Q: Rail under crossings
A: Boondoogle. Absolutely not!
Q: Scripps expansion and impact on surrounding properties?
A: All traffic should enter and exit on Sante Fe, not into the long established residential neighborhood.
Q: Up-zoning with out a vote of the people?
A: All zoning changes and changes to the general plan should be brought to a vote of the people. No exceptions!
Q: A city wide bond for rooftop PV cells
A: Solar is good but should not be forced on property owners.
Q: A citywide bond for under grounding utilities
A: Worth exploring, as it would improve views and property values, enhance tourism, and make Encinitas a truly 21st century city.
July 30, 2008 8:29 AM
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
northcountytimes.com: ENCINITAS: City Council race is one to watch
"It is going to be an interesting election because Encinitas is basically split down the middle with traditional Democrats and traditional Republicans each holding 50 percent," said local political watcher Mike Andreen.
I guess there are no third party members in Encinitas and I guess citizens of Encinitas only vote the party line?
Bond, Stocks and Councilman Dan Dalager make up the conservative block on the council; Houlihan and Councilwoman Teresa Barth are viewed as more liberal. Stocks is now serving as the city's mayor; the largely ceremonial mayor's post rotates annually among City Council members.
Bond, Stocks and Dalager conservatives? Oh really? You might want to check their policies and voting records.
Teresa Barth may be viewed as a liberal by the media, probably because she is environmentally conscience (wanting to manage your local environment and resources is a very conservative value in my opinion) and Barth is without a doubt the most fiscally responsible member of the council.
But, in 21st century USA the talk radio screamers have redefined conservative vs liberal into some sort of strange Yankees vs Red Sox ideology.
Monday, July 28, 2008
It's a shame the owner of this property didn't take care of this place over the years, because it was actually cool. But a lack of upkeep combined with irresponsible renters spelled doom for this coast highway property. The bordered up windows did nothing for Leucadia's ambiance over the past couple of years.
The new property owner is finally tearing the place down. I'm not sure what the plans are for the lot.
There was a couple hundred angry bees swirling around when I took this photo, so maybe there was a hive inside and that is why the bulldozer didn't finish the job that day.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Olivenhain Municipal Water District Declares Drought Level 1 and Says No New Service Connections If It Moves To Level 2
Encinitas, CA –The Olivenhain Municipal Water District (District) Board of Directors adopted a Drought Response Conservation Ordinance (Ordinance) at its Board Meeting this morning. Immediately following the adoption of the Ordinance, the General Manager declared a Level 1 Drought Watch for the District’s service area effective immediately. The ordinance consists of four levels and is modeled after the regional drought ordinance developed in partnership with the San Diego County Water Authority (Water Authority) and other local water suppliers. Water suppliers throughout San Diego County have adop ted or will adopt their own drought ordinances generally consistent with restrictions that are being enforced across the region.
Level 1 – “Drought Watch” effective July 23, 2008
A Level 1 condition calls out six primary use restrictions. Compliance with these restrictions during Level 1 is voluntary; however these same restrictions become mandatory and will incur penalties if the District moves to Level 2. Level 1 restrictions, which are also generally considered best water management practices, include not washing off paved surfaces, not allowing runoff from irrigation, watering before 8 AM or after 6 PM, using a shut off nozzle on hoses and repairing all leaks promptly. During a Level 1 Drought Watch condition, the District will increase its public education and outreach efforts to emphasize public awareness of the need to implement the water conservation practices adop ted in the Drought Response Ordinance. At Level 1 the District is asking customers to help conservation efforts by voluntarily cutting back their water use by at least 10% within and around their homes and businesses. If 10% water reduction goals are not accomplished in Level 1, a Level 2 Drought Alert could be declared.
Level 2 - The District diverges from the Regional Ordinance to Stop New Connections Earlier at Level 2
In a Level 2 “Drought Alert” (up to 20% reduction required) all water reduction measures in Level 1 will continue; however they will become mandatory and will incur penalties.The District Board decided to diverge from the Regional Ordinance by providing that no new potable water service connections will be allowed in Level 2. “The Regional Ordinance did not call for the discontinuation of new service connections until Level 3; however the District felt that we owed a duty to our existing customers to take this step earlier. If we start telling our existing customers that they have mandatory restrictions and penalties, we didn’t feel it was right to keep setting new meters. ,” sta ted Mark Muir , the District’s Board Treasurer and the District’s representative to the San Diego County Water Authority. The only exceptions for new service connections in Level 2 will be for public health and safety, previously issued and unexpired building permits, or if the developer can offset all of the water demands of the new service connection. More information and additional customer notices will be provided if and when the District moves to Level 2 or higher The District’s Drought Response Ordinance may be viewed at its website www.omwd.com.
Why has the District moved to a Level 1 “Drought Watch?”
San Diego County is a semi-arid region and local water resources are scarce. The region is dependent upon impor ted water supplies provided by the Water Authority, which obtains a substantial portion of its supplies from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan Water District). The Water Authority is responsible for notifying its member agencies, including the District, that there will be supply shortages and that certain consumer conservation measures are needed in order to ensure that sufficient supplies will be available to meet anticipa ted demands. On June 4, 2008 Governor Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought, and on June 10, 2008 in response to the Governor’s proclamation, Metropolitan Water District declared a Water Supply Alert throughout its six-county service area to help preserve water storage reserves. “The plain and simple of it is that the entire state is in a drought and we are drawing down storage at an alarming rate in order to meet demands. We do not have the ability to replenish those supplies as we did in the past due to court ordered restrictions on pumping from the Delta. Unless demand is reduced voluntarily, we will be moving to the next levels in the Drought Ordinance which include mandatory compliance, penalties and allotments. ” stated the District’s General Manager Kimberly Thorner.
California is experiencing a drought due to two consecutive years of below-average rainfall, very low snowmelt runoff and the largest court-ordered water transfer restrictions in state history. The water transfer restrictions have been placed on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta pumps on the State Water Project pipelines that provide water to most of Southern California including San Diego County . The District receives 40% of its water supply from the State Water Project. These restrictions are from federal rulings set to protect several protected fish species in the Delta, and will prevent delivery of up to 30% of the water from the State Water Project. This restriction is anticipated to remain in effect for several years.
The Metropolitan Water District has projec ted that there will be shortages in our water supply from 120,000 acre feet up to 600,000 acre feet for 2009. 120,000 acre feet is roughly the amount of water for approximately 120,000 families of four for one year. Even if more rain is received and snowpack goes up next year it will not be enough to make up for the deficiencies in our water supply that already exist.
These factors have triggered the necessity for the District to adopt its drought response ordinance and declare Level 1 Drought Watch.
Mandolyn (Mandy) Rodriguez
Staff Analyst/Public Information Officer
Olivenhain Municipal Water District
1966 Olivenhain Road
Encinitas, CA 92024
P (760) 632-4650
F (760) 753-1638
Save Water Now! 20 Gallon Challenge
For Tips and Information Visit www.sdcwa.org
Cooperative Interagency Resources Coalition www.sdcirc.org
US Drought Monitor-West
Thursday, July 24, 2008
When I say Calamari Baby is a small business I mean it literally, the store is tiny but well stocked. Calamari Baby is located in the funky little strip mall in north Leucadia between Glaucus and Phoebe St (where the Plant Lady is).
Awwww, wook at all dah wittle shoes 'n stuff...awwwwwww.
Calamari Baby Owner Allison Kosty.
I bought my 10 month old son a soybean fiber onesie from Calamari Baby, it's nifty (he's not actually wearing it here, but this photo cracks me up).
1114 N. Highway 101, Unit #11
Leucadia, CA 92024
~ Monday - Friday :: 10:00am - 2:00pm
~ ...........Saturday :: 10:00am - 4:00pm
~ .............Sunday :: Closed
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Take California GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter's nifty idea to help the neediest of the needy: the 230,000 refugees in Chad who have fled the slaughter in Darfur and are desperately in need of food.
Hunter's staff contacted the embassy in N'Djamena, Chad, last week to see whether Hunter could distribute food at a camp. Hunter also wanted to put together an outing to hunt wildebeest and distribute the meat to refugees.
Um...I guess that sounds sorta okay. But wait,
· The embassy will "make the necessary arrangements for" Hunter to watch a food distribution in a camp.
· "Regarding the Congressman's desire to hunt wildebeest and distribute the cured meat to refugees, wildebeest are not present in Chad." (We're told some have been there, mostly in a no-hunting wildlife refuge.)
Washington Post story read here.
This is a refugee camp in Chad.
This is Duncan Hunter.
This is a wildebeest.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The North County Times has an article (”Police budgets rise as street presence declines” July 22) this morning about a study finding that North County cities have fewer cops per 1,000 residents compared to the national average, DESPITE THE FACT THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT BUDGETS CONTINUE TO GROW.
The article states:
Throughout the region, law enforcement budgets increased by 20 percent over the past five years, including 6 percent between fiscal years 2006-07 and 2007-08, which ended this month.
The report said the increases are being driven by rising expenses for retirement and health insurance benefits, workers’ compensation and training.
Of course, this imbalance is a direct result of the lopsided benefits that the local police unions have been able to squeeze from compliant politicians.
It’s also why I’ve made the conscious decision not to seek an endorsement from the police union, in our case the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association.
Of course the police argue that the below average cop presence hasn’t hurt public safety and that crime is actually down across the region.
While that’s true, it’s most likely the result of demographics rather than policing (fewer young people + more old people = less crime).
Unfortunately, demographics can always change. What happens if crime starts inching upwards and we don’t have enough cops on the street because cities can’t afford the high benefits unions demand?
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I thought your audience would be interested to know that Encinitas took another step toward changing the main vehicular railroad crossings in Leucadia. The city submitted the following project to SANDAG as part of the Regional Transportation Improvement Program.
They have added a Cadmus railroad crossing to the regional plan, which is tied to various funding mechanisms. I think it is notable that they estimated the cost at $1 million dollars. If I recall correctly, the two Leucadia Boulevard roundabouts were about $2 Million dollars and then there is this UT article that says it would cost $5 million.
I don't recall any council discussion about this and I just confirmed this issue was on the consent calendar a few weeks ago. Mayor Stocks sets the agenda so he put it on the consent calendar. The consent calendar is used to vote something through with no discussion and has been abused. I don't know if that is the case this time, but I have to ask if the public has been advised that the city is gearing up to go this direction?
A well thought out solution would be great. The Leucadia/Vulcan/H101 intersections are in the heart of Leucadia and are a traffic nightmare. Unfortunately, given the city's recent history, I sure would like to know this is a well planned and realistic project.
Does anyone know the details? Is this a good idea?
View Larger Map
nctimes.com November 18, 2006: New Encinitas railroad crossing proposed
Leucadia Blog: Crossing Over to Cadmus-Pros and Cons
*UPDATE-The Cadmus crossing idea is not being pursued, however for some reason it was included in the recent staff report thus causing the confusion.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Tunnels crossings at the tracks are always bad for Encinitas
July 17, 2008
There are many reasons to not have railroad under crossings in Encinitas at this time. Here are some. They would not stop fatalities as 100% of deaths are from suicide or accidents at vehicle crossings. Not one suicide was averted when NCTD made it illegal to cross the tracks anywhere but vehicle crossings. They are playing the Nanny State and telling us we aren’t smart enough to fend for ourselves like people have for the last 100 plus years the tracks have been here. Make it legal again to cross like at Trestles Surf beach in northern San Diego County. I think we’re smart enough to survive.
At the three under crossings they will each have their own traffic light at Highway 101 along with additional overhead streetlights. We absolutely do not need any more traffic lights along our scenic highway. I live near the El Portal crossing, away from town with darkness at night, the last thing our family wants to see is a set of traffic lights blinking from our kitchen, dining, living room and bedroom. This traffic light we will see 24 hours a day flashing green, yellow and red. Thanks a lot. Also think about the light pollution and electrical usage, a huge problem in Southern California. Just what we need, three more traffic lights that will not be in synchronization. Just look at Encinitas Blvd. to see what traffic lights do to commute times. They rarely work together causing vast amounts of smog and carbon dioxide to be released into our atmosphere. Do we really need three more traffic lights? I was told by city staff a few years ago when the idea of a traffic light was first proposed at El Portal that they had enough money to install one traffic light a year and though it was a good place to put one. Not to mention that with this light, they want to remove the stop sign at Marchetta Street. Although this seems logical, it is in reality very dangerous. Studies have shown where stop signs are removed and accidents happen at these intersections, they are often deadly and the municipalities are usually held liable with expensive litigation. As it is now with our present stop sign at Marchetta Street, the traffic flows in and out of our neighborhood with ease and very little overflow driving through our narrow streets. The best solution here is to abandon the tunnel at El Portal and pursue an at-grade pedestrian crossing at Marchetta/Orpheus Street where in the past there was once an at grade vehicle crossing. With Orpheus being a natural feeder street from I-5 and the entire area east of 101 this makes the most sense. More pedestrians cross here than anywhere else from Encinitas Blvd to Leucadia Blvd. Staff said tonight that the railroad authority won’t allow at grade crossings but they did allow one just a half mile south at the Coaster Station where often crowds stand close by as the Amtrack train speeds by at 60 mph. Plus a traffic light will not be needed. Also most people will not use a tunnel if they are not convenient. Just an extra 200 feet in either direction or they will cross the tracks instead. Even with the wood rail fence. When they jump a short fence next will come a six foot cyclone fence with barbed wire atop. Soon it will look like a prison or the border fence. Think of the visual effect of a continuous ugly 6 foot fence where there is none now. After that it will stretch from lagoon to lagoon. Highway 101 is supposed to be a scenic highway corridor. Let’s keep it that way.
I have not yet stated all the problems with under crossings, and there are many that I am probably missing. There is sure to be loitering, homeless living, trash, clean-up, maintenance contracts at city expense, sump pumps because the bottom of the tunnels will be 6 to 8 feet or more below existing grade, flooding when these fail during storms, backup generators, the Fire Department to monitor for flooding as they do at Leucadia Roadside Park when rain is emminent, environmental hygienists to check water quality from these sumps, (don’t forget that the soils near the railroad tracks are usually very polluted, pcb’s arsenic, creosote and who knows what else, maybe pumped to our beaches) Thank you very much!
A very important concern is safety when crossing under the tracks in these tunnels. They will be below road level and THERE WILL BE BLIND SPOTS. Staff even said so tonight when one stated: “You will be able to stand at the top of the ramp and access the situation before you have to commit to cross under” Is that scary! Another staff member said that security camera’s are required. HUH! What for? Additional police enforcement will be necessary at these three crossings. Just another place for bad guys to do their thing.
I drive the coast highway through Solana Beach quite often and usually look at the two pedestrian bridges crossing the tracks. Only once have I noticed someone crossing either of the bridges. I know that these tunnels will not be used much. It would be a much better use of our taxes to have a taxi on each side of the tracks providing free shuttles than to spend 20 MILLION DOLLARS on this project. Another cost savings measure would be for the city to pay the fines for those trespassing across the tracks. While I may be trying to joke here, it is sad that we are at even going forward with tunnels where none is needed. My wife was told months ago by city staff that the tunnels were dead in the water. Now they are calling them bridges. Are they just spending free money from SANDAG? Our Federal, State and Local governments are broke and this is just another waste of taxes. Cut your losses and get on with more important matters. With the money spent on this study and design we could have had new bathrooms and a lifeguard tower at Moonlight beach. Now that is something that needs fixing! Facilities there are deplorable.
Another matter is the landscaping at these three tunnels. Besides requiring lots of water that is in short supply, the look of the entire corridor will be changed. It will go from dirt, weeds and gravel to concrete and lush vegetation back to dirt, weeds and gravel. Then back to lush vegetation back to dirt, weeds and gravel, etc, etc.
Also I don’t think those living just east of these traffic lights understand that they too will have visual blight that will never go away. At Santa Fe Drive we now have a beautiful view to the west for sunsets or looking at the surf. What we will get is another traffic light and street lights blaring 24 hours a day. I don’t think the SRF would like that. How well will their gardens and temples go with traffic lights. At Montgomery Ave those to the east will also see traffic lights and additional street lights 24 hours a day. How much better will the sunsets look with this visual pollution blinking red, green and yellow. The less lighting the better for night views. As hard as it seems, try to keep our gem of a city as rural as possible.
I am sure that eventually with the crosswalks on Vulcan and San Elijo that we will get two more stop signs as it will become dangerous without traffic control. But we could correct that with another traffic light. They seem to be the answer for everything.
In conclusion, I have a feeling that the ideas and designs for these tunnels have come from individuals that do not know the community well. I think maybe they are even from outside the area. They will be gone soon enough and we will be stuck with a 20 million dollar white elephant that never goes away. As I said before, don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.
Leucadia Blog: Lowering the Train Tracks is the ONLY Solution for Leucadia
Friday, July 18, 2008
Here are links to all the local news I didn't have time to blog about this week:
Red County Blog: Mayor Jerome Stocks Pulls Papers for Re-election
Will Jerome's association with the much hated NCTD hurt him in November?
Logan Jenkins UT column: Encinitas has best of races in N. County
A decent roundup, but when Logan describes only Jerome Stocks and Doug Long as pro business it gives the subliminal message that the other candidates are not. Ironic considering candidate Bob Nanninga has matured into local small business's biggest advocate.
nctimes.com: ENCINITAS: City considers railroad pedestrian crossings
The Planning Commission wants to see less stark Soviet Union style design and more community character in the pedestrian tunnels. Translation=Let's install a children's art mosaic for the homeless to pee on.
nctimes.com: ENCINITAS: City council ties up loose ends before break
Alcohol consumption on public sidewalks downtown, opponents and proponents of a 2 percent transient occupancy tax on short-term rentals, also known as the "sand tax," will have until July 30 to file their statements, council approved an interim five-year plan fashioned by the city's Planning Commission and staff to keep a number of mature eucalyptus trees along North Vulcan Avenue for the time being, council members informally discussed how the council should proceed with updating, revising or eliminating a number of its policies. "Council member Teresa Barth said that many of the city's policies are out-of-date and don't address the electronic manner in which the city now conducts business. She also noted that a number of the city resolutions conflict with each other. Councilman Dan Dalager admonished the council not to be afraid to make cuts in city policies, and to err on the side of simplicity."
ENCINITAS: Suit filed against city over Pacific Station project
"Protect Encinitas Now is a group of residents who have banded together "to preserve the city's small and casual beach town character through the promotion of aesthetically pleasing and environmentally conscious development," the lawsuit states."
ENCINITAS: Leucadia Wastewater District customers may see rate hike
"The district board Wednesday will consider a proposed three-year, 10 percent rate hike for sewer customers. The increase would cost a typical residential homeowner about $20 more when sewer bills arrive in October, bringing an average bill to about $213. If approved, the rate increase would be assessed retroactively to July 1."
Encinitas Taxpayers Association Blog: Citizens Initiate Corrections to Leucadia Blvd Improvements
Build new sidewalk, tear out new sidewalk.
Coast News.com: Billboard ban becomes effective
TEAR THEM ALL DOWN NOW, ARRRRGH I HATE THEM SO MUCH.
nctimes.com: ENCINITAS: Out-of-control vehicle causes chaos at car wash
an Olson's Hand Car Wash employee was driving a customer's Jeep Cherokee out of the car wash when he lost control of the vehicle. The Jeep struck a customer who was putting money in the tip box, then hit a Honda Civic with its driver and passenger and a fellow employee standing nearby. The Civic was pushed into the three people and then spun into an electrical transformer, knocking it off its base. The transformer, the Jeep and the Honda all caught fire. The Jeep also struck a guard rail, which then hit and damaged a parked Mercedes.
Aye Caramba! You couldn't do that if you planned ahead.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Here is a look at the proposed pedestrian crossing at Santa Fe Rd, across from Swamis.
This one isn't so much a tunnel like the underground pedestrian crossings in Leucadia would be, it's more like a standard undercrossing due to the geography of the area.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Design review for three railroad undercrossings
Establish date for a special Planning Commission meeting concerning the Hall property
Leucadia Blog: Lowering the Train Tracks is the ONLY Solution for Leucadia
Also, A number of interesting and important items for this week's July 16 city council meeting:
Parks and Recreation Month
SANDAG TransNet update
Landscape Maintenance Cost Breakdown for Encinitas Lighting and Landscape Districts....this was requested by Donna Westbrook at the last meeting and I supported her request.
Eight items on Consent Calendar
One of interest is staff's recommendation that the council adopt the Final Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Sand Compatibility and Opportunistic Use Program (SCOUP)
Three Regular Agenda items:
Council direction to modifications the North Hwy 101 Corridor Specific Plan for a section of North Vulcan Ave.
Public Hearing concerning solid waster collection service rates for FY 2008/2009
Council discussion concerning which Council Polices may be of priority interest for consideration by the council subcommittee (Stocks & Houlihan)
Sunday, July 13, 2008
This photo was run by the North County Times in their recent article about sand levels (see link below). This photo was shot during our recent 6 ft and 7 ft high tides. This photo gives the impression to the casual reader that there is no beach. However my photo below tells the rest of the story,
Photo taken from Beacon's Beach bluff Saturday July 12th, 2008 at medium tide. Note the sandy beach and offshore kelp beds.
All North San Diego County surfers need to read this,
North County Times sand tax story: REGION: Study finds lowest beach sand since 2001
From the article:
Steve Aceti, executive director of the Encinitas-based California Coastal Coalition, said his morning runs on the beach in Encinitas tell him all he needs to know about the area's sand situation.
"Now there's cobble (stone) in the summer where there shouldn't be cobble," Aceti said. "Over the years I got spoiled. I got used to running from Moonlight Beach or Stone Steps down to Swami's (beach) without any problems. Now, even if it's not high tide, you can get cut off. It's terrible conditions out there."
Aceti has long lobbied for more sand on local beaches, and is a proponent of Encinitas's "sand tax" initiative, which has been placed on the November ballot after failing to pass in the June election.
He said funding is available from the California Department of Boating and Waterways to pay for another sand replenishment effort in 2010.
That replenishment is expected to cost $28 million, but would probably include several offshore artificial reefs designed to keep sand from being washed away on some of the most sand-starved beaches in Solana Beach, Encinitas and parts of Carlsbad.
"The thing is, we've got to do this every three to five years in order to keep up a good level of sand," Aceti said.
Why this article is disturbing to me,
A. Our beaches are NOT back to cobble. We have great sand levels right now. Enough sand for the beachbreaks, but not so much that the reefs are covered (too much sand on the reefs has been a big problem since the 2001 sand replenishment project)
B. California sales tax is already a whopping 7.75% and they want to increase it.
C. When Aceti spoke about artificial reefs, I got the impression that he was talking about building barrier reefs. We already have a lot of natural reefs; Seaside, Cardiff to Swamis, north Leucadia, the Carlsbad campgrounds. Was he talking about building reefs outside our natural reefs? Is was he talking about building barrier reefs outside our beachbreaks? I decided to e-mail him for some clarification, here is his response:
The artificial reefs (which, as of now, would probably be placed in Solana Beach (Fletcher Cove), Encinitas and Carlsbad. At a SANDAG Shoreline Preservation Workgroup meeting last year, an oceanographer from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, gave a PowerPoint presentation to explain his theory that beaches in Oceanside and Carlsbad are protected by a "shadowing effect" from Catalina Island.
The artificial reefs would be designed to retain sand and create a surf break. There is currently a pilot project in Ventura County at a surf site known as "Oil Peers" that is being designed and constructed by a New Zealand firm and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the project manager and funder under a USACE program known as the "Section 227 Program." "Section 227" refers to a section of the Congress' "Water Resources Development Act" (usually referred to as "WRDA"), through which all state/federal beach restoration projects and other coastal, watershed, port and harbor projects are funded.
I just sent an email message to the USACE's project manager to update me on the status of the Oil Piers project and I'll let you know what I hear. I also asked the project manager to include in her message a short description of the project so I can pass that along to you also.
The firm that is designing and building the reef at Oil Peers is ASR, Ltd - see: http://www.asrltd.co.nz/.
Steven Aceti, JD
California Coastal Coalition
1133 Second Street
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 612-3564 cell
(760) 944-3564 office
(760) 944-7852 fax
Building a quality surfing reef off Moonlight Beach sounds intriguing, but I'm not on the bandwagon yet. Currently the Moonlight Beach and D-St area is one of our most popular beachbreaks for surfing. As is, you can fit 100 surfers up and down the beach surfing all the different sandbar peaks. A typical reef wave can't comfortably hold more than 20 surfers. The concern is that an artificial reef could result in a negative impact of our most popular beachbreak. The devil is in the details on this one.
2008 city council candidate Joe Sheffo is also asking for clarification on the artificial reef proposal:
Sheffo Calls on Sand Replenishment Proponents to Clarify Position on Artificial Reefs
North County Times article suggests artificial reefs would be part of sand replenishment project
ENCINITAS – Fearing that a proposal to raise taxes to fund sand replenishment could result in the construction of artificial reefs that will damage local surfing, Joe Sheffo, candidate for Encinitas City Council, is calling on supporters of the tax to clarify whether the money raised from “Prop G II” will be used to build such reefs.
This comes after the North County Times ran a story about sand loss on North County Beaches (”Study finds lowest beach sand since 2001,” July 8) in which Steve Aceti, a major supporter of the sand tax, seems to suggest that local sand replenishment efforts would probably include several offshore artificial reefs.
Artificial reefs have the potential to change surfing conditions and are opposed by many in the surfing community.
“Proponents of the sand tax have argued that sand replenishment is needed in order to boost the local economy. I can think of nothing that would damage the local economy — and our strong local surf culture — more than to irreparably degrade our world-class surfing,” said Sheffo. “The proponents of Prop G II owe local residents, especially surfers, a full explanation of their intentions for this money. If putting local surf destinations at risk is part of the plan, it’s just one more reason to oppose this tax.”
Proposition G was a ballot initiative on the June 2008 ballot that would have placed a two-percent tax on local businesses in order to fund sand replenishment. Despite its defeat, a council majority – consisting of Councilman Jim Bonds, Dan Dalager, and Jerome Stocks – voted to put the measure (Prop G II) on the November ballot.
There is concern from the Department of Fish and Game that a large sand replenishment program could negatively impact reef and rock habitat for fish and lobster. E-mail I received from the Department of Fish and Game :
Thank you for your concern for our marine resources. Your e-mail has been forwarded to me since I am the marine biologist who is involved with beach replenishment projects in the area including the Corps project you discussed.
The Department of Fish and Game recognizes that beach erosion is a valid concern and that replenishment efforts may be beneficial to certain marine organisms, such as shorebirds and sand dwelling invertebrates. However, as you noted, replenishment activities can have negative impacts on other marine organisms and habitats. One of our main concerns with beach replenishment projects is the movement of sand and the persistent burial of reef habitat which supports various kelps and surfgrass, and the resultant adverse impacts on the sensitive and/or recreationally and commercially important invertebrates and fish that utilize those habitats during various life stages (e.g. lobster, urchins, crabs, abalone, fishes). A well designed beach replenishment project avoids beach fill in areas with sensitive marine resources.
A good example of a well planned replenishment project was the San Diego Association of Government’s Regional Beach Sand Replenishment Project (RBSP) back in ~2000. The RBSP designed a project that minimized impacts to sensitive resources. It avoided direct sand placement at areas with sensitive offshore resources and even reduced its initial proposed volume by one-third. The RBSP used analytical and numerical modeling to predict the movement of sand from receiver sites and the potential impacts to sensitive resources. In some cases, receiver site footprints were eliminated and/or modified in length and location to avoid impacts to these resources.
The Encinitas and Solana Beach Feasibility Study Shoreline Protection Project proposes large volumes of sand within areas adjacent to sensitive marine resources. In October 2005, we responded to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (DEIS/R) for the project. We expressed our concern that the project has the potential to significantly impact marine resources. We questioned the volumes of sand planned for beach fill in areas with sensitive marine resources and the lack of a comprehensive monitoring, mitigation, and restoration program. We did not believe the project fully evaluated the potential impacts upon marine resources and their habitats.
Please contact me if you have any additional questions.
Marilyn J. Fluharty
CA Dept. Fish and Game, Marine Region
4949 Viewridge Avenue
San Diego, CA 92123
858-467-4231 fax 858-467-4299
Editorial on sand in the Sunday July 13th North County Times: EDITORIAL: Sands shift for funding beach effort
*Blogger's note--I am not 100% against sand replenishment projects, however when I read propaganda comments about how there that is no sand, you can't jog on the beach, it's all cobblestones, I get suspicious. The 2001 sand project dumped far too much sand on our beaches, it destroyed the quality of our local surf spots for 6 months and buried and destroyed our kelp beds which took 5 years to recover.
More photos of our current local sand levels to follow on this blog, stay tuned.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
nctimes.com: ENCINITAS: Ecke school-area road improvements a step closer to reality
Paul Ecke Central Elementary School website.
Encinitas Union School District Observer Blog.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Many people will disagree and I will probably get flamed in the comments section for this, but I don't care. This building on E St in downtown Encinitas is really cool and should have been preserved. Sadly, it is going to be torn down as part of the over hyped Pacific Station project which promises to "transform" Encinitas (whatever that means).
I'm going on the record, I love this old building. The interior was really neat and the whole building is really soulful. It hosted some quality stores and I especially have fond memories of the coffee shop that was there for a little while. RIP the soul of downtown Encinitas.
***UPDATE-I just got a phone message saying that the plan is to tear this building down but recycle the materials for a 2 story building. So, maybe it will have the same look and vibe?