Friday, April 24, 2009

Travel Review of Leucadia

Carlos Hennfeld wrote a review of Leucadia titled, "Leucadia - The Beach Community That California Forgot."

Leucadia is an artsy beachside community within the picturesque South California beach community of Encinitas. At one time it was a mecca for surfers and hippies alike; remnants of the 1960’s era are still very much in evidence. Where else can you see tie-dye T-shirts, eclectic lawn art, cigar store Indians, hippie love beads and surfboard mailboxes?

You won’t find a Home Depot, McDonald’s or shopping mall in Leucadia, but you will still find some of the flower farms that made it the Poinsettia capitol of the world.

Leucadia is home to phenomenal restaurants, goofy shops, palm readers, coffee shops and hip galleries. Popular hangouts include Pannikin Coffee, housed in a former train station (very artsy); the iconic Lou’s Records (national recording artists have played in Lou’s parking lot) with an enormous collection of CDs and records; and Juanita’s Taco Shop, home of the best Breakfast Burritos on earth.

Leucadia’s residents say that the best thing that ever happened to Leucadia was that nothing ever happened to it. Leucadia’s beaches are lost in the 1960s and are old neighborhood surf breaks where hundreds of Leucadian’s have been surfing for thirty or more years.

You can find the complete article on

We should definitely fix up Leucadia and we should be thoughtful in our efforts to maintain the essence of Leucadia. When making zoning, infrastructure changes, or spending taxpayer dollars we should always think of the long-term consequences.

What do we want Leucadia to be like in 15 years?


  1. What do you think we've been talking about?

  2. The current zoning allowing 3 stories just like la jolla is changing the feel of the downtown. Moonlight lofts, the empty 3 story condos next to Caldwells, and more new building are here and more are coming.

    The zoning is what sets the flavor of the area. If you want to keep Leucadia funky, you’d better start working to change the current zoning that was put in place with the sparks committee lead by Rick Smith and is included in the north coast Hwy101 specific plan. If you don’t like the newbee look you better get a petition together to change the crap that was approved and is currently used to guide development along Hwy101. Go tell Rick Smith you don’t appreciate him maximizing density throughout Leucadia. A 3 story walled cooridor is going to look like crap. Bye Bye ol leucadia. Hello Carlsbox with no trees.

    The streetscape is a minor issue, the zoning for development is a MAJOR issue!

  3. anon 807,

    All we have been talking about is roundabouts.

  4. I'd like to see the illegals on Vulcan gone!!!!!!!

    Tired of my trash being picked thru all the time.

  5. 8:41

    To be fair, three story buildings straight up from the sidewalk is certainly not what the Sparc committe nor Rick Smith recommended 20 years ago when the Specific Plan was drawn up. It went through 2 years of "modification" by the Planning Commission afterward and a major change when SB 1818 (the density bonus law) was approved by Arnie a few years back.

    Yes, it's time for a revision. And I agree that the zoning is the major issue for what we call home.

  6. Maybe we should continue the trend.

    More traffic, higher speeds, more trains, and less trees.

    LA here we come.

  7. Anon 9:51--

    I've been a little hungry lately and my economic situation is rough right now. How about posting your address so I can come pick through your trash too. Must be something worthwhile in there. And apparently your beef is only with the fact that "illegals" are doing the picking.

    Your ability to determine which trash picker is "legal" is impressive. Do you judge this strictly by the color of their skin?

  8. No, he probably green cards each of them. No one would make such a sweeping generality if they lived in Leucadia as we are not prejudiced. (Unless their body was snatched by space aliens.)

  9. Fred, I'd really love to see what the Specific Plan that was presented to the Planning Commission looked like. Are you telling me that the 33' or 3 story height limitation was not in that original draft, and that it was some evil Planning Commissioners that changed it?

    Ask Rick, or Doug, or any of the others. I'm sure records exist.

  10. Anon 807, The streetscape has focused on elements, but not too many people have given a holistic vision for Leucadia. I wanted to hear more about the longterm visions that people have.

    I think Anon 841 is right. The specific plan and, as Fred points out, state "affordable housing" laws will drive downtown Leucadia's destiny.

    Carlsbad is building Ponto and has smart growth justified density increases in their downtown. We will get more traffic heading our way. We will also be generating more of our own traffic.

    Anon 456, I wouldn't be so sure the records exist at city hall, especially since that was over 7 years ago. I can tell you for sure the tapes of the meetings have been destroyed.

  11. Kevin C-

    Good points. I say let Carlsbad and all commuters use I5 to go to their jobs down south of Encinitas. Leucadia,Encinitas, and Cardiff downtowns are no longer the state highways for interstate traffic, they are local roads meant for local downtowns. Lets make them so for the community including our business's success.

  12. The whole length of US Highway 101 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System. You can have all the opinions you want, but facts are facts. If wishes were horses, all men would ride.

  13. If we are able to modify the Specific Plan, the way to counter the state imposed density bonuses is simply to downzone the mixed use areas to balance any possible increase in density.

    Keep in mind however, these density bonuses are not mandatory, you don't have to employ them.

    Maybe a bigger problem is not the outright larger number of units possible, but the automatic relief from other constraints granted by the state laws (like setbacks, lot size, parking, etc.)

    I'm confident we could rewrite the plan to counter these elements, but the landowners will fight it.

    What a web we weave, eh Rick?

  14. Cardiff watchdogApril 25, 2009 9:00 AM

    I don't know what was in the original Leucadia 101 specific plan proposal and how much it was later modified. But I have watched the Cardiff specific plan process. The plan is yet to be approved.

    There is a clear community consensus not to have what Leucadia got with mixed use, 3 stories, and reduced setbacks. All of this leads to increased density and reduced quality of life.

    Yet there is behind-the-scenes maneuvering by the 3 men on the council and developers to give the upzoning to those who will profit by it at the expense of the community. Never forget that a specific plan is a zoning document, nothing more.

    And don't believe all the talk about smart growth. It's mostly about allowing developers to make money by forcing the community to bear all the costs of infrastructure that are needed to support the increased density. There is no free lunch for the normal citizen, only for the manipulators hiding in the background.

  15. 5:28- Your wrong-

    When I5 was built in the late '60s all of Hwy101 in San Diego county was relinquished to the local agency and became a local road.

    Look at the changed conditions in Carlsbad, Encinitas, La Jolla and Del Mar.

    Many agencies even abandoned any reference to hwy101 in the streets name. Like Camino Del Mar, Carlsbad Boulevard and La Jolla Boulevard.

    Look at the changes Oceanside, Solana Beach are planning to make it better serve the local community.

    You might want a freeway running right in the middle of a downtown area, but I surely don't.

    Thats what I5 was built for.

    We need safe places for people to bike and walk, so we are not so dependent on cars.

  16. 5:28am are you on dope?

    If our local coast highway was a state express way, how could the City close the whole road down to cars for the entire weekend?

    How could Carlsbad and all the other City's do the same.

    Please get some help and learn some truths.

  17. Yes Carlos there is a Home Depot
    The community of Luecadia - in Encinitas does have a Home Depot at the west end of Luecadia Blvd.

  18. anon 738,

    If you think the landowners would object that probably means you are thinking of reducing their development rights. 20 years later, I think it fair to say those rights should be considered firmly vested and should not be snatched from them. (Who was on the council when that was approved by the way?)

    anon 528, You are understandably incorrect. Calling it H101 can be confusing.

    anon 914, If the H101 isn't officially designated as a regional arterial it does function like that. We allowed the freeway infrastructure to fall behind the zoning and development of north county.

    You write,
    "We need safe places for people to bike and walk, so we are not so dependent on cars."

    Is your vision of the H101 to become a motivator to make people use their cars less?

  19. Kevin C- Any motivation to use our cars less is good to me. Less pollution, more excersize, healther earth and public.

    Its all good.

  20. Kevin C-

    Your right, the freeway interstate needs to be widened and we need alternate forms of transportation.

    There is plans but no money.

  21. 4:56

    I'll tell you a few right now right now off the top of my head.

    #1. The current Specific Plan does NOT allow 3 story structures right next to a one story structure as was built next to ours. (One of the things Rick and Morgan put in place and it stayed in the Specific Plan). I don't have the SP in front of me right now, but there actually a drawing of the do's and dont's like that. That rule however was completly ditched by our Planning Commssion a few years ago. And it WAS brought to their attention by citizens.

    #2. Rick Engineering was hired by the city and in my opinion gave false information to them. They claimed that a 100 year storm would make the water level on the Hwy 3 feet deep. Bull. As a result, the city allows a pad increase of 3 feet higher than the natural plane which of course increases the overall height of a 3 story building. RE also wanted to tear down ALL the median trees for a 40 million dollar drain. Outrageous. But it looks like someone at the city has more than one way to skin a cat and rid us of our Eucalyptus.

    #3. Arnold Swartzennegger approved bill SB 1818 and now all Specific Plans in all cities in CA can increase the density of a project and require less parking in the process. That's dumb growth.

    Rick and Morgan had nothing to do with those loopholes. In fact, when Rick built his business building, he was NOT allowed to count street parking as part of the total parking. That rule has is ignored for developers now too.

    The developers of the places next door to me made a lot of concessions with the design. Originally, they looked like ice cube trays set on end. We told them we wanted more articulation (as the Specific Plan also requires.) So they made the top story smaller and just the master bedroom. Nothing personal against the man who wants to build on the corner, I'm sure he and his wife are nice people, but that place is too big as well, and the design belongs somewhere else.

  22. Fred,
    Does their plan conform with the specific plan?

  23. Ask them how different their recommendations were to what we are dealt. They're not hard to find and I'm sure they'd be happy to tell you.

  24. FWIW, this says that only Highway 101 in downtown San Francisco is NOT part of the California Freeway and Expressway System:


  26. anon 544,

    It is no longer the official highway in Encinitas. It is a name (H101) not a designation at this point.

    Read the link you share and see for yourself:
    "The south terminus of U.S. Route 101 is in Los Angeles, about one mile (1.6 km) east of downtown Los Angeles at the East Los Angeles Interchange"

  27. Anon 5:44- You might have a condition called selective comprehension

    Also from your own reference

    "Parts of Historic Route 101 can still be found in San Diego County between Oceanside and the border with Mexico under a variety of different names. Through Oceanside it is called Coast Highway. In Carlsbad it becomes Carlsbad Blvd, but to the south in Encinitas it is Coast Highway 101. Solana Beach keeps it consistent with Highway 101, but Del Mar changes it to Camino Del Mar. All of those together make up San Diego County Route S21. From there it continues along Torrey Pines Road to Interstate 5 in La Jolla. The old 101 routing continues on I-5 in San Diego until Pacific Highway, the old U.S. 101 freeway a little west of current I-5. It then continued on Harbor Drive and Broadway through Downtown San Diego and Chula Vista, then onto National City Blvd in National City. The southern parts of I-5 were U.S. 101 for a period before I-5 was completed also. All have been decommissioned, but the roadways still exist and are occasionally signed as Historic 101."

  28. I think we're getting a little hung up on semantics here. No matter what you call 101, it's north/south flow still has 8 stop signs / stop lights that used to NOT be here for decades after 101 was named in the 1920's. The north/south stops were added to increase safety (not effeciency) for east/west access and egress. Replacing these stops (i. e. real choke points) wherever possible with roundabouts on 101 will promote effeciency AND safety (not to mention clean air and less wear and tear on brakes etc.)
    But is that possible? Now we get to the belief stage. Some choose to believe roundabouts are the right track because Peltz told us it works so incredibly well in other cities where they've been introduced. Others choose to Google every negative thing ever said about a roundabout.

    You'd think keepping the stop sign in between the two roundabouts on Leucadia Blvd might be a great plan, just to show drivers how needles and miserable it is to wait behind 5 cars at a stop sign when there is no cross traffic. Let me ask this. Who of you out there, willing to post your names, think it would be better to go back to two or even three stop signs on Leucadia Blvd?

  29. P.S.
    I just Googled "evil stop sign" and there are nearly 8 million referrences on the net. But "evil roundabout" only has 373 thousand. Opps, make that 373, thousand and one, now that I just posted it again.

  30. Good points Fred!

  31. But Fred, that is a false dilemma. There were not 3 stop signs on Leucadia before. There was one and that is still there.

  32. There would have been 3 all way stops if the roundabouts were not installed. The intersections at Hymettus and Hermes were unsafe and prevented access to Leucadia blvd. for the adjoining neighborhoods.

  33. 459, if that is true what changed over the years? It wasn't speed. It was the density of traffic. The root cause is the opening of Leucadia to El Camino Real and all the development across north county. Roundabouts are bandaids.

  34. It was both volume and speed as N. County became more bigger and more agro.

    The bandaid slowed the bleeding and now its time to complete the job.


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