Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pacific View: Another little piece of my heart....gone?

The following is an email sent to the Encinitas city council regarding the Pacific View property:

I am deeply saddened by the course of events that took place during the discussion of the Pacific View property at Wednesday night’s Encinitas City Council meeting. For the Council not to direct the staff to seek a qualified appraisal of the property and explore possible funding and/or exchange options with the Encinitas Union School District using one or more of the 126 properties currently in the City’s real estate portfolio is, I believe, contrary to the wishes of the majority of the people in Encinitas. Thank you Maggie Houlihan and Teresa Barth for trying to represent your constituents; shame on you Jerome Stocks and James Bond for you appear to care more about the developers who support you than the citizens who elected you.

The land between E and F Streets and Third and Fourth Streets was deeded to the Encinitas School District in 1883 by the town’s founder, John Pitcher, for the children of Encinitas. Now, due to declining enrollments and budgetary needs, the school district is giving the City of Encinitas the opportunity to purchase the site. Since the EUSD received this parcel of land without cost and given the historical significance of it, they should be flexible, accommodating, and negotiate in the best interests of everyone.

The City’s own Planning & Building Department in 2008 proposed a Historic Overlay Zone within the Downtown Encinitas Specific Plan area (which includes the Pacific View site) to “help preserve historic and cultural resources in the downtown area”. The City talks the talk, now it needs to walk the walk.

The 1883 schoolhouse has been saved and restored, and in the words of Ida Lou Coley in 2004, “we must also value the site’s land and join together to preserve that site, not just for today, but for future generations of children”. It is the most significant historical site within the City of Encinitas and represents over 125 years of history. The land the Pacific View Elementary and the 1883 schoolhouse sit upon should be saved from annihilation by developers and preserved to honor the City’s history. It should become a resource for the entire community, for today’s children and future generations, and for visitors as well, to see and learn about Encinitas and its origins. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. If the City of Encinitas passes on this, it will never have the chance again and everyone loses.

Respectfully,

Lois Aufmann

Click here to email your opinion to the Encinitas city council.

39 comments:

  1. Lois,

    Thank you so very very much for standing up and speaking for us, as you say, the majority. I too send the City Council members a message letting them know that this would be an all-time historic "missed opportunity" for the City of Encinitas AND everybody who lives and comes here. This site deserves to be preserved and/or saved. The development of this site would forever negatively effect the downtown area that we all enjoy.

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  2. THe school district is hurting for money just like everyone else. They have prime property they cal sell for a good price. They lost 2 school resource officers because they couldn't pay for them and the city didn't want to foot the complete bill anymore. How about the city build a new life guard station? The beach area is the big draw for the city. The tower if falling apart and doesn't hold all of the gear the lifeguards have. Why should the city buy the school? The city has tons of parks. Why can't we get the building at 708 4th st taken down? That place is a dump!

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  3. I've helped school districts sell land before. The deeds granting the land to the districts are always old. The shame is that the donor wanted the children and the school to have the land. Do NOT sell the land. Make it into a park or something.

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  4. School Districts all over this state are in trouble. They are all challenged with higher operating costs and ever diminishing revenue from the State. Who would be surprised that selling assets is a current strategy for survival.

    But, the school system is a clumsy, backward business model. Consider the shear number of school districts in the state. How stupid to have Cardiff School District with 3 schools at one end of the spectrum and LA School District at the other. Each has a superintendant, staff, district offices, etc. School districts should be reapportioned and combined to some optimum size for more efficiency and less redundancy.

    If the optimum business model were 100 school sites, we could combine Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas and Carlsbad School Districts. All this with only one Sperintendant, etc. How ridiculous to have all these $200K per year positions with staff and physical plant.

    The answer is consolidation, and it should happen all over California.

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  5. Another business model improvement is better use of outsourcing. Non-mission (that is non-teaching) positions and work should be outsourced (coupled with other school districts if needed). There is no reason for school districts to have HR, IT, physical plant, etc. work done by well compensated employees. Let the professional HR or IT or lawn mowing or cleaning companies do what they do best. Make them compete for the business.

    On to the topic at hand. Opportunities for the city to buy quality land are few and fair between. The city should try to apply some creativity (yes, a foreign concept to Stocks and Bond) to procure the land. There's always a way, and if there's not at least try to do the right thing.

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  6. A new life guard station is the last thing with need right behind fire McMansions.

    The lifeguards already have the cusshiest jobs in the world. We don't need to build them a mcmansion for luxury and to house all their jetskis. Baywatch is a waste of taxpayers money.

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  7. Schools are all challenged with higher operating costs and ever diminishing revenue from the State.

    This is because they have overextended their pay and benefits packages to teachers unions.

    The EUSD had the Pacific View sale in the works during the biggest run up in revenues we will ever see. The sale has been in the works for years. There is more to the sale than meets the eye.

    A local infomercial greenwashing developer wants Pacific View. Does anyone believe that Danny, Jerome, or Bond would stop a developer from getting what he wants?

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  8. Left coast. Your arguement doesn't work for government. In govenment or schools with unions the bigger they get the less input and respect for their constituents and more influence from unions. The smaller is better. We do not want to become Oceanside or Vista or Escondido.

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  9. "The lifeguards already have the cusshiest jobs in the world."

    No they don't. I was reading a can the other day, and I believe the "Cling Peach Advisory Board" has the most cushy-assed job.

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  10. "Schools are all challenged with higher operating costs and ever diminishing revenue from the State."

    The academy gets 1 million a year just from the lottery. I don't know how much Central school gets, but I do know they get a few thousand a month just from co-hosting the Farmer's Market.
    There's plenty of inefficient things about local schools. So I'm in agreement with Left Coast that a new approach might be wise.

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  11. What about the recent baby boom? Every other woman in Enc is pregnant and is toting around 2 and 3 year olds. Is the local school system ready for them in 5 years?

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  12. Part of the problem is that the outgoing superintendent of the Encinitas district, Lean King, has burned all of his bridges with the folks at city hall. He's stirring up as many pots as possible before he leaves at the end of June, and Pacific View is one of them. Check out this blog that was started by some parents/teachers/etc. about the whole sorry state of things:
    As EUSD in Conversation

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  13. 7:33 Whadda thinking?
    "The lifeguards already have the cusshiest jobs in the world."
    Lifeguards are about the only government employees who actually do work. They are the ones who constently keep watch on all activities on the beach, they make many rescues every day all summer from Swamis to Sea Bluff. They don't make anywhere near what pussy firepersons pull in.
    Take a look sometime at the tower they are forced to use at Moonlight. That thing was built in the early 60's and should have been torn down in the 60's.
    We here in town are very lucky to have the lifeguard service we have.
    Next time you step on a stingray or have your kid rescued call a cop or a firepussy and see what happens.

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  14. Sorry David Hassledorf- Didn't mean to get your speedos in a bind.

    Whenever my children stepped on something at the beach, I always took care of it and I will with my grandchildren as well.

    As far as the lifeguard station was built in the 1960s. Wow, its new. Just replace some worn out pieces and paint it. Don't be a pussy. Appreciate what you have.

    My house and many in Leucadia were built in 1940s and 50s. No big deal. Mine is still in great shape. I don't need to replace it.

    Carlsbad has no lifeguard costs and I feel just as safe at a Carlsbad beach as I do at Encinitas. Except that the Encinitas lifeguards are always running up and down our narrow beaches so it actually more dangerous for the young kids because eventually one of the young children will get run over by the Lifeguard trucks.

    As far as you calling the FD pussies. I can see your point. They do have a sweet gig, with super high pay and perks. Now you have City Council building Mcmansions for all of them. They have hit the lottery. Unbelievable.

    Have fun with your Baywatch job, and you better not stare at my granddaughter butt this summer, or I'll punch you in the chops you perve.

    Maybe when you grow up, you can get a real job that is needed in society like a doctor or a mechanic or something other than government workfare.

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  15. OK Dogie Hoser,
    I notice that most of the queers like you that move here inherited their wealth and never really worked in their life. Or you're a scumbag attorney. And a transplant.

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  16. 7:36 - Please take your trashy language elsewhere. It's simply not approprate and has nothing to do with the Pacific View site.

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  17. 7:36- Who are you calling Queer?

    We are not the one running around all day acting like David Ha... I mean Mitch Buchannon

    I think you need to look up the definition of queer. While your at it look up the definition of Government Tick, sucking the Government tit, or worthless... they would all apply to you.

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  18. Move Capri elemantary to Pacific View then sell the Capri land.

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  19. I like the idea of a public use park on the Pacific View Site, and who would'nt enjoy watching the sunset from such a great location? If the district is so strapped for cash, and there are no other alternative ways to raise funds, then I would support the idea of moving Capri to the Pacific View site, and then sell the Capri site. Otherwise, leave the land alone! Just because there is an empty space, we don't need to fill it with crap!

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  20. Capri's enrollment wouldn't fit on such a small campus as Pacific View. The cost to modernize the facility would be enormous. And, why put in another park so close to the grassy tot lot at Moonlight.

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  21. Anon 12:47 There is a very good chance that the future of our downtown will include a huge increase in residential units. A park site will be very welcome.

    Just stroll down 101 and look at all the sites that will be duplicates of Pacific Station, like 1010 First Street (old Safeway) and the entire Lumberyard project. I know these are barely feasible right now, but it's coming.

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  22. How about a park with a much-needed skate park?!!

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  23. re: move Capri to PV, impossible!
    Capri: 12+ acres and recently completely renovated and landscaped
    PV: 2.8 acres with falling down buildings

    Re: skate park, regular park, etc. or more residential, what would you want next to your home?

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  24. re: move Capri to PV, impossible!
    Capri: 12+ acres and recently completely renovated and landscaped
    PV: 2.8 acres with falling down buildings

    Re: skate park, regular park, etc. or more residential, what would you want next to your home?

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  25. Pacific View could be a "mixed use" park and public use venue.

    Renovate some of the buildings for artist studios, meeting rooms, etc. get rid of most of the blacktop and add un-structured play areas, community gardens and the historic school house.

    Cottonwood Creek Park is busy ever week-end and so is the tot lot at Moonlight beach.

    As more people move downtown they will need more park and open space.

    Let's do a little forward thinking on this one.

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  26. Stocks and Bond do not want to upset DeWald's apple cart by buying a piece of the site. There is no downside to exploring the purchase, well, except for the fact the price tag fiasco would be exposed and burst DeWald's million dollar profit bubble. Why do these two keep getting elected? They should be recalled.

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  27. This site is about as close to a turn-key public facility as you can get. Pull out some asphalt and install some playground equipment and let the Arts Commission take control of the buildings. Why Stocks and Bond aren't willing to explore a deal should certainly be scrutinized. The best news is that it was a 2-2 vote, so nothing has been foreclosed.

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  28. I would love to recall Stocks, Bond, and Dalager. How can we do this?

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  29. IMHO the best way to keep a new fresh council is term limits. The recall process is very time consuming and expensive. Unless someone has a lot of money they are willing to spend on a recall, it seems it would be a better use of time and money to get an initiative on the ballot for term limits. Even the best Council members have been known to go to the "dark" side.

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  30. I agree with DOC.... we need Term Limits... 2 Terms no more.

    There are plenty of Smart People in Encinitas.

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  31. Why do you bother going to City Council meetings---go to the School Board meeting next tues. night-do more than blog be heard.

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  32. the school district has a $55 mil. budget. P.V. may bring in $5mil. after taxes. Life long loss-short term gain

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  33. 12:04
    Amazing point. What sellouts.

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  34. Lean King and the Encinitas school board have put money ahead of community from day one when it comes to Pacific View! You can't blame DeWald – he's a business guy, but the school board should know better. They're supposed to be all about the community, but in the end they're about some one-time money at the expense of a lifetime of community benefit. Good point made above: The original owners (who GAVE the land to the school district) wanted it to be for children and the community, NOT for offices and private homes. Come on school board cronies, have a heart!

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  35. I totally agree with the previous two comments: The school board and superintendent need to act for the community's long-term benefit, not for their short-term financial gain; and EVERYBODY WHO CARES ABOUT PACIFIC VIEW SHOULD ATTEND THE SCHOOL BOARD MEETING ON TUESDAY NIGHT, FILL OUT A COMMENT CARD, AND SAY YOUR PEACE (in the three minutes that are allowed). That's this coming Tuesday, the 23rd, meeting will start at 5:30 I think, at 101 S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd. (across from the Pancake House). Be there or be missing-out-on-Pacific-View-Square.

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  36. Save Pacific ViewJune 20, 2009 4:23 PM

    Jerome Stocks said at the June 10 meeting, "I guess I'm going over to the dark side." So true. He suggested that EUSD be responsible for providing the people with the property, not Council. Now it is not a school district's job to provide a park or open space. But the state says it is a school district's job to offer 30% of surplus school property for sale at 25 cents on the dollar. Here is a post I just made through the excellent blog link shared in the previous comment re EUSD:

    I also feel administrators are being overpaid. For instance, Randy Cunningham's wife is making over $100,000 per year as an administrator, still, as far as I know. She had given notice as she was to be the Director of Rhodes Academy, a private school in Encinitas. But after the scandal broke, she went back to EUSD, which had already accepted her resignation! She had to know about her husband's "ill-gotten gains" and the bribes given to him and his family through defense contractors.

    I will post, separately, the letter I wrote to Encinitas City Council regarding the surplus property which is Pacific View. I just sent a copy of it to Lean King. When will he be leaving?

    Dear Mr. King,

    Congratulations on your plans for retirement. Please help the citizens of Encinitas to preserve the surplus school site, Pacific View, so that it may be used, at least in part, for a pocket park.

    I feel there is enough interest in the community that a foundation could be set up as was done for the Boathouses, which are also historic landmarks.

    Your memo to City Council was not strictly abiding by the Naylor Act. The Naylor Act requires that the timeline is from when a property is leased or offered for sale. Eight years prior to that the surplus school property must have been used, at least in part, for playgrounds, fields and open space. The property was so used before you leased it to the City of Encinitas for a temporary public works yard, and the City paved over the playing fields for more parking.

    According to the state law, you must offer 30% of the land at 25% of the currently appraised value. A formal appraisal report must include in its calculations that we are in Stage II drought and no new water meter permits are being given out, according to Council decision. Also, the appraised value would be for the current zoning, which is not for residential homes, but for public/semi-public use, again with NO NEW WATER METERS.

    The City would not be required to purchase the entire site at this time. Paying $1 million, or less, for 30% of the property would insure a place for the old schoolhouse, not crowded in with high density development, or amidst another housing tract. As you know, Moonlight Lofts sits almost entirely vacant, and Pacific Station construction is underway. This downtown area does not need more development. We do need more open space, and a pocket park, perhaps with one half field, would be ideal. Half fields are normally used for youth soccer, not full sized fields. I remember my daughters playing soccer and softball at Pacific View. This could be an asset to the entire community.

    Thank you for your attention to the letter, which I previously sent to Encinitas City Council.

    [ Again, I will post my letter to Encinitas Council in separate comment, to follow.]

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  37. Save Pacific ViewJune 20, 2009 4:30 PM

    Date: Sun, 07 Jun 2009 10:00:04 -0700
    To: "council@cityofencinitas.org"

    Subject: Pacific View should not be rezoned or developed as commercial property

    City of Encinitas

    Dear Council Members, City Clerk, City Manager, City Attorney, and Planning Commissioners:

    I took the time to read the Naylor Act, which is Education Code Sections 17485-17500. According to California statutory law, the Naylor Act is triggered if eight years prior to the School District’s deciding to either lease or sell surplus school property, the site was used as playgrounds, which, as you are well aware, Pacific View School was, until the City of Encinitas leased it and paved over the fields. The property was then used for a public works yard, and was leased for one dollar per year.

    Therefore, the Naylor Act does apply. Of course attorneys could fight this out in court, but I feel our public interests should be paramount, and the new superintendent of EUSD would not want that kind of fight on his hands. I wonder if our City Attorney, Glenn Sabine has carefully read the act? If so, he should be advising the City that because the property was originally donated to the school district, the City would have the right to purchase 30% of it at 25% on the dollar of its appraised value. The Naylor Act allows a city to purchase 30% of total surplus school property. I am unsure of whether or not EUSD has other surplus property, but whether it does or not, the City would not have to purchase the entire piece. If the Citizens want to purchase the entire property, the City should do so, at the correctly appraised value, not $10 million. I know I would vote for a bond for this purchase, if the citizens were allowed ta public vote, say during an election, to cut down on costs.

    If the City does decide to purchase the entire piece, it should definitely have a proper assessment, with a proper Appraisal Report, which, as you also know, it did not have for the Mossy Property. We paid entirely too much for the Mossy Property, although at least one professional appraiser had pointed out that there was no appraisal report to the City Manager before that property was bought in supposedly "turn key" condition, for an excessive amount, which location for the Public Works Yard turned out not turnkey at all.

    The City should not rezone the Pacific View property. Development there is now problematic, at best, with the drought and new water meter restriction requirements. Lean King is on his way out. This needs to be negotiated with the new Superintendent of the Encinitas Union School District. There is no reason why EUSD could not continue to lease the entire property to the City for a very reasonable amount, for the benefit of the neighborhood and the community, as a community garden/open space, or for playgrounds. If the City refuses to rezone, as it should, there would be no alternative, with the water meter restrictions.

    Whatever happens, the City should make sure that it purchases at least 30% of the 2.84 acres, which equals .0852 acre, for a pocket park, open space, playing grounds, or perhaps a community garden that would close at sunset. The price would be only $1 million for over 4/5 of an acre in a wonderful location. The person who originally donated the land would be happy that local school children and seniors, anyone could walk to the park and enjoy its amenities, work in the public gardens. New York City has these types of community gardens in residential areas. The zoning should not be changed to accommodate developers.

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  38. This could all end up hinging upon the legal precedent regarding the Naylor Act's reliance upon the concept of "surplus". Should the Pacific View situation go to court, it would ultimately be up to a judge to decide/determine whether the property is indeed "surplus". That is, whether or not the property is needed by the school district. It clearly is not needed, since the district has stated that it has no use for it, has declining enrollment which alleviates the need for additional capacity, and also has another piece of unused property in Encinitas Ranch that would be much more suitable for any land-use need the district may have. If I were asked to rule on such a case, I would note those basic facts. (i.e. They don't need any more schools and they have other parcels better suited to whatever else they need to do.) So, if I were the school district's laywer, I would try to avoid a court case at all costs, lest the likely outcome happen, and a court deem Pacific View as completely surplus in terms of the district's needs.

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