Friday, July 10, 2009

Coastal Commission Questions the Council Majority

There is only a very small strip along the water's edge where Encinitas development projects can be appealed to the Coastal Commission. The Coastal Commission won't mess around with people's development permits unless there is an issue regarding the proposed project's conformance with the law.
Excerpts from the SSEL blog:
May 29. We gave the City Council five very good reasons to reduce slope encroachment and impact to wetlands. However, they voted 4 to 1 to approve the project (Barth agreed with the Coastal Commission).

The City violated the Hillside Inland Bluff Overlay Zoning Ordinance. This has serious consequences to steep slope areas.

Anytime a project is proposed on steep slope areas the driveways and access roads are being excluded from slope encroachment. This is happening when they do not lead to areas where the slope is less than 25%. In other words, the bigger a developer makes their driveway, the less impact they have. This was not the intent of the Hillside Inland Bluff Overlay Zone.

July 9. The California Coastal Commission found that a "Substantial Issue" exists on this project. This has moved [the project] to a de novo (start all over again) hearing to be scheduled, perhaps in February 2010 in San Diego.

The staff report recommended that substantial issue exists on the items we raised previously with the City. Their staff report and the
Commissioner's appeals can linked to from SSELB.

42 comments:

  1. I don't like roundabouts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anon 2:40 I like roundabouts and dislike stop signs but either has anything to do with the Coastal Commission.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love roundabouts and understand there are retards and drunks on the road that don't know how to yield or drive sober.

    Put in more roundabouts and get the retards and drunks off the road.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks like anon 240 wants to change the subject from Dalager not following the law in the process of destroying native habitat.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Its hard to beleive that anyone would spend this kind of money on a house that should not be built there in the first place. I wonder if its just an ego trip by some transplant who made a fortune in the stock market or real estate. Or has more money than brains. For sure there is an oceanfront house somewhere that is cheaper he could rehab and look directly at the ocean. What up with that? Lotta stupid people on the planet.

    ReplyDelete
  6. roundabouts suck everytime I drive thru them

    ReplyDelete
  7. 4:57 You'd rather stop and idle for 5 minutes at a stop light every day of your life? Life's too short.

    ReplyDelete
  8. roundabouts make me dizzy but I like being dizzy so I'm ok with the whole roundabout thang

    ReplyDelete
  9. Change sucks.

    ReplyDelete
  10. uh, how much were you posters PAID to immediately derail this topic ?

    ReplyDelete
  11. anon 452,
    The "house that should not be built there in the first place."

    My first reaction is to note that it is zoned residential and the property owner has a right to use it as such. Am I missing something?

    ReplyDelete
  12. True, the property is zoned for residential development. However, the zoning law that determines what can be built is not being followed. In this case, the Coastal Commission found six violations of the zoning law.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Contact the Pacific Legal Foundation they support property owners against intrusive govt.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am glad that the Coastal Commission could look at the plain facts and see that the City is not following the intent of it's own Municipal Code and zoning law.

    What does this have to do with roundabouts?

    Thanks for the original post, Kevin, and for the link to the San Elijo Laoon scenic preservation blog.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I hate change and love sitting at redlights and stop signs wasting 5 minutes of my life each time. My life sucks anyway, but I love doing nothing and thinking about nothings.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is very important post becuase it shows how they crony system works in Encinitas. I'm glad the staff at the coastal commission is more capable.

    People say "property rights" and the implication is that somehow rights are being taken away. The fact is that the property rights exist in the confines of reasonable zoning. For example, property rights to do allow a 10 story hotel at the Lumberyard site.

    ReplyDelete
  17. anon 951,

    My original post points to the violations. The person who purchased that land does not have rights that exceed the development envelope as defined by law. When you buy a piece of land you buy the location and the development rights, which are often the same as what is expressed in State law/General Plan/Muni Code. Those laws state that the San Elijo developer has a right to build a house.

    That is why I asked the anon poster my original question.

    Anon 1:20am,
    I've been a fan of the PLF and I don't know that they would take on this case because they tend to take cases where a city is telling developers they can't execute their rights. The Coastal Commission and Barth took the position that the developer's plans went way beyond the development rights. In my knowledge of the PLF, they don't usually defend the a developer when they violate the law. They do take on laws that they think are unconstitutional or are a severe restriction of liberty, but I don't think the city made the argument that they should let the violations of the EMC pass because the law was bad. If they thought the law was bad they should change the city laws and use their high paid lobbyists to change state law. Did Danny or Jerome say they didn't like the law and that is why they were allowing the law to be violated?

    I was told that the city defended the action by saying they were just doing what they always do, which is super funny. A lot of people would agree–the city council majority is uninterested in the uniform execution of the rule of law and frequently let certain people violate THEIR OWN laws.

    ReplyDelete
  18. 8:24
    Will you marry me?

    ReplyDelete
  19. If you study the project, you'll see two houses on over 10 acres of property. Numerous constraints were placed on this property that restricted where a structure could be placed. The impact of these two houses are considerably less than the adjacent high density properties to each side. The houses ended up being sited to the far East edge of the property, adjacent to Cardiff Cove.

    In fairness, he has a right to build as proposed. It's not a twin home stuffed on a 25' wide lot.

    The bottom line is not that valuable open space is being ravaged, but rater a small portion of the views of several homeowners in the Cardiff Cove project will be impacted. These are views that they have enjoyed for a long time and they don't want any rich dude messing with their game.

    Really, that's all it is.

    ReplyDelete
  20. 11:27

    You're correct. And I have NEVER seen either the PC or the council deny a project in Encintas that impacted someone's view. Never.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "Really, that's all it is."

    Did you read the Coastal Commission's report?

    ReplyDelete
  22. anon 1221, That is because the city does not and should not have a view ordinance.

    The city does have a height limit and Dr. Lorrie can tell you all about how the city looks the other way under certain circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
  23. The neighbors may have initially been concerned about views but once they saw the manipulation of the process and violations were occurring that became the motivation. Even they only cared about views, this is what you get when you cheat and get caught.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I would run this past the plf. They will tell you whether you have a case or not. I know several property owners in downtown are asking the plf to investigate the city ordinance requiring only retail at ground level.

    ReplyDelete
  25. 11:27 - Did you read the report???

    The city's development zoning should be be followed - that's all the coastal commission is saying!

    As you may know, the city's zoning documents are subject to coastal commission review. Once approved, the coastal commission is saying the zoning should be followed for projects that fall under their juridiction.

    This seems entirely reasonable.

    If the project owner wants to get a variance from the city and coastal commission, he should follow the process.

    The problem with our city staff and council is that all to many non-conforming projects are approved because they "seem nice", becuase staff doesn't not review well enough to note the non-conformance, etc. Once the project is being built and people realize what's happening, it's too late to change.

    ReplyDelete
  26. 11:27 - Did you read the report???

    The city has a Local Coastal Plan approved by the Coastal Commission. It is part of the General Plan. You can read it on the city website. It's easy because the LCP is highlighted in yellow. You might want to read this too.

    All the CC did was say the city violated its own LCP. That's the reason for the de novo hearing. The old project is dead.

    The city violates its General Plan all the time. It was caught on this project. Two CC commissioners joined the appeal along with the Sierra Club.

    The city's mantra of "this is the way we have always been doing it" finally failed. The three boys look for any way to approve developments, even when city regulations are violated.

    ReplyDelete
  27. If one or maybe two parts of the zoning law needed to be flexible to allow this poor guy to build that may be something to fight for, but, allowing all 6, no way.

    ReplyDelete
  28. The zoning law is flexible. The council majority allowed it to be cheated into a pretzel. Houses can be built on that property under the current zoning. What was planned was not legal. If the law could not allow houses directly a variance could be issued. The council did not take the option to send the project back to get a variance. Why? Because they knew it did not qualify for one. A house can be built without the need for a variance.

    ReplyDelete
  29. A broken pretzel.

    ReplyDelete
  30. If they take a liking to you, those in charge at the City will tell you and assist you to get what you want, zoning changes, a variance, code violations fixed, whatever.
    But if they don't like you, good luck because they will fight you every step of the way. I know, I've been there.

    ReplyDelete
  31. anon 859 has it correct. Fair play, treat everyone the same at our city is a joke.

    ReplyDelete
  32. The existing high density projects to the West and East could not be built today because of all the constraints placed on them. Do you think either of these projects would have required a variance for the degree of grading required? You bet.

    But along comes an individual that wants to build between them, not a condo project, not closely spaced single family detached, but two houses on 10 acres. It really begs the question, how much land do you need for two homes?

    Anon 1:46 freely admits that the view restriction was initially the issue, then the neighbors decided that wasn't the important issue here, it really was how our present ordinance interpret quantities of earth moved for driveways and how that quantity is not counted in the calculations. Do you really believe this is the cause they want to champion all the way to the Coastal Commission? BS, they have a view issue, and the only way to stop the project is attack a technicality.

    It seems that it's ok for them to live in their cozy high density projects, but when someone else wants to build, not they are so rightious and indignant regarding how grading into slopes is calculated. Two faced.

    ReplyDelete
  33. anon 803,
    The neighbors are bad people. Too bad the city cheated and gave them the opportunity to act on their poor moral character. If the city did its job there would have been no appeal.

    Fairness? Did the developments on both sides of this site get to cheat the development regulations too? Is that what you are saying? Are you saying that it isn't fair that these guys got caught and the townhome developer didn't? Take that to its logical conclusion and we have chaos.

    If you aren’t admitting that the city cheated on the townhome development your point is very confusing. If I pay for an R2 lot next to a R8 lot, at R2 prices, should I cry to the city council that my neighbors got to build 4 times the number of houses than me?

    How did the council justify their vote? It wasn't based on this sort of logic.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I was not going to get into this, however, I will say that there is no fairness with regard to most planning and council decisions. I did find that out the hard way, as one person mentioned. Yes, we have a height limit in Encinitas. However, if you have money or fame, that limit is conveniently forgotten. In my case it was money and fame in the name of Marion Ross, who was the sweet mother on Happy Days. Not so sweet in real life,. She did give a nice donation to the Kook.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Just the FactsJuly 13, 2009 1:00 PM

    The condos were built under county codes before incorporation.

    The developer of the houses to the west aka "Seaside" is a long-time resident/developer who was on the city council.

    ReplyDelete
  36. The city incorporated because of county was out of control.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Next time you drive North on 101, glance across the lagoon at the bluffs beyond. You will see that the Cardiff Cove project obliterated any natural terrain that may have existed, hills were topped to create pads for this eyesore of a project.

    Also notice the lots in question, and compare the impact of two homes on that site.

    Once again, this is a view issue for a few people who do not want change.

    ReplyDelete
  38. If you buy 5 acres of bluff you get what you get...very little. Sorry, that's the way it is. Gotta love the muni code.

    ReplyDelete
  39. You can try to make this about Cardiff Cove but it won't work. The coastal commission states the issues are of statewide significance. No Commissioner objected and two authored appeals.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I find it interesting that the Coastal Commission was able to do what neither the Planning Commission nor City Council were able to do. That is, recognize that there are some serious problems with this project. Obviously, the objections must have some merit or the Coastal Commission wouldn't be involved.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I think I'll create a committee of three...me myself and I. I move that the council majority do not apply our City code. Me will second. Any discussion? Myself believes the city manager and staff would get fired if they did not make it easy for the council majority to do what ever they want. I call the vote. All in favor say yes. Yes,Yes,Yes. That's it 3-0 in favor of the motion.

    ReplyDelete
  42. anon 1121,

    The coastal commission said nothing about views, so what is your problem?

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for posting on our blog.
Anonymous comments are allowed after moderator review.
The moderator works at his leisure.