Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A vision for a new encinitas commons

These folks signed on to this report:

Vision Participants
Consultant, Vicki Estrada
Estrada Land Planning

Jim Farley
The Leichtag Family Foundation

Christopher C. Calkins
The Thomas C. Ackerman Foundation
(and Carltas Development Co.)

Julian Duval
San Diego Botanic Garden

Barbara Fanning
Mindswing Consulting

Marjory Kaplan
Jewish Community Foundation

Ann Hunter-Welborn
Lux Art Institute

Peder Norby
(Contract employee for City of Encinitas)

Cami Mattson
San Diego North Convention and Visitors Bureau

Susan Hight
Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA

Tim Baird
(Sup for Encinitas School District)

Tyler Miller

Evelyn Weidner
San Dieguito Heritage Museum

John Dewald
(Local Developer)

Ron Lelakes

Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA
David Welborn

The costs to develop this vision were funded by The
Leichtag Family Foundation and The Thomas C. Ackerman


  1. Following the MoneyJune 15, 2010 1:52 PM

    How cool a new plan to develop the Ecke Ranch property. I guess one only has to do is follow the money. Vote Dalager out he'll sign us up.

  2. I hope their consultant didn't charge by the trendy buzzword.

  3. I immediately notice this vision is consistent with the previous proposal to move the library to Quail Gardens Drive. It has many of the same players, with the same goal ... to develop more of Encinitas. The Citizens said no to Prop H.

    It is also similar to the Ecke's Proposition A bid to develop their agricultural land. Surely everyone remembers the land they stated would be set aside as "agriculture in perpetuity." The voters defeated that proposal by a landslide.

    I believe this vision is merely the beginning of their next bid to develop their "agriculture in perpetuity" land. Let's make sure this visioning exercise is subject to a vote of the people. If so, it will surely be defeated again.

  4. Without considering any downsides, associated issues, or consistency with planning dogma, there are some attractive things in this vision.

    I skimmed the pub, but I looked it over enough to find some elements awkward so I want to know more about what they are thinking before straining over it.

  5. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

    I have questions also.

    1. Who is in charge of the Leichtag Family Foundation funds?
    2. Who hand picked this particular group Encinitans and non-residents for the betterment of Encinitas?
    3. Where, how often and since when have they been meeting to put together their new vision?
    4. Aren't our general and specific plans good enough to rely on for our quest of our city?
    5. Who is the author of the Vision statement online?
    6. What happened to Chris Calkin's title as president of Carltas, a real estate development company in Carlsbad?
    7. How much money went to Vision participants for the production of this 39 page proposal?

    I think the previous poster may be right about this being a ruse to develop Quail Gardens Drive. I think their next step will be up to the podium at City Hall to request money for their vision, or worse, some manner of partnership with the city. It's as if some closed session meeting just showed up with a 39 page ultimatum. Or somebody over-throwing the ECC with some new group for cryin out loud. But that buzzword has got to go. Sure, I'm a cynical skeptic. So answer my questions please.

  6. How does Norby divide his outreach for the city and his lobbying for Ecke?

  7. Norby sure has his fingers in alot of pots. You never know what group he represents?

  8. If Carltas and DeWald are for it, it must be good!

  9. what a circle jerk

  10. Let's just plow the golf course under and put the organic vegetable gardens there.

    What's the point of having a money-losing, third-rate golf course in an area full of great golf courses?

  11. If you want a vision of the vision, look at DeWald's Pacific Station. Quail Botanical Gardens is now San Diego, it would logically follow that the north end of Encinitas should have a name change to San Diego north. Regional San Diego north.

  12. Greetings,
    The basic premise of this vision exercise is pretty simple.

    1. We know what the development patterns have been for the past 50 years and the past 20 years as Encinitas grew. They are built and we live with them every day. It is in my opinion reasonable to expect that if nothing changes from a zoning or planning perspective that this development pattern will continue for future decades if not intensify on yet to built parcels. As an example, currently we have more homes zoned for (but yet to be built) on old greenhouses on Vulcan north of Leucadia blvd and on Saxony next the Ecke property. And we have homes built but empty, or graded for and unbuilt, on similar past greenhouse property in Encinitas.

    2. The question, or the vision part is: What if we plan for something other than houses and strip malls which have been the dominant building forms the past decade and are being implemented today?

    What if we planned for a “commons” that had public uses such as museums, art centers, cultural ect. And preserved but tied together via a trail system our public open spaces with values such as listed on the values pages of the document.

    What if we planned for more pedestrian and bike connectivity including an east west bike/ped connection from Moonlight beach to the Quail gardens drive area and then connected this with a more robust trail system as opposed to more auto connections?

    3. I was invited to participate in this process which consisted of about ten 1.5 hour meetings over three or four months with various stakeholders as listed in the blog post. These are varied interest active in Encinitas, representing development, philanthropy, farming/growers, San Diego Botanic Gardens, Education, Culture and arts, Tourism and energy/water efficiency experts.

    As a participant I offered my views and other participants offered theirs. All are included as concepts or values in this document.

    4. The Document is intended as a starting point for a community discussion about a potential future that is different than the way we have done things the past decades, it is not a final plan or a potential project, it is a beginning for discussion.

    5. One of the funders of the Encinitas Commons vision is the Leichtag Foundation.

    I would encourage you to find out about them and their generosity to the Encinitas and North County Area.

    Thanks to the Leucadia blog for posting this topic, like all ideas it has parts that many including me, will like and dislike. In my opinion it is worthy of a look and an effort to see if there is a better way forward than what we currently have planned for and allow.



  13. I find the plan a bit over-reaching but we have to consider that we need a plan. Otherwise we'll get more of the same random bad development that we see right next door to the Quail, I mean San Diego Botanical Gardens.

    There really should be a higher degree of discretion for any development adjacent to the SDBG.

    I hope more people will not have a knee jerk paranoid response to any ideas for change. We do need to get ahead of the curve here in Encinitas on planning how we do or do not fill-in the remaining undeveloped areas.

  14. Developers are focused on pure profit nothing else.June 16, 2010 7:55 AM

    I think its good. It shows the developers had no clue in developing good and responsible land use plans in the last 50 years. Now they finally opened their eyes and observed how land use is planned in Europe for centuries. Funny- they thing their planning is original. Not but at least their seeing what worked better then the dump ass planners and engineers have done over the last 60 years.

    Of course the politicians will support it. They are puppets and have no vision of their own.

  15. Nice blog about the Mini-E Peder.


    I really hope the electric car makes it this time around.

  16. I don't believe there is any coincidence that this "vision" is presented while we are in the beginning stages of our General Plan Amendment process. The interest in this vision is to provide some vehicle to develop the remaining Ecke (and others) property in a more lucrative fashion, pure and simple.

    Peder, let me remind you that the evil design and planning that this team finds so deficient ("potential future that is different than the way we have done things the past decades"), was built and planned by the same players. Most of the projects you are critical of were designed by your partners in this vision. Anything involving Chris Calkins / David Meyer and company is self-serving and not community first.

    Don't get me wrong, I see in this plan many good elements, but I also see very transparent proposals to obtain higher rights and densities to numerous properties (Dramm/Ecker). The museums and cultural elements are cool, but not at the expense of the hotels, etc. that these developers are drooling over.

    If your next step is to begin showing up at the GPA meetings with this vision in hand, I say "bring it".

  17. I smell another ratJune 16, 2010 8:38 AM

    Greenwash, and Peder is paid to hold the brush.

  18. Basically, here's a group of people that can't sit still for vacant land. "Can't we build something here?"

    Stakeholders and their puppets trying on a vision of wealth.

  19. The Leichtag Foundation is incredibly generous and wise, but they need to consider who they get in bed with.

  20. Why doesn't the vision include soccer fields and lights? Our city has a lack of fields even after they build the Hall park.

  21. ah yes, the knee pads come in all shapes and sizes, don't they?

  22. I read the plan but don't see anything concrete in it except the lodging and restaurant that links to the golf course. Snow job.

  23. This is a new vision for the Eckes and developers to make more money off of land they agreed to preserve as part of their making money in Encinitas Ranch. I suggest they apply their vision to the "blighted" (it's all relative) parts along El Camino Real, not land already commited per other deals.

  24. Is ERGA going to help fund the infrastructure changes to link a restaurant and hotel to the course?

  25. 10:21
    Good suggestion. Older parts of the city look like they'll be ignored in this Vision. Only green pastures will be targeted. No pun, we already have a Target.

    Good question. Might as well think big.

    Peder, thank you for answering part of question #3 posted by 6:56Would anyone else attempt to answer the other six?

    It's probably a carefully guarded secret WHO'S brainstorm this Vision was. But before anyone suggests that it was more than one person's idea, perish the thought. That's impossible.

  26. The golf course would make a wonderful Balboa Park North with lots of space for trails and museums and even a sports field or two. As for Indian Head Canyon it should be left alone.

  27. It all sound too good to be true. Guess what? It isn't true. It's a very slick presentation with some good ideas. Part of the goal is to act "as stewards of natural open space." The best way to do that is leave it natural or return it to natural. It doesn't take all this fancy talk loaded with buzz roads to do it. It only takes a commitment and a council not pushing high density development.

    The "core area' is between Saxony Road and Quail Gardens Drive. This just happens to be the Ecke property. It sure looks like a plan to develop this agricultural land in perpetuity. We absolutely need a public vote on any plan.

  28. Balboa park north? WTF. What are you growing in those greenhouses.

  29. I like the concept. I like the golf course. I like open space. I like the Eckes. I like Peder. I like DeWald. I like having the retail stores at the bottom of the hill. I like SD botanical gardens. Not a fan of Meyers.
    Is there something wrong with me?

  30. I tried to approach this with an open mind, but it's pretty clear that the aim of this document is to enable development of the Ecke land. Some of the suggestions are just preposterous (a pedestrian only bridge over I-5) and some are ridiculous (a children's observatory in the coastal fog zone).

    Look, we can't even get CalTrans to commit to improving the Santa Fe Dr. freeway interchange which is need for both the Hall property park and the Scripps expansion.

    This is a distraction for the city. Get on with the General Plan (which in theory is coming from the citizens of Encinitas) and complete that first. Then see if the "Encinitas Commons" (designed more for the southern Carlsbad set) can comply with the new General plan.

  31. Get on with the General Plan (which in theory is coming from the citizens of Encinitas) and complete that first.

    ahhhhh hhaaa haaa. Boy are you a tool.

    Ask Cardiff about planning efforts in Encinitas coming from the people....

    Not with Dalager and stocks and their lap dog Bond.

  32. Hey, maybe Cardiff will help us dump Dalager!

  33. Cardiff needs your help. We will help.
    Help us now.

    Thank you

  34. I like the golf course. I like open space. I like the Eckes. I like Peder. I like DeWald. I like having the retail stores at the bottom of the hill. I like SD botanical gardens. Not a fan of Meyers.
    Is there something wrong with me?

    Uhm, we got that already. So is that a vote to flush this bait and switch distraction.

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. Carcadian- I have a important suggestion. Sell your house. Your quality of life is about to become drastically worse.

  37. Cardiffian(s), why not back a single candidate for council that promises to pass the Cardiff Specific Plan intact (the way it was presented) and block the boys from their deadlock by dumping Barney?

  38. The entire city is going through generals plan updates sponsored by the city. They are asking for community input to guide the future.

    But first they are going to alter the general plan and height restrictions in Cardiff from thirty feet to 90 feet as quickly as they possibily can.
    If you know anyone in Cardiff or like Cardiff...
    Up to 31 light poles with up to 310 sports field lights, up to nine stories high up to 10:00pm, with sound amplification.

    Help us.


  40. Just read the report. it is obviously a veiled attempt at overturning propH the will of the people. norby should be ashamed working with these people that don't have the will of the people in mind. this is a document made for developers to build build build. ecke has committed to keeping his land as agriculture. keep it that way and quit trying to change the agreement you made.

  41. No doubt to me that Paul Ecke is party to this, his quest project, the Horticultural R & D Center is clearly in the mix.

    Did these brilliant thinkers really believe no one would get it?

    I'm kinda stunned that the Leichtag Foundation would soil themselves with this. Unless, of course, P3 made a donation to Leichtag that was used for this "vision".

  42. It sucks what the city is trying to do in Cardiff.
    Check it out.

    Www. Cardiffians.blogspot.com

  43. 1) Satisfying everybody is impossible. This does seem to be an attempt to prove that whatever government agencies and these developers get to approve this project, to make it happen, is insignificant, but right now, they want to shift blame away from themselves.

    2) Letting anybody but the landowner and their customers be "stakeholders" is insane. What "stake" does a "community activist" or "labor leader" have? Unlike the developer and owner, I don't see them putting up hard cash or anything else of value into the project. Why should they get a "stake"? Property rights matter.

  44. these developers want the government to grant them new development rights worth millions of dollars and the taxpayer is at risk of shouldering infrastructure costs and burdens.

  45. If they didn't want the public to give them something they would have kept their plans private and not published a propaganda pamphlet and asked for it to be passed around town.

  46. Holy s*^t, this must be the next big thing!!

  47. Maybe the next upscale thing.

  48. If Leucadia wants to rid themselves of Dalager, help Cardiff in the fight against changing the height restriction from 30 to 90 feet in Cardiff to put sports lights in.
    A defeat on this myopic proposal would help show that the W.O.S. IS NOT ALL POWWERFUL and help get Dalegar out.
    Cardiff wants a change in council, big time!

  49. Those who attend the June 24th C.I.P. meeting about the Hall Property lights will find out, just like the same alarmists who cried the sky is falling about the lights at the Von's/Today's Pizza Shopping Center a couple of months ago; the lights are that high because they point DOWN by design to keep light from 'bleeding' over into the surrounding neighborhood.

    If the community listens to the alarmists from the Cardiffians blogspot and just for the sake of argument, go with conventional field lights at say 60 feet, a lot more light will bleed over into surrounding streets and homes.

    But, why not attend and calmly, attentively learn the truth?

    This reminds me of when Bob Bonde tried to make engineering points about the city buying a firetruck with a hundred foot ladder.

    Because Bonde was not a fire fighter, or an engineer, he neglected to account for smoke, heat expansion etc...

    The experts were right; the alarmists were wrong.

    See you on the 24th.

    Everyone is welcome.

  50. BS- Bob was right. We do not need a hook and ladder truck............totally unnecarry for a town of 60k with 3 story max.

  51. ...blogger from 947. You must be the ex-firechief. People shopuld attend the meeting to learn the truth, how that plan change is going to change the community character of Cardiff forever.

    On the 100 foot aerial ladder. The only reason we have one is up the ego of the chief when he meets with other firemen. Why would we need a 100 foot aerial ladder when the tallest building in Encinitas is 26 feet by ordinance.

  52. Hey 9:47
    Cardiff wants NO LIGHTS.
    Hazeltine states in an article in the North County Times, to support your logic, that 90 foot lights will have less light pollution. No lights will produce no light polution.

    No light poles there and it is in a bussiness area.


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