Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year Best Friends!

Guess where I now?
-JP
;)

Leucadia Resourcefulness

Million dollar ocean view house. Big lot with great landscaping. New car.

A partial tree stump just high enough for a hoop.

In other news, Gaspar says she snubbed Barth in order to restore civility: Barth didn't denounce attacks on Gaspar's family and staged pep-rallies filled with accusations.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Leucadia Bluff collapse 2010

CH 10 News coverage (with non-embeddable video)

SignOnSanDiego.com story with side view photo.

North County Times story with best photos
Photo swiped from the North County Times.

Stray Observations:

Seawalls prevent bluff failures, but there is a sea wall here.

The dangling bodyboard is a nice touch. Who is going to rescue this poor kid's bodyboard?

Why do people hate on Neptune homeowners so much, but have sympathy if someone's home slides off a hill inland?

Encinitas Patch reports storm caused no major damage, with photos of a home about to fall into the ocean.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Gate Valve to Flooding

Leucadia's flooding now a city management decision?
Tim Calver and Leslie Ross
To the city of Encinitas Engineering Department, Public Works Department and any other citizens concerned about dirty water going in to the ocean:

On Dec. 21, Leucadia was hit with a storm that dropped more than an inch of rain. Although the system in the Leucadia area handled the storm all though the morning hours, at about 1:50 p.m. the city decided to open a gate valve on Vulcan by RCP to release water from the east side of the railroad tracks south of Union Street. In doing so, it overtaxed the system downstream in Leucadia and caused flooding in the sump areas west of 101, coming close to flooding and endangering more than 20 homes.

The city procedure is to pump this dirty, raw, unfiltered water over the bluff to Beacon’s Beach, a local surf spot. This brings up two questions: does Leucadia have a drainage problem or is it Old Encinitas’ problem? And do we really have to pump over the bluff to solve this problem?

In 1986, five communities were incorporated as a city to become Encinitas. I have always considered it a single city. However, in dealing with the city on drainage issues, the city has consistently treated this as a community issue, insisting that the excess water is Leucadia’s problem. E-mails from the city have stated that, by law, water cannot be diverted from one area (community) to another.

In 2003 and 2004, the city paid more than $1 million for an extensive hydrology study intended to improve the drainage in Leucadia. It clearly states in that report, and is known among city employees in the Engineering and Public Works departments, that a gate valve installed to store water in the 1,300-foot channel built at Union and Vulcan would only “be opened to expedite drainage of the stored water after the storm when the downstream facility is no longer taxed.” (Rick Engineering Co.)

And yet, the city opened the valve during a storm, the system became overtaxed, the Leucadia Park and alley flooded and the city sent out employees and pumped dirty water over the bluff. Does this need to happen? We don’t believe so … the water at Union and Vulcan can be sent south instead of being diverted north to Leucadia. And there are other solutions that have been brought to the attention to the city.

In 2004, residents suggested to install a 3-foot pipe, 5,500 feet long, to send Old Encinitas’ water to Cottonwood Creek Park. This idea was shot down by the engineering department because it was stated that it could overtax the park. In 2006, a proposed new development for 35 homes and an office building in Quail Gardens was given the go-ahead and a 96-foot diameter pipe, 1,220 feet long and additional 86 inches in diameter, 8,400 feet long was installed. (The Coast News, February 2006).

A structure already exists under Leucadia Pizzeria to connect Vulcan’s water trench/pipe to Cottonwood Creek Park to Moonlight beach, yet this system has never been utilized and it would not take many funds to allow this particular piece to function along with adding infiltration to send cleaner water out to the ocean. This system would also prevent Old Encinitas’ water from flooding Leucadia.

If Old Encinitas’ water problem is fixed and solutions are found that cost in the neighborhood of $1 million, Leucadia would no longer flood, the 101 would be far safer to drive, houses could avoid flooding and dirty water would no longer be sent over the bluff at Beacon’s Beach.

Our City Manager, Phil Cotton, and engineers have the knowledge and ability to fix this problem once and for all. I’m hoping they do.

Tim Calver and Leslie Ross are Encinitas local residents.

Read more: Coast News Group - COMMUNITY COMMENTARY Is Leucadia’s flooding problem really Old Encinitas’ problem

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shop Encinitas

It is soooo much easier and pleasing to shop Encinitas Ranch with its ample parking, than the Forum.

Encinitas Ranch


The Forum

Flickering Question: Why can't people easily walk from the Forum to REI?

NCT Times Calls out Barth for Petty Politics

NCTimes gives Bond and Barth a lump of coal:
Having been snubbed by her colleagues for the mayoral spot, she did something of a turnabout-is-fair-play by announcing Monday that she thought fellow councilman Jerome Stocks should be removed from his appointment to the San Diego Regional Association of Governments. Other council members didn't support her in this effort.

As far as I know, Barth had never voted against the mayoral recommendations for the appointments and had always voted for Jerome to be the NCTD and SANDAG rep. She has not demonstrated to be above what looks like petty politicking.

Kevin C

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Leucadia Flooding not so bad so far

It just dumped crazy rain. I heard that the coast highway in Carlsbad is closed due to flooding. Leucadia seems to be doing well so far.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Choke Point

Enjoying the new traffic light at F St and 101 at the new Pacific Station development?
Some of the supporters of PS called the proposed Leucadia Streetscape roundabouts "choke points".

Gas is still over $3 a gallon

But nobody seems to complain about it anymore. I guess we are all comfortable with it now.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Encinitas Reindeer Games

The  N.C.Times hasn't posted this to their website, but it is in print. Gaspar, Bond, and J.S. get a raspberry (click to read).

Today at 4pm there is a council meeting to appoint people to representative positions on regional boards.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Streetscape!

I know a lot of people are upset about details of the Streetscape, but think back to a few years ago when the city was on the brink on declaring Leucadia BLIGHTED and were going to hand private property over to developers.
We should be stoked on our new Streetscape. Don't worry, be happy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jim says, no cornrows for Barth, she should be 2011 mayor.

A New Spirit of Cooperation Hits Encinitas

Tonight everything changes at City Hall. No more bickering. No more petty distractions. No more personal animosity getting in the way cooperation. It is a new day and everyone is looking forward to the future.

Council Member Elect Gaspar will be seated tonight and cast her first vote. Her top campaign promise on the issues was:

I will bring positive energy, a spirit of cooperation, and unity to the Encinitas City Council. Our council has too often been distracted by petty personal feuds and hyper-partisanship. I pledge to focus my efforts on the needs of our city instead of disparaging the personal character of those whom I may not agree with on specific issues. My track record with numerous boards and foundations in Encinitas demonstrates that I get the job done by helping my colleagues arrive at a consensus. When council members do not work together, they actually decrease the chances of a successful outcome. Finally, council members need to approach each issue on an individual basis with an open mind. Too often, council members have opposed each other based on a history of personal conflicts instead of considering the merit of their colleagues' ideas.

Streetscape Option

There is one option for consideration in Wednesday's council meeting staff report on the streetscape and here is a note from the in box:

Merry Christmas  and Happy Holidays to all!

As a present to Leucadia, please plan on showing up to this Wednesday night council meeting or at least sending an email to all the Council Members voicing your support for the project.  This project will be great for your quality of life, the environment, the City’s financial health, and your property values.

For those of you that have stepped up in the past for Leucadia, I appreciate it.  For those of you who haven’t yet, Its time to give back to your community by taking just a few minutes of your time.  Please act.  We have been working on this project for over 6 years and it will still be another 2 years until anything is built.  Hopefully  the 90 trees with irrigation can happen sooner.

Signed,
Infrastructure Ivan

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Sign of Things to Come, Coming


We will get a glimpse of what is to come, just in time for the holidays. We will have a new council member and a new Mayor.


Tuesday, 6pm the new council will be sworn in and the new Mayor elected by the council.

The following week on Dec 20th, 6pm the council will elect OUR representatives to regional boards like the Water Authority, SANDAG, and NCTD.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Eco Yurt March

From the In Box:

Local Eco Businesses being forced to shut down- march on city hall Wednesday at 5pm

Hello,

Please read the attached press release for the current situation with the Yurt run businesses in downtown Encinitas. They are currently being forced to shut due to code restrictions on their property. They will host a march on city hall at 5pm on Wednesday...

Carris





Read the press release here. (update: see it below)


CommUnity PEACE MARCH TO SAVE YOGA SWAMI YURT FROM DEMOLITION
Supporters peacefully march to Encinitas City Hall to “Save Our Space,”
Wednesday, December 8 at 5 p.m.

Who: Supporters of Yoga Swami and Lemongrass Aveda Concept Salon and Spa along with local community member.

WHAT: A peace march from Yoga Swami aka the Yoga Yurt to city hall will be organized so that residents, employees and business owners can present their case for why the yurts should stay up

When: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 5 p.m. – CommUnity Peace March begins. The march will end at Encinitas City Hall at about 5:45 p.m.

Where: Yoga Swami 912 S Coast Hwy 101

Two women owned environmentally proactive downtown Encinitas are being forced to shut their doors because their operation takes place in a Yurt which at the current moment the city deems illegal. The Lemongrass Aveda Concept Salon and Spa and Yoga Swami both use yurts as a vital part of their businesses.  With the forced closure of both yurts on their prospective properties their businesses cannot proceed.  5 years ago both businesses had verbal agreement from the city of Encinitas engineering department to erect the structures because the city of Encinitas had no policy and procedures on yurts within the city. Now after 5 years of operation, both businesses are thriving and they are being asked to take them down. The City of Encinitas is requiring the owners of both businesses to meet current building codes or take the yurt down.  If you do not know what a yurt is please visit the Colorado yurt company http://www.coloradoyurt.com/

Now supporters of both businesses, local community member, clients and students of Yoga Swami and Lemongrass in Encinitas will hold a CommUnity Peace March to try to prevent a beloved yoga yurt from being dismantled on Thursday. The “Save Our Space” march will begin at Yoga Swami and end at Encinitas City Hall prior to the City Council meeting where citizens will speak to council members, encouraging them to allow the yurts to stand possibly granting a variance on each of the structures.

For the past five years, the owner of Yoga Swami has operated a donation-based yoga studio in a yurt on Coast Highway in Encinitas. In an outpouring to save the yurt, in less than 4 days more than 1,000 people have signed a petition to encourage the Encinitas City Council to waive building codes to allow for the eco-friendly building to remain.  For more information on Yoga Swami please visit http://www.yogaswami.com and for Lemongrass please visit http://www.lemongrasscenter.com/

8 am

Monday, December 06, 2010

Leucadia Economics

A commenter seemed to think all Leucadians have taken on unsustainable and unstrategic debt. I don't know if there is good data on local consumer debt, but you'd think that local businesses and governments would want to know how tapped out the people are before making revenue projections. Is that data available?

A lot of Americans took on debt for boob jobs, boats, and trips to bermuda. The NYTimes did an interesting series on why so many jumped into the "debt trap". It is unfair to imply that this behavior was conducted by all Americans. Many were responsible and more thoughtful about taking risks. Many even realized the generational penalty we would pay for all the play.

Here is a little write up on the impact of interest rates and housing prices. Rates will have to rise (lets hope) and that will cause a deflationary pressure on housing prices. Maybe the government should prop housing prices with the Mick Pattinson solution of increasing permit fees and legal hurdles for development. We all know that the cost of production is what sets the price of a home. The papers printed that anyways.

Here is an example house that is for sale on Crocus:


Below are the zillow market price estimates. 

click to enlarge

You can see that the Zillow estimate for this house and for 92024 demonstrates a substantial drop in real estate prices, since the peak. The Fed can't lower interest rates enough to shove prices back up, especially in this economy. No more housing credit ATM machines. Good thing  a lot of us didn't over leverage.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Low Income Housing

From the inbox:

How things work in Leucaida

1. Low income family lives in an old house on greenhouse property.

2. Developer subdivides property and asks for a density bonus, that is only available to those doing large developments and is granted regardless of proximity to mass transit or a local coffee shop.

3. Developer gets density bonus for providing a place for low income people to live. Yes, it can be the same house that was already occupied by low income families and, yes, you can end up with less free market low income housing in the end.

4. Developer builds out the development and the old house is bulldozed. Zero low income housing.

John

Bloggers note: Below shows where there was once a home housing a lower income family and now awaiting  (years) to become a density bonus low income house.
Houlihan waved her hands at the Density Bonus stuff a few years ago. Other than that, there has been no real effort to fix this homespun density bonus law. What can be done? 
1. Make it a council goal to adopt a density bonus ordinance that closes grand canyon loopholes and makes sure it is consistent with other city goals, 
2. work with our state reps to change the state law. The council (disingenuously?) complains about density bonus but does not follow through on changing the law.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Pacific View Cultural Center?

Fellow Arts Supporter,

Please join us at the next EUSD Board of Trustees  meeting
Tuesday December 7, 2010, 6:30pm
101 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road, Encinitas

The Downtown Encinitas Mainstreet Association has let the school board and its superintendent know that we are very interested in leasing the Pacific View School site for a cultural arts center.  We intend to have 3-5 key speakers address the board at this meeting.  You will not need to speak, but the most  potent a message is a room packed with as many  supporters as possible so that they realize just how enormous the community sentiment  for this venture really is.  You can also send each of the board a quick message of support.

Please keep in mind that any future use or project on the Pacific View site should have four guiding principles:
·             Education including art and nutrition, and our children’s access to the site.

·             Historic Preservation and adaptive reuse of the existing buildings.

·          That it remain in a public use

·          That it provide revenue to the EUSD and/or Encinitas Education Foundation for the benefit of our schools

       The final decision is up the EUSD board of trustees.  I urge you to write to them.
Bill Parker                       bill.parker@eusd.net
Carol Skiljan                    carol.skiljan@eusd.net
Catherine Regan             cathy.regan@eusd.net
Emily R. Andrade            emily.andrade@eusd.net
Gregg Sonken              greggsonken@gmail.com
Marla Strich                    marla.strich@eusd.net
Maureen Muir               maureen.muir@eusd.net

Hope to see you at the meeting and eventually at the “Pacific View Cultural Arts Center”!
Please forward this to as many interested people as possible.


Dody Crawford
Executive Director

The Yurt don't Hurt


Saw this petition on my Facebook wall feed:

Save the Yurt @ Yoga Swami's @ 912 S. Coast Hwy 101

I've never actually been there. Is it cool? It sounds cool.

RTV Estates Update

Here is some happy news from the Planning Commission meeting last night.

The Planning Commission meeting concerning the topic of the ol' Barratt development took a bit over 2 hours to discuss tonight.  The PC was concerned that the affordable unit allotted on Sheridan was not part of the build out by ELN...and they had some concerns about the 2 units proposed for Andrew - plus other problems in the proposal.

Remarkably they seemed to have read the emails sent by us. (I know it's hard to believe. I was impressed that the commission had done their homework - and told them so.)

In the end they voted NOT to approve the application of ELN.

You can be proud of the excellent speakers tonight -- each highlighting different elements of this very complicated situation.

Thanks to all who participated and supported this effort to make things right in the hood.

Ron

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Hermes Commotion

This just in:

Major commotion with a dozen plus law enforcement officers rolling on Hermes Ave, one block off Leucadia Blvd. Who was on the scene first to cover the story?  encinitas.patch.com. Watch for their report to appear here.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Rancho Tyvek Estates

From the In Box:

There are two important quality of life issues for Leucadia that need citizen attention right away.

# 1 - More about the famous Barratt-American business at the corner of Sheridan and Andrew:  There is an agenda item before the Encinitas Planning Commission this Thursday Dec. 2 at 6 PM that needs our attention.  Brief summary of case # 10-150 RA  (the full and very involved agenda item is at: http://archive.ci.encinitas.ca.us/WebLink8/DocView.aspx?id=671211&dbid=0)

A company called ELN, LLC has purchased the remaining home in escrow on the western Nantucket property. It can't be sold until the affordable home is built on Lot 8 along Andrew Avenue. They propose to increase the square footage of what is required to 2000 sf and add a 600 sf additional unit for affordable income families. Two units would be on the same lot. That would free up the existing home in escrow to be sold.

ELN also is proposing to the city that ELN be allowed to build out all of the eastern part of Nantucket WITHOUT HAVING TO BUILD THE AFFORDABLE UNIT designated for Lot 4 - along Sheridan. They are asking for a change in the contract with the city to get out of building the affordable home.  They say they do now own Lot 4 and are therefore not responsible for the affordable unit on that property.  This plan if passed on Thursday would allow the complete build out of eastern Nantucket, and would not provide an affordable unit there.
ELN proposes that the additional 600 ft unit on Andrew would fulfill their obligation. That property would also not have a 30 year time limit and would be managed by a non-profit in the city.

Many people who attended the CPP on October 25, 2010 opposed another higher density housing unit on Andrew. We already have enough.  And many also spoke up against allowing ELN to build out a density bonus development without having to build a proper affordable housing unit...as per the city's contract.  The city would be breaking it's contract, many believe.

If you can weigh in on the subject please send an email to Kerry Kusiak at the city and have him forward your comments to the planning commission. KKusiak@ci.encinitas.ca.us

********************

# 2  There is a CPP (citizens "participation" ) meeting on the proposal to build TWO 30 ft high cell-phone towers at the RE/MAX office site on the corner of La Costa Avenue and Highway 101 - Thursday Dec 2 - also at City Hall.  This proposal would also build a utility building 12 ft high x 12 wide x 50 long on the site.  (That's almost the size of railroad box car)  This is the gateway to Leucadia.  What an ugly image for us.  The city has said in the past they will not fight the increasingly possible severe health hazards of cell-phone towers in the city (even though they don't allow them on fire houses). The only way to fight these tower monsters is from design and neighborhood eyesore issues.

If you can weigh in on the subject please send an email to Kerry Kusiak at the city and have him forward your comments to the appropriate city planner: KKusiak@ci.encinitas.ca.us

************

Many thanks,

Ron Ranson