Wednesday, October 19, 2011

LETC Report

First reports of last nights meeting coming in now. So far:

People had a lot of direct questions about the General Plan. The city manager's friendly style disarmed the concerns.  The city manager told the crowd that Barth (who was there) is working on a  subcommittee on how to involve people who were upset by the GP Update Draft. How the issues will be resolved and people will become involved were not explained. The city manager was gave the crowd the message there was still plenty of time for the public to influence the final General Plan of our city.

What were your observations from last night?


  1. The city manager was friendly and approachable, however he did not present himself as knowledgeable or informed with the General Plan Draft. He actually admitted that he had not yet taken any time to read the currant draft.

    Multiple questions and concerns voiced. Very few questions answered, or concerned addressed.

    I asked two questions:

    How would the relaxing and/or removing many of the road specifications, and level of service standards in the circulation element benefit the city as a hole, in the next 5-20 years?

    Can you point to or reference other cities that have productively implemented similar language or similar aspects in their gen plans and/or charters in comparison of our gen plan draft?

    He was unable to answer these questions.

  2. Dave, it'll be OK. It's OK in LaJolla/Bird Rock.
    And out city manager has only been on the job a few months. He'll be great, too.

  3. Chris,

    Dave's question is not just relevant to fire access in Leucadia.

    I like Streetscape and disagree with Dave on that point.

    But what possible good can come of removing standards of road service and allowing absolute gridlock on El Camino Real and Encinitas Boulevard?

  4. My understanding is that the draft addresses a balancing of issues relating to traffic flow. The identified areas are not expected to have any gridlock the vast majority of time. There may be some heavy traffic during peak hours. The vast majority of the time. If the design planned only for no heavy traffic during peak travel periods, we could end up with an unappealing result.
    I would rather have a safely balanced approach that would provide more than adequate emergency response time with a pedestrian friendly, business friendly, safe and esthetically pleasing design. Some heavy traffic during peak times is inevitable, either way.
    A healthy balance seems better. There is a trade off.
    We have seen this work very effectively, as mentioned, in the Bird Rock area.
    Hopefully there will be some intelligent changes to the public's driving habits and public transportation outlook in years to come.

  5. A "healthy balance" of what? More condos all over El Camino?

    The people of Encinitas don't want that. The only people who want that are developers and city staff who both stand to benefit financially.

  6. If we want to receive state funds, which we had chosen to do, we gave to accommodate for housing goals from the state.
    Where do we accomadate this.

  7. How much will we receive in state funds and how much could be saved by cutting gold-plated pensions instead?

  8. 1. The City does not have up to date traffic figures - without those, no amount of posturing about traffic is meaningful. We know from past studies that the intersections of Encinitas Blvd. and El Camino Real plus Leucadia and El Camino Real are the most impacted intersections in the City. Are they getting better or worse ? By how much ?
    2. The General Plan Draft makes a number of assumptions about what we have to do to keep the State happy and meet the SANDAG housing goals. During the 20+ years I have lived here, we have never meet the SANDAG goals and are being "penalized" by being required to have more low income housing built in the next ten years or so. Since the problems meeting these goals are explained in the Draft and we have never been able to meet the goals, it may be that the goals are unobtainable.
    3.When Christie G. left office many years ago, one of her last acts was to ask staff how much money we received from the State and what conditions had to be meet to receive it. Others have asked for this detail since. The Staff has never provided an answer.
    4. One of the problems with the El Camino corridor is that much of the traffic is generated from outside Encinitas - a factor that we can't control easily, if at all. What happens to a street when you add significant new housing to an already impacted street and have an "unexpected" increase in traffic generated outside our control ? Remember, we have been in a depression/recession for some time now - what happens when building gets back to "normal" ?
    4. The citizens of Encinitas have repeatedly stated they don't want buildings over 30 feet tall, but have seemed willing to have exceptions for schools and hospitals. Why does anyone think that the citizens of Encinitas want five story or more buildings any where in the city especially in an area already impacted by traffic ? What are the alternatives for providing low income housing OTHER than the the draft General Plan ?
    I can think of a number of plans : if you build a house, you have to build a "granny flat" to be rented to a low income person or how about a location in Olivenhain that is suitable for low income housing ? [Note I am not advocating either].
    5. So where are we ? We don't have bare minimum to gauge our current traffic. We are making assumptions about goals that we don't understand the consequences of and don't know the cost of not complying. We have not looked at alternatives to the mixed use, build tall around the El Camino Corridor "solution".

  9. Thank you chris, w. c. and lindpat

    Everyone of you had tremendously more enlightened input on the Gen Plan Draft in comparison to our city manager. (however chris, I think you have been drinking to much of the city’s cool aid) ;-)

    A competent city manager should be able to articulate basic guidelines, goals, and intent of this draft in a public forum. He did not do this.

    You do not need a masters degree in public administration to realize that the current draft represents dramatic and fundamental changes in our city’s future.

    Are these changes to accommodate outside state and federal funding? That’s a good point chris. Shouldn’t our city manger be able to articulate that? And is that for staff and management to decide or is that fot the city at large to decide?

    This plan is to represent the wants and needs of our city’s residence at large. It is absolutely necessary and incumbent of our city to explain this rational when asked to do so.

    W. C. I would like an opportunity to discuss the finer points of access and egress regarding streetscape with you. I think you would find we agree more than we disagree.

  10. fyi

    the previous post is mine, I didn't realize that my girl friend was logged in, and not me. I'll fix it when she logs in again.

    My Bad

  11. A lady from New Encinitas was at the meeting complaining that her area is promoted only as a "ghetto business district" thats focus is on commerce. "There's nothing to do here except shop!" she said, wanting other things like a theater, or teen center etc. Afterward she was talking to mosaic artist Mark Patterson, encouraging him to put some art in the El Camino Real median. "How about a Shopping Madonna?" She joked. .

  12. I'm pretty stoked to see so many people waking up. I thought only a few of the regulars were showing any concern relative to the General Plan Update, but I'm sensing a lot more interest! Go New Encinitas!

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