Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Great Leucadia Coaster Conspiracy

Recently Encinitas mayor Jerome Stocks suggested that North Leucadia get a Coaster train stop. On the surface this sounds like a great idea since currently many Leucadians commute in the morning to the Encinitas train station. However there may be a deeper motivation. Read below.

From the inbox:

A Coaster Stop in Leucadia would make it a 'Smart Growth Area' and that means the zoning could be taken from R15 and R 22 (15 or 22 residential units per acre) to R 30.

The City is currently updating it's General Plan and due to State imposed sanctions, must add some 1,500 residential units to our current zoning. The first idea was to change the zoning in some areas along El Camino Real from 'Commercial' to 'Mixed Use'. This would allow apartments to be built over some retail and commercial centers. Needless to say, the folks in New Encinitas think that's a bad idea mostly because of the traffic issues.

The folks at the State, who need to approve the new Plan, insist that major up-zoning go into 'Smart Growth Areas' which means near public transportation and the only 'public transportation' New Encinitas has is busses. The State prefers trains as they are permanent.

If they add a Coaster Stop to the Leucadia corridor, Leucadia will be the new 'Smart Growth' area in Encinitas. Taking the heat off New Encinitas and leaving Leucadia to take a major portion of the State enforced up-zoning.

We do not want to pit ourselves against our friends and neighbors in New Encinitas. The housing that is being forced on the City needs to be portioned out in a fair and reasonable way. The burden should not fall heavily on any one community.

Please keep your eyes and ears on this issue.

Jerome Stocks did not discuss this with City Councilwoman Teresa Barth before he proposed it to North County Transit District. He also did not discuss it with either the Leucadia MainStreet Association or the Leucadia Town Council. We have no way of knowing who he did discuss it with or whose idea it was. Pretty clever though for anyone who'd like to see their property up-zoned in the updated General Plan.

#1. A Transportation Center with trains and busses is planned for Ponto in Carlsbad, just a short distance up the road.

#2. No rezoning was considered for the Leucadia Corridor because it is covered by a Specific Plan and any zoning changes should be made there.

Note: The Leucadia Specific Plan runs from Encinitas Blvd to La Costa Blvd, Vulcan on the east and zig zags on the west side along La Vita and Melrose. It does not include very much of the residential areas

Blogger's note:

Is there fear that a Whole Foods style development will occur on the Leucadia coast? While the Whole Foods commercial parts seem to be a rocking success the residential aspects have not.

If Leucadia's coastal corridor were to undergo a major upzone do you envision a real estate land grab of developer's buying up older beach properties, tearing them down and building new high density buildings?

Is that a realistic scenario? If the Leucadia Streetscape is ever completed does that make Leucadia a target for mega-developers?

Mixed Use in the New Encinitas El Camino Real commercial zone was probably a viable idea assuming people want to rent apartments above a TJ Maxx.

Will the next generation of Leucadians want to rent an apartment above Karina's when they are in the twenty's?

The reality is all those cute little kids attending Paul Ecke Central will need apartments to rent in 12-15 years.

Doesn't the community of Leucadia deserve their own train station?


  1. The proposed new train station has no areas for parking and no supporting infrastructure. If it was built, it would have to use at least a fair chunk of NCTD right of way - are they cool with that precedent ? The proposed new stop is only a little over two miles from our current stop. What is the utility of an other stop ?
    If another stop was built, it would include an at grade crossing almost by definition. Can Leucadia just get the at grade crossing and forget the stop, please?
    Stocks proposal is pure politics designed to keep the electorates mind off the fact he supported the failed GPU plan and has never advanced at grade crossings,instead championing the costly underground crossings preferably build with someone else's money.

  2. Leucadia was considered for a general zoning upgrade years ago, where new requirements would force the exisitng owners to sell out, as they could not afford to accomodate the "new standards". This opens valuable and limited coastal land up for the developers, who will jam housing in and sell to the highest bidders. It is the ultimate capitalist concept that the highest use potential put to any land is accomplished only by the wealthiest in the society. $tock$ is the facilitator of exactly this concept - his legacy is of special interest accomodation and kick backs. He must be voted out this year or the destruction of community character will continue. The big special interest money will be backing their stooge $tock$, as he has grown increasingly unpopular. This will be a test of the power of money over substance . . .

  3. The lack of parking at the present Encinitas Coaster station would be greatly improved if the Coaster Connection bus routes returned to residential neighborhoods during commuting hours. I wonder if that idea has been explored. Bus ridership would increase, Coaster ridership would increase, and traffic/air pollution might improve during heavy commuting periods.

    We'd really like our teenager to ride the bus to get around town and to and from school on Santa Fe Dr, but the buses are too infrequent on the routes that go closest to our home; there is still a 30 minute walk to/from the closest bus stops; and sometimes the buses fail to show up or are very late. So instead, one parent him off at school on the way to work, and one picks him up, often combining the trip with mid-city or coastal shopping trips, errands, library stops, etc. Every member of our family could and would take the bus and/or Coaster more frequently than we do now if the bus routes went through our neighborhood again, were more frequent, and more reliable.

  4. Will the freight trains have to honk at the stop as they pass through?

    I forgot... Do they honk at the existing stop in Encinitas?

  5. What else can one conclude with recent graphs from the city claiming Leucadia needs several hundred new homes. As far as "Leucadia children needing houseing here in the future" - Most children who are born here do not stay here. The lions share of new homes are sold to the lucky wealthy folks who move here from somewhere eles. (That's why Pacific View closed "There aren't enough children west of the tracks anymore" we're told). And in a population of 60,000 residents, how many die each year making room for more people, anyway? Also, the Eninitas Coaster Station is a little over 1 mile south (not over 2 miles as stated above) and the Pointsettia Station is a little over one mile north. Nothing is said about that one, and it has hundreds of parking spaces parking spaces and it's a well used stop. Google Earth the random sattelite photo and you'll see it two thirds full. Its just not sane to put train stations every mile, unless you're willing to add 20 minutes to an hour long trip to SD from Oside. I understand people's desire to make a lot of money, but when will they stop building like it's 1999? Encinitas was incorporated largely because the county was abusing development with large apartments such as on Vulcan Ave. and locals wanted more control on that. But leave it to some to try to overide that concern at ever turn. Redevelopment with any other name still stinks. But this whole thing could be a red herring to take our attention off the man behind the curtain.

  6. What if a new station included a grade-separated crossing at Leucadia Blvd and prioritized the rail trail?

  7. NCTD's concern for bicyclists stops at the bike racks they fund at Coaster stations.

  8. Good point Winston.... NCTD is a miserable failure of what a public transit agency should be. The don't get it. They need to support people getting to their busses instead of prohibiting people from crossing two steel lines and dividing a City. They don't get it and need to be disband.

  9. It is nice they let you bring your bike on the trains with no hassle!

  10. I also think this idea is not good. There are other sections of the rail corridor where the population is underserved. We don't need another stop when we have one in Encinitas and one nearby, in Carlsbad. The "gap" between stops should be closer to five miles apart. Stocks "surprise" proposal is merely a ploy to "mitigate" traffic congestion that would be caused upzoning. Leucadia and Old Encinitas are scheduled to be subjected to the lion's share of new development, as the maps are currently configured. Yes, the proposed roundabouts will also be used to allow more development, at the expense of cut through traffic in our residential neighborhoods.

    Pelz and Associates go across the nation holding workshops designed, essentially, to lobby for roundabouts, which they design. Solana Beach wisely turned down eliminating a lane on Lomas Santa Fe. Similarly, CALTRANS has objected to North Highway 101 being reduced, through Leucadia, to only one lane, northbound. A major traffic artery needs to have more than 3 lanes.

    A few longtime property owners in north Leucadia, many of whom pay low property taxes, as they've owned their commercial properties since the 70's, and benefit from the Jarvis Gann Initiative, will gain increased property values, including significantly more street parking, and the ability to charge higher rents, at the expense of residents and commuters. Traffic is already slow during rush hour. Safety is not enhanced, according to some locals, who are firemen, and who are concerned about poor response times. At one of the workshops, a resident of La Jolla, who lives near the Birdrock ,spoke about how pedestrian safety was not enhanced by the roundabouts there.

    Council was sold "a bill of goods" re the proposed roundabouts in Leucadia. The second phase of the Leucadia Blvd. roundabouts was never completed. That phase was to include a 3rd roundabout and additional sidewalks! No specific studies have been made and released of the 3 roundabouts we already have, two on Leucadia Blvd, and one on Santa Fe. Has there been a reduction in accidents? We think not.

    Again, roundabouts and/or adding another train stop would both be used, by developers to help justify upzoning and higher density. Just as Birdrock lost a lot of its former charm, when the roundabouts were installed, so would Leucadia be targeted for more and more so called "smart growth."

    There is no justification for another train stop so close to Poinsettia and downtown Encinitas, other than politicking, and helping commercial property owners and developers, at the expense of the general public and local residents.

  11. Man Lynn give it up. Your as wacky as that fried LA fire fighter. Roundabouts work great. Every day more than 50,000 cars travel through roundabouts without incident, and without waiting at illogical signals like at I5 and Hwy101. The Roundabouts work, the signals don't. I know there is no changing your mind with facts, because facts don't matter in your world. Happy Easter Alice. Have a great time in Wonderland.

  12. Lynn? I thought it was once again that guy who's parent raised him with a N. Hwy 101 business. It is a little long winded though, so you're probably right. We love you anyway, Lynn.

  13. Just because people use roundabouts, or ride the train, go to train stops, does not make Leucadia a good fit for adding another stop or adding roundabouts.

    I agree, they would serve as mitigation for high density development that is planned. Local residents don't want the roundabouts. Except for at La Costa, these are for three way intersections. Anon, with a capital A, lol, YOU don't address the facts, only your selfish interests, when it comes to roundabouts.

    We already have no right hand turn signs up at the intersection at El Portal and Hwy 101 for morning rush hour traffic, which is already going slowly! Do we need a roundabout there, when there's not a true intersection?

    Anon; I continue to think you're Charlie Marvin. You would benefit with higher property values, more parking, the ability to charge more rent. Why don't you leave me out of it? Your resulting to bullying and "guilt by association" is very obvious, and childish, rude.

    I'm not worried, though. The City can't afford roundabouts. They spent too much money on the lobbyists for them, the failed General Plan Update, and of course, pensions and raises for staff.


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