Monday, August 13, 2012

Save Crest Drive! Save Leucadia too?

The council will hear an appeal of an engineering department decision this week. This is regarding a residential single home project where the Engineering Department want the owner to remove all the vegetation and trees on a one acre lot to replace it with curb, 7 feet of concrete and a 5 foot walk way, eliminating 12 feet of vegetation for 450 lineal ft! The property is on the corner of Birmingham Drive and Crest Drive. This is a RR-1 property (rural residential).

In the past, a few Leucadians have asked nicely. Asking nicely was blown off. Now a Cardiffian is taking his specific case to the Council. If the following press release is correct it brings up a bunch of curious considerations.

1.  Curb, gutter and sidewalks are hard surfaces and INCREASE runoff, so the city is rhetorically inconsistent when it says they have to uglify Leucadia like this. 

2. We've yet to see where they have made New Encinitas tear up their yards and create gravel swales.

3. Don't want curbs and sidewalks? Then you will be tortured by the City. Happens all the time.

From the inbox:

August 7th, 2012

On Wednesday, August 15 @ 6 PM, the Encinitas City Council will hear arguments against City Engineering Department mandates for Curb, Gutter and pedestrian walkway on Crest Drive, a rural residential subdivision of one acre lots within old Encinitas.

In the proposed single family home, the city originally asked for 8 feet of concrete pavers with curbs 450 feet long and a 5 foot walkway, eliminating 13 feet of natural landscaping and threatening old growth trees and vegetation along Crest Drive. All the land adjacent to the pavement would also need to be removed and graded down to the level of the street, thereby widening the street by over 26 feet when both sides are complete.

The City Engineering Department stated “ Our goal is to have curb, gutter and sidewalk on every home in Encinitas”. Furthermore, the director of the Parks and Recreation Dept. stated “The old growth trees along Crest Drive are compromised because of the power lines, therefor it is OK if they are removed”. The implementation of these seemingly arbitrary rules (normally associated with a new subdivision) will eventually result in the generic appearance we see across the country.

The imposition of city right of way improvements on individual homeowners as well as Parks and Recreation’s incomplete explanation on it’s Crest Drive tree removal policy, have raised more than a few eyebrows with Crest residents and supporters determined to preserve the unique and historic character of their community.

In an effort to impede this seemingly senseless destruction to our oxygen producing vegetation, Crest Resident and local Architect Kevin Farrell has worked diligently to help “Save Crest Drive”. To date more than 400 residents have signed a petition in support of this worthy cause.

“We don’t understand the benefit the city would get from this”, Farrell commented, “With so many people opposed throughout Encinitas, it would be a win, win, for the City to re-evaluate and leave our neighborhoods the way we want, not some Engineers personal preference. We have appealed the engineers finding to our City Council members for a final determination. We are optimistic the Council will assist in helping preserve our trees and vegetation thus maintaining the Community Character we love.”

Please join Mr. Farrell at the City Council meeting next Wednesday the 15th @ 6 pm and
help support this worthy cause in keeping Encinitas, the way it was. A presence in numbers will help to get our point across.

Comments: A couple years ago the Council reviewed some policy documents that did/could address these issues. It was a 5-0 vote to go with staff's recommendations. 

Be careful, as this is an effort to save Crest Drive, not to change policy, so it benefits all of Encinitas. If that is what it takes, I'm sure all will be happy, but that has not been the objective. Still, it is a good opportunity for Leucadia.


  1. The perils of incorporation are seen in the special interest policies of the current city government. Tearing up Crest Drive is ludicrous, as it is one of the more charming roads in the city - the old growth trees and vegetation are largely to account for that. Turn it into barren. stark conformity with curbs and sidewalks for the droids in the Engineering Dept - let the residents decide how they want their street to look. Sounds like it is a "make work" policy - there have to be more pressing demands (like upkeep of the current roads).


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