Monday, November 19, 2012

Andreen Sets the Record Straight


From the NCTime, B. Henry Reporting
 Mike Andreen, head of a New Encinitas area business advocacy group that has repeatedly raised concerns about some housing changes proposed in the revisions, said Thursday that his organization strongly opposes the proposed (Right 2 Vote) initiative. “We think it’s a bad idea for a variety of reasons,” he said.

Among other things, its name — the “Right to Vote” initiative — is misleading, Andreen said, commenting that Encinitas voters already have a say on housing-density issues. Also, he said, its proponents are using “scare tactics” to make people think the city is about to allow five-story buildings all over town.

Andreen said that the initiative’s passage will result in nullifying three community planning documents — ones for New Encinitas, Leucadia and the city’s downtown — that citizens spent years creating, and it will ultimately discourage all development in town. 

Andreen has also pointed out how outrageous and dangerous the initiative would be, on his blog.

Example: if the ‘Encinitas Right To Vote’ were currently the law and the owners of the McDonalds that burned down in the Sprout’s Center wanted to rebuild it exactly as it was in the 70’s, they would have to underwrite a Special Election of the half million dollars before they have spent one nickel on plans, materials labor etc… 

He didn't cite which section of the initiative would cause that result. I thought the initiative just addressed upzoning, not remodels, not building permits, and not development permits. (Disclaimer: We haven't read it yet, as we've been busy lately.) Upzoning is where developers gain NEW development rights by the vote of the council majority (4/5ths). The council, not hard work or market forces, makes them rich. Usually, the public subsidizes directly and indirectly the bulk of the windfall profits from the upzoning (Now you know why developers poor 6 digit figures into council races.) The initiative puts the decision on upzoning in both the hands of the council AND the public. The upzoning will have to pass muster with the public, rather than slide by unnoticed until buildings go up.

There is zero doubt the initiative will result in upzoning proposals that provide more benefit to the general public, rather than the lion's share to those receiving the gift of NEW rights.

Andreen also posts this photo (Mike, we assumed you'd be happy to spread the word, let us know if we should take this down):

Approval of the upzoning initiative does not prohibit upzoning (or 5 stories), and it won't. Cities with similar measures continue to upzone.

However, Mike is right. Some proponents do not want more traffic, higher buildings, more pollution, or a change in character. They moved here and stay here because they like Encinitas. They are rightfully scared that upzoning will result in that. As Mike actively recognized, major changes could be coming to Encinitas and it would be great if the changes were being made for the benefit of the general public and not 24 people.

The proponents like Encinitas. They think the majority of the voters will continue to agree that Encinitas is pretty darn nice and will want to keep it that way if they are given the power to confirm the council's approvals.

Leucadia Will Get Screwed?
The initiative will also send all the upzoning to Leucadia, because we are the city's infrastructure dumping ground. Are New Encinitas or Olivenhain going to vote to keep 10 story complexes out of Leucadia if they think it will keep their community from having to take on more density? Will we get the short end of the stick?

1 comment:

  1. Not sure where Mr. Andreen get that the rebuilding the Mc. Donald at the corner of Encinitas Blvd and El Camino Real would be subject to an election if the initiative was do be adopted. This could not be further from the truth as it would not imply a zoning changes unless of course the intent is to change the lot to a mixed use designation.

    Also the initiative which is, by the way, "the Right To Vote on Zoning Increases" does not change anything in the current specific plans of Cardiff, Downtown 101, and Encinitas Ranch. No impact there.

    Another fallacy is that the Encinitas residents currently have a say on up-zoning. Per the current general plan Policy 3.12 section 5, a 4/5th majority of council can adopt zoning changes if they see a public benefit in doing so. This is a big loophole.
    Also a general plan update could easily strip Encinitas residents from being able to vote on up-zoning (Policy 3.7 from land use element). The initiative will close all loopholes and will protect our right to vote on zoning increases.

    The initiative is really about getting residents a better chance to be actively engaged in the design of our communities. Placing blue dots at random on a map without any background does not qualify as active participation.

    The Encinitas Right-to-Vote initiative on zoning increases protect all 5 communities from intrusive developments such as the ones proposed by the ERAC (5 story tall buildings) and the planning commission.

    This is why thousands of residents are supporting the initiative. Don't let land developers run our town into a crowded city. If you love Encinitas and want to keep it the small beach community we all enjoy, you need to support and sign the initiative.

    Mr. Andreen is out of touch with the community which is not a surprise since he is not a resident of Encinitas. His views are clouded by special interests and the special relationships he has with land developers.

    While I respect his involvement in Encinitas, we will need to agree to disagree on his take of the initiative. In the end the city council or the voters will decide if they approve of the initiative.

    ReplyDelete

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