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Comments made by Leucadian

Encinitas Tackles Height Limits Again

We will have the option of voting NO on both suggested ballot measures. This is an obvious attempt, by Mayor Teresa Barth & Council to try to derail Prop A. City efforts to defeat the initiative began with hiring, thru the City Manager, a pro-development law firm to do a an "independent" report. Then City Attorney, Glenn Sabine wrote, for the Sample Ballot, an "impartial analysis," that went beyond speculation to outright untruth. His analysis wasn't fact based nor impartial.

Sabine's false impartial analysis was based on the R&T report, full of speculation & conjecture, all of which proved to be without merit. Lower set height limits in residential zones AREN’T raised by Prop A.

Also, CONTRARY to Council's arguments in the Sample Ballots against Prop A, the California Coastal Commission DIDN’T have to review Prop A thru a LCP Amendment. Our city WASN’T bifurcated by the CCC's need to approve this grassroots' initiative; nor was division created by a different effectiveness date of Prop A in the Coastal Zone.

The City of Encinitas posted on its webpage, on 7/29, after the 6/18 Special Election, at which a majority of voters SUPPORTED Prop A, a belated FAQ sheet, debunking R&T''s speculation & the City Attorney's incorrect analysis, which had taken conjecture to outright distortion of facts. Although Council pitted staff against the public, & building industry special interests spent a great deal of money trying to get people to vote no, voters were not fooled. We voted YES on Prop A, because we want to restrict height limits & we want to restrict upzoning.

This will NOT be a case of either/or, option #1 or #2. NEITHER option is acceptable. Unfortunately, those citizens following the City's machinations can no longer trust our "new" Council majority, whom we worked so hard to get elected in November of 2012.

Mayor Barth hasn't kept her previous campaign promises, when she ran along with Councilmember Tony Kranz, at the General Election in 2010, on T&T, Teresa & Tony for Trust & Transparency. They are currently violating open government law, & are failing to uphold the public trust. They should immediately release the City Attorney & City Manager draft performance plans, & should tell the public the vote of each & every Councilmember, in closed session, either for or against giving Gus Vina, City Manager an excellent evaluation, & Glenn Sabine, City Attorney, "support." Reporting "overal consensus," is insufficient according to the Brown Act.

The Brown Act prohibits public agencies from discussing compensation of executive officers in Special Meeting Closed Session, as was before done on 7/10/13. Barth, Shaffer and Kranz have all failed to keep their campaign pledges about enabling more open government thru passing a long-promised Sunshine Ordinance, were we to vote in a "new" Council Majority. What a disappointment!

Citizens won’t vote for ANY measure that goes against our decision to pass Prop A.

November 17, 2013 at 8:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

The Pros And Cons Of Ballot Box Zoning

I am in favor of a more direct democracy, and I'm grateful we have the initiative system in California. I personally wouldn't describe Bruce Ehlers as supporting ballot-box zoning, but as supporting the citizens right to vote on UPZONING and raising height limits above what was in our original General Plan. I don't think that what the article describes as "ballot-box zoning" here, in Encinitas, will result in any more "squeezing in," but in less. I wish the opponents of Prop A could be humble, and graciously accept their defeat, learn from their mistakes, accept the will of the voting public. All these "damage control" pieces, are just making them look like sore losers.

July 16, 2013 at 7:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Encinitas' Right To Vote Initiative May Set Precedent

Escondido already set precedent with a similar initiative more than 10 years ago. Also, I completely disagree with Tinsky's dire prognosis. It WON'T be hard for Encinitas to meet its affordable housing mandate if SANDAG's numbers are readjusted to reflect, accurately, our population and it's growth curve, and an AMNESTY is initiated, as Encinitas had in the early 90's, to bring the Granny Flats that are all over our city onto the books as affordable housing units. At this point, the City has not wanted to consider another amnesty program, that could be subsidized by the City, because it has "partnered" with development interests, who wanted to be able to build up to five story mixed use high density projects, when there would still be no guarantee of the final number of affordable units brought into the system, only "potential units." Encinitas already has a huge potential for affordable housing, if existing or potential accessory dwelling units are counted.

Mayor Barth has been told about and asked about reinstating an amnesty program, repeatedly. She has failed to address the suggestion, which was also brought to her, and all of Council by the Encinitas Taxpayer Association. Our City officials worked against the people, not for us, by writing arguments against Prop A. We will remember at the ballot box, in November of 2014.

June 22, 2013 at 6:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Encinitas, Solana Beach Leaders Propose Sand Replenishment For North County Shores

Beyond the monetary costs, of course, are the costs to the environment. I agree with Mr. Lee's analysis. This is poorly thought out, and could create a dead zone. The managed retreat proposal hasn't been sufficiently studied. I actually feel seawalls, which I oppose, could be less harmful than too much sand dredged and dumped. A fifty year program is excessive.

When the recent sand was dumped, through SANDAG all the tidepools in Cardiff died. So sad. Then Winter storms washed most of the sand away. The coastline here, in Encinitas, has changed throughout the years. It is not just storms that carry the sand away, but mostly man's intervention, eliminating natural sand build up. Also the Oceanside pier collects a lot of sand, preventing more from coming south.

June 15, 2013 at 1:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Encinitas Divided Over Growth

Encinitas tends to make rules and regulations more and more complicated so that Council must be "spoon-fed" what to think, what actions to take, by staff, contractors and outside consultants who have a vested interest in increasing density, promoting more and more development for more development fees, property and sales taxes to fund ever-increasing unfunded pension liabilities, skyrocketing operating and maintenance expenditures, and escalating Capital Improvement Project costs, all increasing at much more than the rate of inflation!

Council's recent vote to eliminate the super majority Council vote instead of a public vote for upzoning only pertains to the "significant public benefit" exception. First of all, there is no guarantee that the new ordinance will be on the ballot for the November 2014 General Election.

Secondly, huge loopholes are not being eliminated by the ordinance pertaining to Policy 3.12 of our General Plan with respect to council's overriding a public vote by a simple majority though categorization of intensity, and definition of intensity of use within different categories, the less-than five-acre exception, and the ability to raise height limits beyond the 30 ft., two stories. These are all exceptions allowing Council, by a simple majority, to bypass a public vote, as currently referenced in our General Plan, which loopholes would also be eliminated by Passage of Prop A, but NOT by Council's drafted ordinance.

Again, the general public wanted to adhere to the 30 ft., two-story density and height limits through our input on Specific Plan Action Review Committees and Community Advisory Boards; our feedback was discounted by a supermajority vote by past Councilmembers. Current Council also doesn't trust the intelligence and understanding of the people to be able to vote, just as they apparently do not trust their own judgment, but believe they must rely on staff, consultants and outside contractors to act as so-called experts, spoon feeding them information on what to think and how to vote.

It is completely illogical to claim that density bonus developments would increase. Every single developer who wants to increase height and relax set-back standards, etc., already does invoke density bonus State mandates to do so. A few developers who want to develop within current City zoning standards, do so.

The Desert Rose development, which the Planning Commission turned down, but which Council approved after an inequitable Public Hearing, wherein the community wasn't equally represented as Respondent, opposing Applicant/Appellant, the developer. The Planning Commission's decision and the Desert Rose Neighbors were discounted. In this case, now being litigated in Court because the City failed to require full Environmental Impact Report review, there are significant questions of public health and safety raised, which should supersede density bonus allowances. Please Vote YES on A!

June 1, 2013 at 4:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Encinitas Divided Over Growth

Encinitas, or some other government entity, should take surveys at mixed use development projects, such as Pacific Station, which has made parking downtown more challenging, after eliminating 7 street parking spaces. John DeWald, Pacific Station developer, dumped construction dirt on Leucadia beaches when excavating the parking garages. That dirt clouded our beaches for weeks, then his firm was "self-awarded" for so-called "sand replenishment," for poor quality dirt, NOT sand.

Such surveys should determine how many people who live in these types of mixed use, high density developments still commute to work, to stores, or to recreation, how many average trips per day, by motor vehicles, as well as how many units are occupied full time, and how many cars per residential unit.

DeWald didn't create enough underground parking for all the residents, giving only one parking space, each, for affordable units. Pacific Station doesn't provide enough parking for residents and all of the offices, restaurants and retail stores that are there, now, even without full commercial capacity, and without full time occupancy of many of the condo units. Perhaps all of the residential units have sold, but how many of them are being rented out, or are being resold, now? The architectural design, facing the train, is not aesthetically pleasing.

Moreover, the original restrictions of our General Plan, according to Policy 7.10 were simple. Portions of Encinitas Municipal Code and Specific Plans,which were adopted against the wishes of the people, discounting our input and feedback through Specific Plan Action Review Committees, SPARCs and Community Advisory Boards, CABs. The will of the people, including our desire to be able to vote on upzoning was overruled or "nullified" by the Planning Dept., the Planning Commission and a supermajority of Council who raised the height limit, for example, for the North 101 Specific Plan to 33 ft, 3 stories, rather than the General Plan's 30 ft., two stories, not including basements, the upper limits which residents wanted the City to uphold.

A supermajority of Council, overruled the community's expressed desire to be able to upzone and raise the height limits through a public vote. Passage of Prop A will rectify that. Pre-existing development would be grandfathered with vested property rights, including the right to remodel. Historic structures such as La Paloma Theater or Self Realization Fellowship's Lotus would be preserved. One of the Boathouses could still become a museum with a minor or major use permit without a public vote's being required to rezone that property, which is highly subsidized by the City of Encinitas through our affordable housing funds, through a foundation, Encinitas Preservation Association with Peder Norby and Paul Ecke III on its Board of Directors. Norby is currently a well-paid contractor for the City, acting as 101 Coordinator, with no academic training in urban planning.

June 1, 2013 at 4:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Controversy Won't Stall Encinitas Yoga Plans

Had Superintendent Baird done the "responsible thing" initially, and given adequate notice to all parents, including notice of their alternative to "opt out," then there probably wouldn't have been so much controversy!

Just as some students can opt out of saluting the flag, so can they opt out of Yoga classes. But yes, simply using Yoga positions, with "Americanized" names, instead of Sanskrit, and not doing an invocation or blessing to the sun, would be preferable, in making sure that one system of religious or spiritual beliefs is not given preference over another.

I personally, would not object, to Yoga stretching exercises, but respect the opinions of those who do, and who feel that EUSD Superintendent again acted irresponsibly.

Baird has failed to get a required appraisal of the Surplus School Site, Pacific View, which is donated land, and which should remain in the public/semi-public domain. Baird is again demanding of Encinitas City Council and staff that Pacific View must be privatized, by rezoning, for short term profits and Baird's own career ambitions.

Baird has refused to honor the intentions of the Naylor Act which requires 30% of a surplus school site should be offered to the city and county and other public entities for sale at 25% of its appraised value, for open space, providing the site included playing fields eight years prior to its initially being offered for lease or sale. The property was initially offered for lease to the City of Encinitas for a temporary public works yard, for $1 per year, after the school was permanently closed in 2003, when it was in fact, surplus.

Baird doesn't have deep roots in our community, and has only been here for three years. Before he was Superintendent for the Ojai Unified School District, where Baird tried to privatize a surplus school site, there, for a "strip mall art center" despite much public outcry. The community had been promised they could lease it as a skatepark, which was finally built after Baird came to Encinitas Union School District at $200,000 per year, plus ample benefits, $65,000 more than he was making in Ojai.

Baird recently got a raise, so he's now making $215,000 per year, when teachers have been given pink slips. He's a poor administrator and doesn't represent the needs of the general public, in our opinion. I do feel Yoga can be beneficial, but we feel Baird handled this situation, like others, poorly.

January 5, 2013 at 8:50 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

How To Rescue the Golden State from the Junk Heap

I also feel that businesses, not residences, should be taxed by the State Assessor for property tax purposes on a percentage of the current value.

July 10, 2009 at 1:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

SD Sheriff to Probe Use of Pepper Spray at Political Fundraiser

I hope that the "internal investigation" finds that there was excessive force used against a probably over 50 year old woman who simply didn't want to provide date of birth at her own home.

I feel that from the surface facts presented, the deputy was over zealous and did not have to respond so forcefully to a noise complaint. Some deputies are ageist, I was told by an officer, himself.

Internal investigations are typically whitewashes because some bad eggs have gotten away with violence, even homicide, under the color of authority.

Some officers serve with honor and distinction. Some don't.

June 30, 2009 at 11:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal )