Saturday, July 23, 2016

City council omits "density," "mixed-use," and "upzoning" from high-density mixed-use upzoning ballot proposition

From the Inbox:
Encinitas City Council Schemes to Keep Truth from Voters

On June 15, 2016 the Encinitas City Council voted to up zone various areas in Encinitas for more density and more traffic. The only thing preventing this up zoning from becoming effective immediately is Prop A, the people’s Right to Vote. Passed in 2013, Prop A gives the voters of Encinitas the right to determine increased density and zoning changes. Prop A gives the voters of Encinitas the right to determine if Encinitas survives as a unique five community town or becomes a homogenous non-descript Orange County city.

The majority of the current up zoning is mixed use, a combination of retail commercial and residential condos at existing shopping centers at major intersections in Encinitas. Sprouts center, Town Center (Target) are some of the proposed retail properties approved for condos built on top of the business stores. The new ordinances approved by the Council allows a developer to reduce the amount of parking spaces which will push parking into adjoining neighborhoods. No matter where you live, you will be affected by this proposed up zoning with more density and more traffic.

On June 22, 2016 in agenda item 10B the City Council was presented with the ballot question for the November election. NOWHERE in the ballot question was the truth about the up zoning. However, within the proposed ballot question was this phrase: “encourage sustainable mixed uses in the City’s five communities…” with no other mention of up zoning to mixed use and increased density.

Council member Catherine Blakespear lead the Council discussion on removing the mixed use phrase from the ballot statement. The other Council members, Kranz, Shaffer, Muir, and Mayor Gaspar voted with Blakespear to remove from the ballot question any reference to mixed use.

What can be done with the City Council’s duplicitous action of not including the up zoning fact and removing the mixed use comment of why residents are voting in November? As a former Council member would say – So sue us. Why? Where is the honesty in this City Council?

Voters, the Council can be told firmly that the ballot question needs to fully reflect the up zoning and the mixed use. Send the Council emails objecting to their conspiracy on the ballot question to deprive the voter of vital information. Let the Council know the voters are watching and want that ballot question revised.
The text of the ballot question:
Shall City Council Resolution No. 2016-52 and Ordinance No. 2016-04, which collectively update the City’s General Plan Housing Element, amend related General Plan provisions, and amend Specific Plans, Zoning Code, Zoning Map, Municipal Code, and Local Coastal Program, in an effort to comply with State law, incentivize greater housing affordability, implement rules to protect the character of existing neighborhoods, maintain local control of Encinitas zoning, and resolve existing lawsuits, be adopted?
Ah, so it's not about density. It's about protecting the character of existing neighborhoods. Thanks, Council! Super helpful!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Culture Brewing coming to downtown Encinitas

While Encinitas remains one of the few cities in North County not to have its own craft brewery (or several of them), we're open to tasting rooms for other cities' finest.

First was Lost Abbey's Confessional in Cardiff, now comes Solana Beach's Culture to downtown 101.

San Diego Eater:
A North County tipster spotted a notice indicating that Culture Brewing Co. is planning to expand into downtown Encinitas, and the brewery confirmed that it has signed a lease for a space on South Coast Highway that's just over 1,000-square-feet.

The local craft brewery's original production facility and tasting room is in Solana Beach, and Culture opened a satellite tap room in Ocean Beach in 2014. A rep for the brewery told Eater that it is currently going through the permitting process, with the goal to be open in Encinitas by January 2017. Beer won't be brewed on site, but patrons will be able to stop in for tasters, pints and growler fills of Culture beer.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

City to fight residents after settling with developers

Encinitas Advocate:
Encinitas will defend itself against a lawsuit launched by residents opposed to a settlement the city approved with the Building Industry Association that paved the way for the recent approval of a density bonus project in Leucadia.

The City Council emerged from a closed-session meeting July 13 and announced it would defend itself against the suit, which was filed in June by the Encinitas Resident Alliance.

City officials declined comment, citing closed-session confidentiality.

The lawsuit challenges the 2015 settlement between the city and BIA, which the citizens group says unconstitutionally tied the city’s hands as it pertains to six density bonus projects, including Hymettus estates, a nine-unit project the council approved amid criticism from neighbors.

Paul Gaspar announces for Mayor

Seaside Courier:
Paul Gaspar, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, businessman and community leader, has announced he is running for mayor of Encinitas.

Gaspar, the husband of current mayor Kristin Gaspar, who is running for county supervisor, cited his concern for the “leadership space left behind by his wife” in a press release.
Here's the election lineup so far:

RepublicansSmart Growther DemocratsProp A Folks
MayorPaul GasparCatherine Blakespear
City CouncilMark MuirTasha Boerner-Horvath
Phil GrahamTony Kranz
Possible entrantsJoe Mosca

Are we missing anyone?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

7/20/16 City Council meeting open thread

The current city council has continued prior councils' practice of not providing written summary minutes of council discussion, but only "action minutes" which state the outcomes. Encinitas Undercover will provide a forum for observers to record what occurs at each council meeting.

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Questions on Blakespear's Working Group Switcheroo

Cardiff's Julie Thunder in a letter in the Seaside Courier:
Dear members of the Encinitas City Council, City Manager, and City Attorney,

I have painstakingly reviewed the video minutes from your July 13th special meeting, and I have some questions for you.

(For the following, I will reference the video with time stamp markers. You can watch the video at

A few months ago, Councilmember Blakespear suggested a 15-member "citizens working group" for planning within our City's rail corridor. The City hired a consultant to select 15 people from the 40-plus applications that were received. The consultant did its part, and all applicants were notified of the final list several days prior to this Special Meeting by our Acting Director of Planning, Manjeet Ranu. Those of us at NoRailTrail were satisfied with this list as it seemed to be an even and fair distribution of citizens from our City.

Watching the video of the special meeting, it begins with City Staff presenting the Council's criteria for applicant selection and the already published list of the 15 selected Working Group members.

But, during the public comments, we quickly learned that Blakespear has worked with at least one other stakeholder group to create her own list of criteria and her own Working Group list.

Public speaker Kathleen Lees of Leucadia Town Council spills the beans at 06:55, "Leucadia Town Council reviewed all the applications for the working group and we wholeheartedly support the list Catherine has put together."

Wally the Rotting Whale visits Leucadia

A dead humpback whale that keeps washing up on the Southern California coast after being towed out to sea is proving to be a headache for beach officials.

A construction crew in Encinitas tried cutting up the rotting carcass Sunday but work was halted when part of a forklift snapped off. They’ll try again Monday and plan to haul it to a landfill.
Here's how one Oregon town dealt with this problem: