Thursday, April 23, 2015

Youth sports leagues hurt by city council giveaway of Ecke Sports Park

As we suspected, the YMCA is unilaterally terminating the city's lease to the Ecke Sports Park, thanks to a free termination clause given to YMCA by the city in 2013 without compensation.

Encinitas Advocate:
The YMCA stated last fall it would need “one or more” of the fields for expansion.

Around the same time, it came to light that the Encinitas City Council previously approved a new clause that would let the YMCA cancel the field lease with 30 days’ notice. League officials then became concerned they could be displaced with little warning.

The YMCA owns the fields, while the city leases and maintains them.

Little League, however, will have to make sacrifices under the expansion plans. Its junior program, 13- and 14-year-olds, plays on Field No. 1, which is slated to become three indoor soccer arenas and a parking lot with up to 180 spaces.

With few other options, the junior program is likely to move to the new Encinitas Community Park. Wade emphasized that in order to play there, new maintenance equipment, batting cages, fencing and reconfigured dugouts are necessary.

Wade anticipates the league — a nonprofit with a limited budget — will have to pay for most of the costs.

“The big issue for us is equipment,” he said. “We have one set of equipment that we’re able to use, which will change. And operations behind the scenes won’t be so simple.”

Wade said while the junior program could play at the park, the entire league wouldn’t be able to move there without downsizing, largely because of the lack of nighttime lighting.


Encinitas Express (youth soccer league) President Rick Lochner said he’s glad the YMCA didn’t take more than one field. But, he added, the plan will still mean the league loses almost half its practice time at the sports park.

“It’s a significant negative impact,” Lochner said.
For a history of the sordid saga of the backroom deal by city management and the unanimous vote without discussion by the city council to give away the Ecke Sports Park to make room for the YMCA's expansion plans, see here. It's still not clear, a year and a half later, which of the five council members were willing accomplices, and which were negligent dupes. Tellingly, no council members have explained their votes to the public or called for an investigation into the backroom deal.


  1. You will see no explanations forthcoming from this council on this affair. They are hoping for the short term memories of the public to erase the debacle. And where was our $10 million dollar City Attorney during all of this? Isn't he supposed to explain legal details to the dullards? Another reason why he should have been dumped a long time ago.

    1. Yes, the City Attorney should have been replaced. And the fact that he was given an "improved" on his most recent review, remains unexplained and is inexplicable, imo.

      Unfortunately, our current council, like past councils, seems to thrive on backroom dealing. They prefer to wheel and deal in private. Private corporations are allowed to do that. Elected officials, with narrow exceptions, are not legally allowed to conduct business in private. This includes what is now becoming standard operating procedure at City Hall. Pre Council Meeting "briefings" or "staff/council review" outside of public scrutiny or knowledge, with no written notes or public record.

      If Council is routinely having these verbal briefings with the City Attorney, City Manager or staff about upcoming or past agenda items, they should be recorded, so members of the public could put in a public records requests. Other than that, closed sessions should be scheduled, when allowed, due to pending litigation, etc. The public is allowed to come to City Hall to comment on closed session agenda items, before Council disappears to "closed chambers" to confer with legal counsel and the city manager.

  2. This council should step up and tell the truth about this bad deal. Either they were too lazy to read the material before they voted or remain completely clueless.

    The citizens want answers.

  3. Kranz was visiting Vulcan at the time on a mission of galactic importance!

  4. Yes we will remember next vote. And why is Sabine still around?

  5. Lisa Rudloff is still their so Kranz and other incumbents are gone in 2016. See ya!! at the drunk fest tonight!!

  6. 7:22- It's easy why Sabine is still around. Not much activism to get rid of him. Council won't do it. Dr. L couldn't do it, nor people who talk a good game could of it. It just won't happen. He'll keep milking this CIty for all it's worth. Just remember 10 million in 7 years.

  7. You'd have to have all 5 council members in agreement to dump Sabine. And probably a lot more on staff. As for the fields, Tony is supposedly the sports guy, so I'm surprised he wasn't more up on this. Other than that, I don't care. I don't have kids, and a lot of theses sports are leaning towards the for profit area. I'm not sure there was ever going to be a nice, neat solution to the Y's desire for expansion. Everyone can't be a complete winner in any of the possible scenarios. I guess it's a good opportunity to pound on the council, but I think we have bigger fish to fry with Pac View....

  8. This could destroy surfing in Encinitas:

    1. Don't worry - this is actually fantastic stuff! After the last sand replenishment projects Ponto, Riff Reef, Tabletops and NA's were firing for several seasons. Bring it on!
      Besides, mama nature has a way of sorting all this stuff out.....she's tough......

      - The Sculpin

    2. Of the two sand dumps in recent years, the second was bigger than the first. It covered some reefs and created a steep slope at some beaches. The covered reefs broke much worse than before the sand, and the slope created a backwash that screwed up the incoming waves. Those breaks broke half decently only at the lowest of low tides.

      The dump ACE now proposes is much bigger than either of the previous two dumps.

      The amount of sand now on Encinitas beaches is within the natural range. You can see that by looking at photos that go back as far as 100 years. Adding an unnatural amount of sand not only has the potential of destroying surf spots, but the dredging and dumping kills marine life at the bottom of the food chain. Death progresses up from there.

    3. What ever happened to environmental impact reports?

    4. The plan is to over-dump. The Coastal Commission is not as good a steward as it used to be. The Commissioners are political appointees, and we got an inland conservative with Greg Cox, replacing Esther Sanchez.

      There was a second hearing, and the Coastal Commission approved the reduced amount of sand, despite public opposition to over dumping, and the CCC's rejection of the initial proposal to dump double the amount of sand, now approved.

      Some property owners along the bluff want the dumping, because the Coastal Commission is not allowing sea walls except in certified emergencies.

      Transit Occupancy Taxes already subsidize sand lobyists and over dumping of sand. Those TOT's could now be better used to support better fields at Leo Mullen, for example. We don't need this sand dumping through the Army Corps of Engineers in addition to the sand reserve monies that are accumulating through the TOT's.

  9. 10:36 AM
    What about the building sand dunes project using dredge from the San Elijo Lagoon clean up? The built sand dunes would cover the beach from restaurant row south to the Solana Beach line. Council approved that last week.

  10. Sculpine should stick to surfing....the web