Wednesday, June 17, 2015

6/17/15 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.


  1. Council meeting started late. The mayor announced that there was nothing to report out of the first closed session on the BIA lawsuit settlement discussion, as no decision was taken. No mention of the second closed session about the SDWD property on Santa Fe Drive. Did the council spend close to 2½ hours on the BIA lawsuit?

  2. The end of that closed session with the water districts appeal to change from an every other month billing period, thanks to their approval, will now become a bill every month. How that adds up as an improvement economically, I don't have a clue. Somebody please explain how that costs us,the customers, and them, the providers less. Why was this even brought forward? With the automatic meter readers in place, how is this advantageous to the customers or even the suppliers?

    Sabine ended the session with the news that the BIA lawsuit was defeated and all the many implications that ruling has for all the density bonus and inclusionary housing projects that have been waiting in the wings for this case to be resolved.

    It appears the risk of being sued by developers over resistance to certain projects has been mitigated. I hope that sends a clear signal to our council members that they can begin to stand up for this community's character and not bend over for every housing project that comes before them without the fear of being sued.

    Lets see how they rule now. I found it curious that Lisa has not heard of this ruling before the meeting tonight. Thanks Glenn, for letting everyone know of the latest California Supreme Court ruling that came down today against the BIA.

    1. The Supreme Court ruling against the BIA came down Monday, June 15.

    2. Don't be surprised about Shaffer. She has spent her entire time on the dais singing her passive "I wasn't told" song on virtually every topic of importance to residents. It's how she sidesteps responsibility for herself and accountability for staff.

    3. Certainly, she is in her own world. She must be a miserable person spending all of her time covering for her mistakes and blaming others. If she weren't so damaging to our city, I could feel sorry for her.

    4. The State Supreme Court ruling has no effect on Density Bonus. If nothing else, the ruling affirmed the government's right to institute rules to provide affordable housing which would appear to strengthen Density Bonus and the Housing Element requirements. You clearly have misread it.

      The council is negotiating with the BIA over their suit against Encinitas on the changes council made to calculating Density Bonus projects. This is an unrelated suit.

      9:15 PM Since the Supreme Court opinion was announced Monday, I don't find it odd that Shaffer hadn't heard about it although it was in Tuesday's Union-Tribune.

    5. Clearly, 9:52, you are a BIA PR hack.

      The BIA San Jose suit challenged the legality of that city's inclusionary housing ordinance. The Supreme Court affirmed the legality and the city's right to legislate inclusionary housing specifics.

      While not about density bonus, the suit obviously has implications for that similar situation. If that were not true, the BIA wouldn't be crying in its beer, quaking in its boots and trying to push AB 744 through the state legislature.

      The BIA saw the handwriting on the wall. That's why they started AB 744 on its bad trip.

    6. 1:34 PM

      I'm not a lawyer but I can understand court opinions. You calling me a BIA PR hack is just so typical (and pathetic). Oh by the way, I'm not in any way affiliated with the BIA or any developer. Nice try but you did made me laugh.

      State statute allows any city the option to create an inclusionary housing ordinance. San Jose had one in their redevelopment area but then extended it to the whole city. That's when the BIA sued. The court acknowledged that San Jose was using the inclusionary housing ordinance to meet the city's RHNA affordable housing targets. Since the court lauded the state's goal of affordable housing and its requirements in the general plan housing element the court found that the inclusionary housing requirements were a worthwhile condition, not a "taking".

      If anything, based on the court's support for the state's goals toward affordable housing, this decision, while not directly applicable to density bonus, indicates the court's support for ways to increase affordable housing. Unlike inclusionary housing ordinances which typically require one or more affordable units per some number of proposed units (e.g. Encinitas: 10 units + 1 AF unit), density bonus attempts to pay for the affordable units by allowing the developer to build additional market rate units. The BIA suit against Encinitas is because of the council's recent changes for approving density bonus projects that potentially reduce the number of additional market rate units.

    7. Changing the billing from an every other month billing (which requires less staff time and postage) to a monthly billing suggests that they have cash-flow issues.

      All of the glowing reports of how great they are doing reminds me of Bernie Madoff and not Warren Buffet. One of the hallmarks of con men is to over promise and to be highly self-complimentary like Gus Vina, for example.

    8. 8:14,

      It would also raise costs to consumers because of the tier structure.

      If you slip into a higher tier one month but use less water the next month, you benefit from averaging and can stay in the lower tier for the two-month billing cycle. But on a one-month bill you get stung with the higher rate.

      Don't think they didn't think about this!

    9. Isn't the reverse also true?

      If I am normally in the higher tier, but a rainy month allows me to shut off irrigation for a month, I might not realize the rate teir drop if it's averaged over two months.

      This is a wash across many customers.

    10. No, the math doesn't work like that.

      Try an example with $1 per unit up to 10/month, and $2 per unit over 10/month. 9 units in one month and 11 units the next always costs more than 20 units over 2 months.

      Play with the numbers and try to find a scenario where monthly billing works in your favor. It doesn't.

      This is absolutely not a wash no matter how many customers.

    11. Yup. You're right. Didn't think it through. The leveling assures better utilization of the low tier meter clicks.

      Best you can do is equal under the more granular billing period.

    12. I wrote and asked CB and LS about this, as LS brought it up in her newsletter and CB is president of the water district board of directors, as deputy mayor.

      I asked (politely) how this could be a cost savings, as USPS mailing costs would increase, and most people still pay by mail. I asked about the per meter service charge, which has also increased over the years, would that go up to reflect the increased administrative costs for a monthly cycle?

      LS wrote back that savings could be picked up by faster detection of water leaks, and also by more electronic billing. I'm not sure how electronic payments work, but I had assumed that every address with a water meter gets a water bill, through the mail, although some pay online, now? Not sure how that works, maybe some have "auto deposit" bill payments through their checking accounts, but I feel the majority still pay by snail mail. We should have heard those figures. Also, the closed session for the SDWD should have been reported into the Regular Council Meeting, as was promised, before, repeating the report, if necessary.

      But I wrote back LS and CB that while costs for sending out bills are now guaranteed to increase, there is no guarantee that finding more water leaks or additional electronic billing would balance out those increased administrative costs.

      I wrote them that as Mark Muir said, if a problem has not been identified, no need to force a solution on unknowing or unwilling ratepayers. Eventually, this new billing method will force another increase in operating expenses, in addition to the raise that water district employees are almost assuredly going to be receiving, along with City staff and executive officers. These increased operating expenses will be used to justify more rate increase subcommittees in which there is no alternative other than to raise the rates, again and again.

      What should be discussed at open water district meetings is the possibility of a moratorium on growth while we are in a state of drought emergency. The drought should "trump" affordable housing mandates by the state, when the infrastructure cannot support expansion at the levels being forced upon us by "regionalism."

  3. Sabine addressed the state Supreme Court decision in the BIA suit against San Jose, saying Encinitas would look at it in light of the BIA suit against our city.

    Blakespear suggested bringing our inclusionary ordinance up as an agenda item with or without simultaneous consideration of our density bonus ordinance.

    Shaffer agreed but said it's already on the docket without saying only the inclusionary ordinance or the density bonus ordinance also.

  4. When is the council going to stop representing the building industry over the citizens of this city? They have been told repeatedly by Everett DeLano and Felix Tinkoff the same message that the judge told builders in San Jose--Council has great discretion to make builders provide low income housing, and they can liberally interpret the rules for the Density Bonus Laws in a way to maintain the safety and environmental resources of a neighborhood.

  5. Seriously, Lisa didn't know about the BIA lawsuit being defeated in Sacto? It was on the front page of the LA Times, as well as other papers. I guess I just made an assumption that the least our council could do is keep up with news that affects our city. I guess that proves once again the old addage about assumptions.

    1. For sure Planning staff would have known, our lobbyist, Sabine...this is not exactly a minor topic, especially in Encinitas. Shaffer stays in the dark because that is where she feels safe. She must think it's the most defensible place to come from. How sad. Wonder how she was raised to be that terrified of being held accountable...not knowing at all rather than not knowing the right answer is her go-to position.

    2. It was so great NOT to hear Muir repeat "as it relates to". Looks like he's been listening to us.

      Now our job is to get him to speak in coherent sentences. That will be a difficult challenge, but Muir if you are listening.........can you try to speak like an educated adult?

  6. And Muir was Fire Chief? Must be a very low bar.

  7. 3:02 - whoever/whatever you are - the BIA is suing Encinitas over steps the city took that yes, will probably reduce the number of MARKET RATE homes the developer can build. I get it: the developer's profits are reduced by not getting to build the extra market rate homes. Well, too bad. Residents do not owe developers maximum profts, nor do are we obligated to turn our community character over to them to trample on.

    The things the BIA is suing Encinitas over are really telling in terms of how much they care about providing low-income housing. Take the most blatant example of greed: suing over the new requirement that the affordable home be 75% minimum the size of the average market rate home.

    The BIA would build a tool shed and call it an affordable unit to maximize the market-rate space on a parcel. Make no mistake, the BIA is purely greed driven. You can make all its excuses you like, but there is starting to be a rather predictable backlash against the extreme demands that the BIA makes on all our communities in the sham name of affordability and that is only going to grow as word continues to spread.

    1. I'm not 3:02.

      I would caution anyone trying to draw parallels between this week's BIA lawsuit and the Encinitas one. The only material similarity between the two cases is that the BIA brought both suits. That's it.

      Judges do not settle cases on the basis of profit, greed, protests, or community character--they settle cases based on the law. These two cases don't even involve the same law. The San Jose case asked the court to rule on whether the local inclusionary housing law was so burdensome on builders that is crossed the line into an unconstitutional government "taking" of their rights as property owners. The court found against them, and validated the San Jose local law (and ONLY the San Jose local law).

      In the second case, the state density bonus housing law is vague or silent on how some of the formulas should be calculated. For example, it says that a builder should be entitles to a certain number of bonus units, but it doesn't say what to do with fractions from that calculation. It starts with a baseline density from zoning, but doesn't say if the baseline should be calculated on the whole area of the parcel, or just the buildable area (subtracting environmentally sensitive areas or required storm water retention basins). So, in the absence of specific guidelines in the state law, the city has decided it has the power to change it's interpretation of the formulas from very favorable to the builders to more restrictive. The BIA claims that the city is reading options into the state law that violate both the spirit and the letter of the law.

      From a legal perspective, these cases are not just apples and oranges--they are apples and cows. Very different cases, addressing different laws, and different legal issues.


    2. 5:39 PM

      I'm 3:02 PM. Why you insist that just because I tried to rein in some of the commenters who wanted to make more of the State Supreme Court's decision then was warranted by the actual opinion, I'm somehow a developer shill or apologist is beyond me.

      I've never stated a position on the BIA's motives or positions in their suit against Encinitas. Whether the BIA cares or not about affordable housing is irrelevant. It's what the law says.

      The current density bonus bill AB 744 that is working its way through the legislature has dropped the language requiring all calculations with a density bonus project round up. Although the sponsor of AB 744 says he believes the current language does mean that all calculations round up, we'll see whether a judge agrees with him if the suit isn't settled through negotiation.

      Seems to me you are overreacting. A little too tribal.

    3. Does FP mean fictitious persona? One of those "identities" paid for by the City? I hope not. Isn't that the definition of a meat puppet, a type of internet troll?

  8. Another Pacific View giveaway. On council consent calendar next week is the subcommittee of Mayor Gaspar and Deputy Mayor Blakespear recommending that the whole council approve an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with the Intrepid Theatre Group and hire for $25,000 Keyser Marston Associates (KMA) to assist in the process of all negotiations.
    Seriously, Blakespear is an attorney? This is a behind the scenes smells to high heaven action similar to a city of San Diego deal.

    1. "Consideration and possible action regarding negotiating a potential lease agreement with Intrepid Theatre Company (Intrepid) to build a performing arts theatre on Lot 16 at the Encinitas Ranch Town Center (Performing Arts Theatre), including the possibility of executing an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) and hiring Keyser Marston Associates (KMA) to assist in the process of all negotiations. Contact Persons: Mayor Gaspar and Deputy Mayor Blakespear"

      What does that have to do with Pacific View?

    2. The Intrepid Theatre Group provides nothing in financial information to the Council. Intrepid's required terms are 1) a 55 year lease at a dollar a year on the city property in the Encinitas Ranch Town Center, 2) the city (the taxpayers) will pay for the utilities for the proposed theatre 3) the city (the taxpayers) will help Intrepid find funding for the theatre (only amount shown is $350,000). With all this information no one on city staff is capable of evaluating the Intrepid proposal. The council needs to hire (at taxpayers expense) an outside consulting firm for $25,000 to do the city staff work.

    3. What does that have to do with Pacific View?

    4. I don't understand why they need to bring in the consultant. This would be a good thing to put on a ballot to let taxpayers decide

    5. Agreed. Let the voters decide if they want to be encumbered with long term debt; then there can be no public beef about bad decisions. The City Council seems incapable of acting prudently in that fiscal regard during the last several election turn-overs.

    6. Considering that life guard towers in Encinitas cost at least $3 million, what exactly will this theater be? A cement platform?

      I think this sounds suspicious. Also remember that this was one of the groups that wanted to use Pacific View--the site for our new "living museum."

    7. Our current council majority is no different than past councils who want to build legacy city projects that they can point to and say that they pushed it through.

      How many Encinitas residents will attend theater productions if they build this theater?

      In contrast, if they were to repair roads, it would benefit all drivers who live in Encinitas and who visit our city since it would create safer transportation.

      They are ignoring basic needs in favor of pet projects so that they can claim to have done something.

  9. 3:02 doesn't want to admit he/she is a BIA shill.

    The density bonus law does not provide low-income housing. It lets developers subvert local zoning and cram more houses on a lot.

    In July 2014, the Encinitas City Council made these changes regarding density bonus projects:

    • When the calculation for the number of houses allowed on a lot results in a whole number and a fraction, the fraction must be dropped.

    • Any so-called affordable houses must be 3/4 the size of the market rate houses.

    • Developers seeking reductions in development standards must provide fiscal and physical documentation to justify them.

    Because the changes threaten developers' and the BIA's boundless greed, the BIA sued the city, claiming the changes violated the density bonus law's intent to provide so-called affordable housing.

    Of course, the BIA's claim is a sham. They're not about providing affordable housing. They're about maximizing developers' profits, and they don't care if developers destroy neighborhoods and community character in the process.

    1. 6:19 PM

      "3:02 doesn't want to admit he/she is a BIA shill" Gee, I missed this until now. Just because I can actually follow the State Supreme Court's opinion and understand what it says, I must be a BIA shill. Sorry if I don't drink the kool-aid that gets passed around here.

      On your first point, whether you agree with the methods or not, density bonus does provide a few affordable units. Originally guaranteed for 30 years, the legislature extended the affordability requirement to 55 years. Personally, I don't care for density bonus (I just hope my BIA masters don't read that).

      Second, council changed the rounding on establishing the base density but all subsequent calculations are rounded up.

      Third, density bonus legislation originally required the developer to justify the reduction standards requested but subsequently removed it. We'll see whether the city can impose it. I certainly wouldn't have any problem with the city prevailing.

      Finally, I agree that density bonus legislation is indifferent to community character.

      So we probably agree more than we disagree. It's just that I read court opinions for what they actually say not what I want them to say.

    2. Density bonus does not provide "affordable" housing in Encinitas. It allows more market-rate houses to exceed the zoning.

      Developers have held the "affordable" unit, rented it at near market rate, and will sell it at market rate in 30 years. The switch to 55 years was to discourage them from doing that.

      The problem is you're misreading, you're interpreting, you're reading the BIA's point of view into the court's decision. Somebody has to explain that to you because you don't see it yourself.

      "In a closely watched case in the development and affordable housing worlds, the California Supreme Court ruled this week that cities were within their rights to make developers sell or rent a share of homes in new projects at below-market rates. Cities have broad leeway to regulate real estate development for specific public interests, the court said."

      Though not about density bonus, do you see the relationship?

    3. 3:14 PM

      Have you read the opinion? I have. The court upheld San Jose's Inclusionary Housing ordinance. The court found it justifiable under the city's land use police power. The court came out strongly that it is a justifiable method for the city to use to meet its affordable housing goals (RHNA) for all economic segments. However, Inclusionary Housing ordinances are allowed by state statute as an option. According to the court opinion only about a third of cities have one, including Encinitas.

      Where the difference lies with Density Bonus is the state statute has very little proscriptive guidance for what Inclusionary Housing ordinances should look like, leaving that up to each city. The Density Bonus statute, on the other hand, is extremely proscriptive leaving very little leeway on how the city implements it.

      So where a city has the flexibility, this court opinion reinforces San Jose's ordinance. But this opinion has little to do with Density Bonus. In fact the opinion says several times that the state legislature, and by extension cities and counties, are right to try to address housing for all economic segments.

      So don't try to tell me I'm somehow reading BIA's spin on this. They were wrong. They lost. But this case was about inclusionary housing not density bonus.

    4. 1:45

      You're blinded by your bias, and you don't see the forest for the trees.

      Read 2:30 below. Something might dawn on you.

    5. 3:22 PM

      Read the damn opinion. It is specifically about inclusionary housing and only mentioned density bonus as one of the legislative ways a city can get affordable housing built although its totally voluntary. Speaking of being blinded by bias, you must need a seeing-eye dog to help you.

      The density bonus statute is pretty comprehensive unlike the inclusionary housing. I don't care for density bonus and if the city can make it less onerous I'm all for it. But if you think this opinion is going to enable the city to make all sorts of changes to density bonus that aren't allowed by statute you have another thing coming. Density bonus does allow the city to ask for financial justification that the rules relaxation are required to afford to build the extra units. That's not a very high bar in Encinitas unfortunately.

      When the legislature give city and counties discretion then the courts will be differential to them as in this case. Density bonus, and the housing element requirements for that matter, are a different story.

      Enjoy your fantasy.

    6. 4:56

      Twice in your 1:45 post, do you mean proscriptive or prescriptive?

      In your 4:56 post, do you mean differential or deferential?

    7. 9:34 PM

      I probably shouldn't write so fast. Now that I reread it I'm not sure either term works best. The point is there is very little guidance in the statute about inclusionary housing. In fact there is very little about it at all. And it's reflected in the fact that the San Jose ordinance is different from Encinitas and only a third of cities have adopted an inclusionary housing ordinance.

      The density bonus statute is entirely different. All cities and counties are required to adopt a density bonus ordinance that closely follows the guidelines laid out in the statute. The local ordinance can be more generous but not more restrictive.

      So the State Supreme Court is going to be deferential to city's inclusionary housing ordinances as long as they don't overdo it and drift into a regulatory taking (which is what the BIA argued and lost) or there is a lack of nexus (connection).

      So yes, thanks for catching those mistakes. I usually double check certain words which I didn't do in this case for either entry as I was in a hurry but I have carefully read the opinion which the court basically said that the San Jose ordinance was within the city's land use police power, was not a taking and there was a nexus to the affordable housing shortage.

      Encinitas' density bonus ordinance is so out of date that the city doesn't rely on it but just goes by the state statute. I doubt the San Jose case will have much of an effect on the local BIA suit which is currently in negotiations. It's not a matter of whether the city has the ability to set the methodology for calculating base density, they do. It's a matter of whether the language in the density bonus statute preempts the city's method for density bonus projects.

    8. 10:34 AM

      In July 2014, our city council updated our density bonus ordinance in several ways in response to a public outcry that had been growing for months if not years. Those changes prompted the BIA suit against the city. Considering those facts, your statements that our db ordinance is out of date and that the city is just going by the state statute is inoperable.

      At the tail end of last week's city council meeting, Sabine said something along these lines: The CA Supreme Court decided in favor of San Jose and against the BIA in their inclusionary housing lawsuit. We will look at our inclusionary housing and density bonus ordinances and where we're going with them in light of the San Jose case.

      Blakespear then said she wants an agenda item regarding updating our inclusionary housing ordinance and our density bonus ordinance together or separately. Shaffer agreed and said those topics are already on the docket.

      Considering those facts, it's baffling how you can continue to insist that the San Jose decision will have no influence on our density bonus ordinance. It seems you're ignoring the principle expressed in the court's decision. See the forest, not only the trees.

    9. 1:46 PM

      First off, the council did not actually update the density bonus ordinance. They did direct staff to use the existing initial density calculation method (rounding down) for density bonus projects as well as for regular projects. This was in the form of council direction. All subsequent density bonus project calculations round up.

      Second, they directed staff to require a pro-forma form which requires financial information which compares revenue, cost, and income of the project with and without reserved or bonus units. The financial information must demonstrate that the requested incentive results in identifiable, financially sufficient, and actual cost reductions that contribute significantly to the economic feasibility of the reserved affordable units. This is a little more comprehensive then the written explanation and justification part of the current (at the time) review process where the developer must justify to the City the need for the waivers.

      Third, the council directed staff to use the current inclusionary housing standard for below market rate units but added the requirement that the units be at least 75% in size as the market rate units. Staff had already been using this standard except for the 75%. Again, there was no ordinance amendment.

      Fourth, the council directed staff to submit to the planning commission for comment subtracting from net acreage the area required for environmental requirements like detention basins. When this returned to the council on September 24 they took no action waiting for the full density bonus update.

      Lastly, the council learned it could not mandate an EIR for every density bonus project.

      Finally, it's painfully obvious that you don't know what you're talking about. Sorry, I don't want to be mean but you're just not very well informed however well intentioned. On Monday, call the planning department and ask them.

    10. The Planning Department has been sued and lost to several citizen groups--most recently Save Desert Rose.

      How is it that citizen volunteers with limited time and financial resources have put together winning suits against a city department of 30-40 paid professionals, most of whom make six-figures and have great access to our tax funds.

      To 3:35's last point, When has council EVER initiated an EIR for a density bonus project? In every case, they have slid projects through until citizens sued and judges forced the city to demand an EIR.

    11. 3:35 has an ax to grind. That requires bullshitting, ignoring some facts and distorting others.

      If the council didn't change the local db ordinance, what's the basis of the BIA lawsuit against the city?

      Watch the tail end of last week's council meeting, then come back to post that Sabine, Blakespear and Shaffer didn't address reviewing our inclusionary and db ordinances in light of the ruling in the San Jose lawsuit.

    12. 7:38 PM

      First, I have no axe to grind. If the legislature repealed density bonus today I would shed no tears.

      Second, overriding an internal planning director memo, the council directed staff to use municipal code Section 30.16.010(B)(1), which requires rounding down when calculating base density, for density bonus projects as well. The BIA disagrees with this.

      Third, the city's density bonus ordinance is 20 years old and the legislature has made significant changes to the legislation in the intervening years making our ordinance out of compliance. A full update to the density bonus ordinance is in the works as required by statute.

      Fourth, the council added in the requirement, without an ordinance amendment, that affordable units in a density bonus project be at least 1,500 sq ft or 75% of the market rate units. The state density bonus is silent in this regard. That may be part of the BIA lawsuit.

      Fifth, the council also required a full pro-forma analysis for justification of the relaxation of the zoning code requirements. The state density bonus statute does allow for requiring justification but maybe the BIA feels the new requirements are too strict.

      Sixth, yes I saw Sabine include density bonus when he mentioned reviewing the city' inclusionary housing ordinance in light of this opinion but I'd wager that since he said this only several days after the opinion was published, he hadn't read the whole thing.

      Finally, there is virtually little guidance in state statutes regarding inclusionary housing (zoning) while there are copious requirements and formula for density bonus (Gov Code 65915-65918). The courts have generally held, as in the recent San Jose opinion, that inclusionary zoning is with a city' land use police power and is not a "taking" or an impact fee.

      5:02 PM

      Everett DeLano is hardly a citizen volunteer but maybe he took the case pro bono. And the Desert Rose case is hardly over. Besides, in the San Jose case the superior court decision sided with the BIA only to have it overturned by the appellate court then confirmed by the supreme court. Also, doing an EIR doesn't mean that the Desert Rose project has been defeated.

    13. Anybody following this thread — admittedly it got tedious a few days back — can easily see that 10:22 has changed his/her tune because he/she was caught bullshitting and obfuscating.

      The council effectively changed the local implementation of the density bonus law in ways the BIA didn't like. That's why they sued the city.

      Rather that fully acknowledging that Sabine said the city will reconsider its inclusionary housing and density bonus ordinances, 10:22 came up with the extremely lame dodge that Sabine hadn't read the San Jose decision.

      Although Sabine is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, it's highly unlikely he hadn't read the decision when he had two days to do that, and he knew he'd be reporting on it at last week's meeting.

      Last Wednesday, Sabine and at least two council members acknowledged that the San Jose decision might affect our inclusionary and density bonus ordinances.

      And since the council decided a few weeks back to await the San Jose decision before proceeding with how to defend the BIA suit, they all tacitly said it might affect our ordinances.

      10:22 is longwinded, goes to great pains to claim he/she is no fan of density bonus, wades deeply into bullshit and doesn't admit gross errors.

      Let's see, who does that remind me of? Could it be somebody in the Encinitas planning department?

    14. 1:40 PM

      Thank you for clearly demonstrating that you are as ignorant as I initially thought you were but gave you the benefit of the doubt. I haven't changed my mind on anything. I guess you're not very good at reading comprehension either. You aren't able to argue facts, you have to invent villains to castigate.

      "The council effectively changed the local implementation of the density bonus law in ways the BIA didn't like. That's why they sued the city." I said that although you claimed that the council amended the ordinance which they didn't.

      Yes, council discussed amending the inclusionary housing ordinance on April 22 for a number of reasons. The lone public speaker was the BIA representative who suggested caution for the reason that last week's opinion slapped down. Council discussed doing a nexus study which the supreme court said wasn't necessary as fulling each city's affordable housing requirements is an appropriate use of a city's land use police power. It was good that they waited for the San Jose results.

      Maybe Sabine did read the whole opinion but as I couched my statement by saying "I'd wager", it's obvious that I wasn't asserting it as a fact.

      I wasn't a fan of density bonus long before this blog thread appeared and I'm still not a fan. But I don't let what I would prefer cloud my thinking. You appear to read things as you would like them to be, not how they are.

      So I agree, you have made this very tedious and a complete waste of my time.

    15. Quoting 3:44 from June 18, 2015 at 9:52 AM :

      "The State Supreme Court ruling has no effect on Density Bonus. If nothing else, the ruling affirmed the government's right to institute rules to provide affordable housing which would appear to strengthen Density Bonus and the Housing Element requirements. You clearly have misread it.

      "The council is negotiating with the BIA over their suit against Encinitas on the changes council made to calculating Density Bonus projects. This is an unrelated suit."

      Paraphrasing City Attorney Glenn Sabine on Wednesday, June 17:

      The CA Supreme Court decided in favor of San Jose and against the BIA in their inclusionary housing lawsuit. We will look at our inclusionary housing and density bonus ordinances and where we're going with them in light of the San Jose case.

      After Sabine spoke, Council Members Blakespear and Shaffer backed him up.

      3:44, you can't escape your own mistaken interpretation. Admit you were wrong and be done with it.

    16. 10:23 PM

      I guess you haven't read the opinion which doesn't surprise me. And you don't understand the law very well which also doesn't surprise me. I stand by my statements that you quoted.

      Because there is virtually nothing in the statutes about inclusionary housing ordinances, the court had to decide if they were within the land use police power of local governments and whether there is a nexus between a given housing project and local housing needs.

      The court found that inclusionary housing ordinances are indeed within the local government's land use police power, definitely have an impact on local housing needs, do not require justification analysis on individual projects, are not a form of impact fees, and are not a "taking".

      Since density bonus legislation was the outgrowth of affordable housing advocates and developers coming together to sponsor the legislation, the ability of a developer to get additional market rate units by relaxing zoning standards isn't surprising. I assume the developers made the case that the additional market rate units allowed developers to afford to build the below market rate units. In saying this I'm not trying to justify density bonus. I don't care for it going back to when I first learned about density bonus. I agree with people that density bonus ruins neighborhood character.

      So the San Jose results (and other recent court opinions) will have a direct effect on Encinitas updating its inclusionary housing ordinance which is fundamentally over 20 years old. I'm sure if the court sided with the BIA every current inclusionary housing ordinance across the state would have been substantially impacted. The court highlighted the legislature declaring (as far back as 35 years ago) that affordable housing is of statewide importance and the responsibility of all levels of government. The opinion referenced the General Plan and Housing Element statutes in its statutory background and even mentioned density bonus:

      "In addition to adopting the Housing Element Law, the Legislature has enacted a variety of other statutes to facilitate and encourage the provision of affordable housing, for example, prohibiting local zoning and other restrictions that preclude the construction of affordable housing units (see, e.g., Gov. Code, §§ 65913.1 [least cost zoning law], 65589.5 [Housing Accountability Act]), and requiring local governments to provide incentives, such as density bonuses, to developers who voluntarily include affordable housing in their proposed development projects. (Gov. Code, § 65915.) "

      But overall, there is very limited statutory interpretation in the San Jose opinion which would be involved with density bonus as the legislature wrote a pretty detailed statute. So in Encinitas' case the questions a court would be faced with are; does the statute require rounding up when establishing base density (the statute isn't explicit on this); can the city require standards for size and construction on the affordable units (the statute is silent on this); and what can the city require for financial justification of the zoning standard relaxation request (the statute says the city can require justification but doesn't go into much detail).

      I don't know how a court would rule on those three items. I think that is what the BIA suit against Encinitas is all about.

    17. The facts remain that the San Jose decision could influence how Encinitas proceeds with its defense or negotiation in the BIA suit, just as it could influence our inclusionary and density bonus ordinances.

      The local consequences of the BIA San Jose suit remain to be seen.

      Please stop trying to write yourself out of a corner.

    18. 1:16 PM

      The San Jose opinion has a big influence on the Encinitas and all other city and county inclusionary housing ordinances.

      You need to explain how the San Jose opinion impacts density bonus. To do that you'll have to read both. And I don't mean explaining in generalities like the San Jose decision affirms local discretion. Be specific. Then I'll listen

    19. 3:48

      Ask Sabine, Blakespear and Shaffer.

    20. 6:48 PM

      How lame. I'd hoped for better but I'm not surprised.

    21. 11:48

      You have missed the point entirely, which, considering almost everything else you've written on the subject, is not at all surprising.

      You have consistently paid attention to the wrong things. You don't see what matters and what doesn't. Start living in the real world. We're not talking theories here. We're talking realities on the ground.

    22. 4:53 PM

      "You have missed the point entirely" Yes you have.

    23. Among the people on the dais, at least Sabine, Shaffer and Blakespear disagree with you. They matter, you don't.

    24. 5:52 PM

      So now they are the fountain of knowledge when you think they support your position. Maybe I should have come up with a cute play on their names which seems to be required here.

      I'm going to assume you are 1:16 PM (6/23) and if not, you appear to have taken up their cause. So the fact that you didn't even try to answer my challenge to explain how the San Jose opinion impacts density bonus says it all. I've wasted enough of my time. I'll leave you to your meaningless generalities.

    25. 10:27

      You started wasting your time when you first posted on this issue. You must be a bureaucrat or an academic. You specialize in dwelling on irrelevancies.

      The pertinent point is that Sabine said the city would revisit its inclusionary housing and density bonus ordinances in light of the San Jose/BIA decision. Blakespear and Shaffer immediately backed him up, and no other council member objected.

      At this week's meeting, the four council members present voted to strengthen the city's opposition to AB 744, which is an effort to affirm the BIA's position on density bonus specifics.

      While what happens with Encinitas' inclusionary housing and density bonus ordinances remains to be seen, every action taken locally so far has either made them more restrictive of developers or expressed that view.

      So, if you want to jerk off with your reading of the Supreme Court decision and bait others into a circle jerk, feel free.

    26. 9:06 PM

      "You started wasting your time when you first posted on this issue." Well. at least you've finally said something sensible. I see it definitely fell on your deaf ears from the start. You appear resentful of bureaucrats and academics. Do you have a self-esteem problem?

      The city has had both the inclusionary housing and density bonus ordinances in the pipeline for revision for awhile. Both are out of date and the density bonus ordinance is ignored as the state statute was substantially updated several years ago without a corresponding update of our ordinance. Or is that an irrelevancy?

      As I said earlier, the San Jose decision basically validates all cities and counties inclusionary housing (zoning) ordinances and the council was right to wait for the decision.

      The city requires any affordable unit in a density bonus project to be at least 1,500 sq ft, 3 bedroom, 2 bath and built with similar quality and materials as the market rate units. The council recently added the 75% of market rate units requirement. Nowhere are these conditions in the state statute or city ordinance. The council added a couple other requirements including rounding down to calculate the base density. I've said all this above.

      Maybe you think by saying that the San Jose opinion doesn't apply to density bonus means either I want or believe the BIA will prevail in their suit. Nothing is further from the truth. However, since the suit is currently in settlement negotiations, the allegations by the BIA may never get reviewed by a judge.

      Circle jerk?? Boy, I've got to get out more. Are they fun?

  10. To 6:31 - Spoken like a true FP: Fictitious Persona (Google it, folks - it was a line item in the Peak Democracy contract).

    Obviously the very apples to apples point in all this is the fact that the state Supreme Court believes that cities have more self determination than the BIA thinks they should.

    Not something FP would point out, though...obfuscation is the name of his/her game.

    1. 11:21,

      You are welcome to think that the judiciary is sending a message that they don't like the BIA, and that they favor cities that want to restrict development. I obviously think that's an oversimplification for the reasons stated above. I'll leave it to the readers to decide for themselves.

      As to the handle "FP."

      I am a private citizen, with no connections to city staff or elected officials other than:

      - about four emails sent to city council, ever.
      - met personally with two council members, regarding a development plan on my street and Pacific View.
      - spoke in front of council twice on specific issues where I thought my voice might have an impact

      Moved here 16 years ago, but didn't really pay attention to city politics until the last 2-3 years. I'm not a developer, don't do any business with them, don't socialize with them.

      Other than that, I'm anonymous, as most of us are. Until a few months ago I was posting without any signature. But I did appreciate the fact that Sculpin and Mr. Green Jeans tagged their posts, because it gave me as a reader context to the consistency and depth of their thinking on a variety of issues. As a consequence, I developed a respect for them. Their signatures automatically bring a level of credibility.

      A few months ago, when someone accused me of being a Fictitious Persona, a paid agent of evil hidden in the Terms and Conditions of the Peak Democracy contract--I thought it was really amusing so I decided to own the label. Besides, Fictitious Persona is really just another way to say Anonymous, right?

      So that's me. I think of the handle as meaning Anonymous, but I know others ascribe the more sinister meaning. That's the fun of it. Never mind that the PD contract has been canceled; I'm sure the conspiracy-minded have a ready explanation for how the city has continued my payments.

      BOOOUAH HA HA HA HA HA (evil laugh).


    2. There are others who work at the city or for the city who post online. Our city should not be using work time and financial resources to pay people to post comments to benefit themselves when they work here and don't live here.

    3. Fictitious Persona -- The State Supreme Court said in its decision of the BIA vs City of San Jose lawsuit that municipalities have "broad discretion to regulate the use of real properties to serve the legitimate interest of the general public. This clearly means that whether it's an inclusionary housing or density bonus ordinance a city can set limits as long as it doesn't violate the Density Bonus Act and cause the developer to lose money. One of the judges said that the vote might have been different if the developer ended up losing money. Not to worry. Developers in Encinitas are making plenty of money. That's why Jason Han of New Urban West said that Encinitas is "a density bonus magnet."

      The Density Bonus Law clearly allows a city to require a financial pro forma, to set design and size requirements for the affordable units, and to determine how to calculate net acreage, as long as the regulations are not to circumvent the Density Bonus Law. Encinitas met this standard. Rounding down on base density is ambiguous at best in the law. The city of Los Angeles does it and hasn't been sued by the BIA.

      The court decision strengthened Encinitas' position. It is comparing apples to apples. And the city has a green light to toughen up its inclusionary housing element. The court also said, "...the significant problems arising from a scarcity of affordable housing have not been solved over the past three decades." But we got a ton of market rate housing.

    4. If true, they should be disciplined or fired. If you have evidence, you should take it to the city's HR department, post it here, and contact local press.

      I agree with you that it's completely inappropriate for city employees to be posting here on city time OR THEIR OWN TIME.

      If they are not authorized to speak publicly for the city, then it doesn't matter if they are on city time or not. They are engaging in public relations affecting the city's relations with citizens without authorization. That can get you fired from any employer.


    5. 2:30 makes the best case I have seen to connect the two cases.

      Also totally agree on tightening the inclusionary hosing ordinance.

      Good points. I'm just concerned that the San Jose case was a constitutional "takings" case. Constitutional cases have a high bar, and most fail. The Encinitas case is about how much latitude the state DB law provides to cities. I'm no lawyer, but it seems like a different standard.


    6. FP, during the General Plan Update process, there was an extensive recruitment to get City Employees to fill in forms for the Public Health Element--which like other portions of the Update, have been thrown out.

      Instead of disciplining or firing, employees were encouraged to participate the same as citizens and taxpayers though it was pointed out that such participation was a conflict of interest.

      While the final project was a disaster and the consultant was unable to provide protocols for his results, this is what appears on the consultants webpage despite city policies that disallow employees to provide recommendations to vendors or consultants. Note: the project that is being praised by an Encinitas employee has never been used.

      "Raimi and Associates helped the City of Encinitas develop a standalone Public Health Element in support of the Comprehensive General Plan Update. R+A has extensive experience in preparing public health elements and related studies. R+A's common-sense approach to planning and knowledge of health considerations in the built environment were both instrumental to the overall planning and public participation process. Additionally, R+A's professionalism and positive attitude helped us complete the outreach and the preparation of the draft Public Health Element in four months; this allowed us to integrate the work effort seamlessly into the overall Comprehensive General Plan Update. We highly recommend R+A and are confident that their consulting team will be an asset to any City or County’s work project."

      Diane S. Langager
      Principal Planner, City of Encinitas

    7. 3:27,

      One of us has lost the plot.

      1:05 suggested that city staff were posting here on EU.

      Was your post intended to somehow offer evidence supporting that claim?

    8. 3:27, I will help you get back with the plot. Maybe you are new to this blog, but we have had posters admit that they work for the city and strongly argue for the pay and benefits that they receive.

      One former poster, Lose Leucadian identified himself/herself as a city employee. We have not seen him/her identify herself for some time, but maybe this employee is posting without an identity now.

      What I take from the post above is that Encinitas employees not only post on this blog but influence many public perceptions whether they are based on truth or not.

      I suggest you look at posts from years past to understand the plot since it sounds like you don't have the same background as long-term readers and posters.

    9. True, I don't go back that far. Thank you.

      I won't comment on 3:27's points, because I honestly don't know the whole story there.

      But it is inappropriate for city staff to be posting here. It's possible Lose Leucadian is/was a city employee; but isn't it also possible that it could have been a troll? If you wanted to yank the chains of this crowd, it would be a pretty simple way to do it, right?

      Firewalls keep logs these days. It's pretty easy to get caught if you are dumb enough to post from City Hall.

    10. I think that the poster who claimed to be a city employee was "Loser Leucadian." Interestingly, this poster used to resent some of the top level leadership at the city too.

    11. Loser Leucadian is a well known local and city employee. He posted on his own time as far as I know.

      I don't believe city employees often, if ever, post here from work.

    12. I suspect that some of our consultants may be posting here. Some of the consultants that have been brought on to market Vina's "Strategic Plan" and some of the projects in Planning have had Fictitious Persona as part of their services outlined in contracts.

      Does that mean that they only mess with citizen feedback in citizen surveys, or do their activities extend beyond manipulating information at the city?

      I can only say as a long time fan of this site that there were some unusual new voices presenting the city's script that showed up after those consultants and vendors were brought on.



    14. FP- I have no idea who you are, nor do I care. However, I can assure you that some city employees follow this blog. And, they post. I suspect they don't post using the City's computers, but most all of the City employees have cell phones that they can post from I know, for sure, that Glen Sabine, Jerome Stocks, and a few others do post on this blog. There writing styles are similar anytime they post. Just sayin

    15. Maybe Sabine, Stocks, and other staff post here as you say, and maybe they don't. We have no way to know for sure.

      Personally, I think it's silly to guess the true identity of anon posters. How many times on these pages do we see people say "you must be (insert name of villain here)"? Why? Because they disagree with you? Can you really not imagine that in a city of over 50k noggins that there might be more than one that disagrees with your perspective?

      Personally, I don't know and don't care if a post is made by Stocks, or someone who thinks like him. Because in either case, my counter-argument is going to be the same. I try to engage the ideas and ideals expressed here, not the unknowable person behind them.


  11. If our city is doing such a great job and they have such excellent ideas, why do the have to spend our tax funds to hire Fictitious Personas and consultants to "massage" the data?

    Good policies should stand on their own merits.

    We have groups of employees and consultants who live elsewhere making a living off of converting citizen feedback to information to benefit their own interests and not ours.

    Sadly,those who have compared them to pimps have a point.

  12. 12:45 - What pains you take to mischaracterize 11:21's remarks.

    I did not say "that the judiciary is sending a message that they don't like the BIA" - I said that the court thinks that cities should have more self determination than the BIA would like to see.

    I did not say "that they favor cities that want to restrict development." Where do you see that?

    Why try to hard to mis-characterize? I'll leave it to the readers to decide for themselves.

  13. 10:23, Read it again and put the last quotation mark after the last word (Encinitas). Diane wasn't posting here, Someone was quoting her.

    1. The consultant whose work was thrown out has had Diane's endorsement posted on his website for several years. He in turn praised Diane, Mike Strong and Patrick Murphy for their excellent handling of the General Plan Update.

      While the MIG consultants walked away with more than $1 million in fees--not counting other charges that they ran through 16 other city funds and departments.

      Is it appropriate that she is endorsing a project that was thrown out? The policy of employees not using their position at the city of Encinitas to vendors and consultants is a good idea.

      However, if they wanted to give an objective result for the work of the General Plan, they might say that the massive failure of the project caused citizens to band together and vote in Prop A to restore the integrity of the original, present Encinitas General Plan.

  14. Are city planners going to write an endorsement letter for Rutan and Tucker?

  15. Density bonus law requires that the low income units be built in the development. A previous council ignored the law and approved "transferring" the low income to the Iris apartments. The developer received all concessions and incentives requested but didn't have to build the low income housing in the new subdivision. This council may give the density bonus to developers if they pay a small amount in lieu of building the house.
    Berkeley is changing their density bonus ordinance to allow the developer to get all the benefits of the density bonus law without building the affordable housing. For a $10,000 payment for each unit the developer get density bonus without building.
    Do you hear any noise from the BIA about the payment?

    1. For the umpteenth time, the Iris Apartments was a unique situation due to the Barrett bankruptcy. Density bonus does not allow in lieu fees. However, Berkeley is considering an additional density bonus provision, separate from the their ordinance implementing the state version. Since density bonus is voluntary, all cities and counties are free to come up with alternatives as long as they still offer the state version.

    2. What the city did to combine the affordable units from four Density Bonus projects into one all affordable-unit project is not necessarily legal. It was never challenged in court. The BIA didn't sue, the affordable housing advocates didn't sue, and the neighbors didn't sue. The city concocted the plan to get out from under a series of bad decisions on the twin Barratt American Nantucket projects in Leucadia.. The neighbors unsuccessfully sued, but turned out to be right on all the points they raised.

      The legality of both the Iris Apartments and what the City of Berkeley is doing is open to question. It takes deep pockets and persistence to do what the city of San Jose did against the BIA. The Density Bonus Law is not clearly written. Even City Attorney Sabine said this. The current attempt of AB744 to modify the law is not to clarify it, but to give a greater advantage to builders. That's what the reductions in parking requirements are about -- all to get more market rate units.

  16. 12:55 PM
    The developer received tax credits for the Iris apartments. Unique, ha! It was a sneaky, sleazy underhanded way to get density bonus with building them in the development. The council went along with it.
    It's the law to build the low income housing in the subdivision If the developer is granted density bonus.
    How is Berkeley following the law if they allow a developer to pay out of building the low income housing required of density bonus?

    1. This does get tedious. I don't have time to learn the details of the Berkeley density bonus option other than it is an alternative to the state version of density bonus. Here is the April 28 agenda description:

      "Request that the City Manager draft an ordinance to implement a City density bonus that would serve as an option to the State density bonus. The City density bonus would mirror the State bonus by allowing housing projects (rental units and condominiums) of five or more units to receive a bonus of up to 35% increased density if the project contributes to the supply of affordable housing. For rental projects, the City bonus fee would be $10,000 per unit, in addition to the City’s affordable housing mitigation fee, which is currently $20,000 per unit for rental projects. For condominium projects, the City bonus fee would be $10,000 per unit in addition to any affordable housing mitigation fee that the City Council adopts for condominium projects. Rental and condominium projects opting for the City density bonus would pay the $10,000 new fee and the affordable housing mitigation fee on the project’s base units, not the density bonus units. The City density bonus fee of $10,000 could be changed by subsequent Council resolution. Projects that already have building permits and are fully entitled for bonus density at the time this ordinance takes effect would be allowed to opt for the City density bonus by paying the fee when the Certificate of Occupancy is issued. After the ordinance is adopted, other future projects would pay the fee when the project’s building permit is issued. Request also that the City Manager review the City’s Affordable Housing Mitigation Fee ordinance to insure compatibility with the City density bonus and amend if necessary."

      Make of it what you will but this is an alternative to the state's version of density bonus which Berkeley already has on its books.

      And yes, the Iris Apts was a unique situation no matter how many derogatory adjectives you can come up with.

    2. It's always a "unique" situation with our city's decisions, isn't it. Funny how that works. So unique that it's the norm.

  17. The developer MUST build the low income units in the subdivision under density bonus law. Berkeley is telling developers they can "opt" out of building the low income housing but still get the reduced parking or no parking required for each housing unit, and not follow the zoning regulations by using the zoning density bonus law.

    1. It sounds like Berkeley is offering an alternative that developers might find more attractive. But if a developer requests the city to follow the state density bonus (Berkeley Muni. Code: 23C.12.050 State of California Density Bonus Requirements) then the city will have to follow it. Any city or county can adopt alternatives to the state density bonus provisions, they just can't refuse a developer's request to use the state version. One thing to consider is that since density bonus is voluntary, HCD restricts it's use in satisfying RHNA numbers for the housing element.

      So if Berkeley wants to come up with an alternative that's their prerogative. They just have to keep the state version of density bonus as an option.

    2. Berkeley is an ENTIRELY different community with an entirely different population with different needs. It is TWICE the size of Encinitas at 117,000 but about the same area of land. Why in the hell would we want to use Berkeley as a model except as a model of what NOT to do?

      For many years, there has been a housing shortage for students and others in the academic community. Encinitas has nothing compared to the housing shortage of Berkeley.

      Berkeley has an excellent public transportation system including BART and extensive bus routes. Encinitas public transportation is a nightmare.

      To different degrees of success, they have tried to address their own unique community issues to accommodate their academic learning community and other who support it.

      Why should we adapt their emergency policies only to "make it pencil out" for builders who have had a few tough years. We need to come up with policies that fit our history and needs and support Prop A since it is the law.

      Also, MIG, Moonshot Mike and Peak Democracy, and the other parade of Berkeley failures in our city should tell you something. They should return the money that we paid them for crappy work.

    3. You can thank Barth for MIG.

    4. Who said anything about using Berkeley as a model? I'm 4:02 PM. I was trying to explain to commenters above that a city can adopt alternatives to the state's version of density bonus as long as the state's version is still available. Density bonus is wholly voluntary.

      Encinitas could adopt an alternative to density bonus if it wanted to. And just so you know, while I didn't go into any depth about the new Berkeley proposed ordinance, what I did learn didn't make any sense from an affordable housing viewpoint but did appear to be beneficial to developers. Based on that I wouldn't recommend it to anybody including Berkeley.

      I really worry about the reading comprehension here. Or else it's the level of paranoia that the mere mention of something quickly escalates in people's mind that it's really an endorsement.

    5. 11:36 — Maybe the problem is the content and tone of your writing.

    6. 1:37 PM

      After rereading my 4:02 PM entry, I fail to see a problem with tone or content so please explain and also explain how I was using Berkeley as a model. Yes, I did get a little exasperated at 11:36 AM but that was after I reread my and all the other entries to see where someone could come up with the idea that I or anybody else were suggesting Berkeley was a model.

    7. Dunno from models.

      Seems the problem isn't the state or city alternative. It's that the state's is ambiguous on some points. So some cities put their interpretation on the ambiguity.

      Encinitas and Los Angeles did that. BIA sued Encinitas but not Los Angeles.

    8. The state largely depends on private suits to ensure proper adherence to statutes. The fact that nobody has sued Los Angeles doesn't mean their implementation is correct. It just means no one thinks it worth their while to challenge it. Just look at this week's US Supreme Court 8-1 decision in Horne v US Dept of Ag overturning a rule followed for over 60 years. Sometimes it takes awhile.

      However, if the BIA were to prevail against Encinitas that might change and LA might get sued or decide to preemptively change their procedure.

  18. Encinitas has one of the most unique histories of any city anywhere. It was based on a vision of change for the better! Our city founders formed the city so that citizens could protect the community character and natural resources that were threatened under county jurisdiction.

    For those of us who have lived here and remember those early days of cityhood, it is frustrating when we are accused of being "afraid of change." The City of Encinitas was founded on a change--a change for the better.

    Our founding citizens sacrificed through tremendous work and vision to create a city that would protect what was important to its citizens. When council members make comments like, "change is inevitable," why don't they change Encinitas for the better?

    For example, developers like to point out that there are no view protection ordinances. Why not write one? It would be a change in keeping with the reason why Encinitas was formed as a city.

    The Berkeley connection is frustrating because staff and consultants are forcing their vision of Berkeley and cities like it onto Encinitas, which is entirely different. Encinitas residents love Encinitas for what it is--a great place to live. Others who are trying to force a change based on Berkeley and other cities all stand to gain financially at the expense of people who already live here and have stayed here for a particular style of life.

    1. The first mention of Berkeley was on June 22, 2015 at 12:21 PM. This followed a brief discussion of the Iris Apts. Comments were made that the council was going to use this (Iris Apts) as a template for other density bonus projects. Then I can only guess that since MIG (the general plan consultants) are located in Berkeley and the city of Berkeley has proposed an alternative density bonus ordinance that would allow in lieu fees, an attempt to connect the two was made.

      If the person(s) who made these statements want to further explain they are welcome to do so. I see no connection. I see the Iris Apts. as a unique situation not a change in practice. While Encinitas does look to many other cities for ideas, I see no one "... trying to force a change based on Berkeley ..."

    2. There is no such thing as "most unique." Something is unique or it's not. The word unique does not take qualifiers. It's an absolute. There are not degrees of unique. It means one of a kind.