Sunday, October 11, 2015

Gaspar, Shaffer spar on Pacific View costs

Last, the Council unanimously chose the Encinitas Arts, Culture and Ecology Alliance as the proposed operator for the former Pacific View School site, which the Council purchased in March 2014. We also learned that unfortunately it would take about an additional $4 million to prepare the site for occupancy. While I opposed the $10-million purchase price for Pacific View because the appraised value of the property was only $3.3 million, now that we own the property we must consider the best future use that will enrich our community.

We must move forward with the challenge of raising the $4 million dollars needed to renovate the existing facilities and offset the current approximately $70,000 per month in debt service to repay the bonds used to acquire the property. I commend Garth Murphy and his entire team for pulling together a diverse community coalition, including, but not limited to the band, Switchfoot, and Rob Machado, whose activism and foundation work have touched the lives of many Encinitans. I look forward to helping the Encinitas Arts, Culture and Ecology Alliance clear the high hurdles in front of them.
Shaffer's newsletter response:
First, I feel compelled to offer some clarification in response to recently published commentary by the mayor regarding Pacific View. She wrote that "it would take about an additional $4 million to prepare the site for occupancy." This is not true. The architect hired by the city presented a plan to rehabilitate the building in several configurations, the most expensive of which was close to $4 million. However, the Encinitas Arts, Culture, and Ecology Alliance (EACEA), who we unanimously selected to move forward in developing an operating plan and agreement with the City, has its own architect and plans, which are much less expensive and will be financed by the Alliance. The financing costs for purchasing the property are already incorporated into the City's operating budget (which, by the way, has a handsome surplus this year, as it did last year). EACEA will be presenting its fund-raising plans and financial strategy soon, and I have no doubt that the community-based coalition will be successful in creating a vibrant and innovative space that will benefit the entire City for years to come.

The record is clear that Mayor Gaspar opposed the purchase of the property at the price that the school district was willing to accept. She lost that vote, and like all of us, is bound by the decision of the majority. So it would be nice if we could move on without having to rehash that decision. It's done. The bonds were issued and the site activation is underway. Let's work together to make the EACEA proposal a success.
So, Lisa, if city finances are so great, what was that whole sales tax increase thing about? You've still never explained that.  And why are you still underfunding road maintenance according to your own consultant?


  1. Two incompetents going at it - the Ship of State be on the rocks, matey!

  2. Forget about that toxic pit, in the same mea culpa, Lisa Shaffer accuses Muir and Gaspar of attempting to respond to downtown's homeless and skyrocketing burglary, car theft and drug arrests problems along the coast by acting on the Sheriff's Department's formal request and adding more deputies by claiming out-loud that Muir and Gaspar are just trying to feather-the-beds of the Deputy Sheriff's Association.

    Shaffer believes she is 'outing' Gaspar politically, when in reality it is her own IGNORANCE that a DSA campaign endorsement has nothing to do whatsoever with attempting to assist the homeowners and business-owner being overrun. Shaffer says she wants to look at it next year! Check it out: from Shaffer's newsletter.
    Kristin Gaspar and Mark Muir, both endorsed by the Deputy Sheriff's Association, advocated again for funding an additional sheriff deputy, even though we have not yet heard the Captain's report on how things worked out this summer. You may recall that when Mark Muir proposed adding another deputy last May, there was not time to have an officer in place over the summer, when we have typically had more challenges. Instead, we worked with Captain Adams-Hydar to find ways to redeploy existing resources, and asked her to let us know her assessment at the end of the summer. We also looked at complementary strategies, such as increased code enforcement and ABC efforts in the downtown area. Crime statistics show that crime reports, arrests and calls for service vary a little bit year-to-year but I have seen no information that identifies any clear need for additional armed deputies. I look forward to the Captain's report on October 28, and if there is a compelling case for adding another deputy at an annual expense of $237,600, we can consider it in our next budget cycle.

    The planning session did suggest that there are some areas of the city that do need additional resources to keep up with the increased workload. We asked the City Manager to bring back any proposals for staffing, considering empty positions and funding set aside in earlier budget planning, as well as needs that might be met through temporary hires or contract positions. The City has grown, the budget is strong, and the Council has asked for a lot. I want to make sure we are investing resources where we need them, and working as efficiently as possible.

    THE BUDGET is NOT strong; Shaffer knows it, she wants a personal roundabout on QGD that cost $2 mil while she turns her back on downtown!

    Catherine, Tony and Lisa embarrassed themselves trying to 're-deploy' deputies because they are not professional law enforcers. All the three are interested in now is trying to stop Gaspar's campaign for Supervisor. Lisa is a bold-faced liar!

    Boo Shaffer! Boo Kranz! Boo Catherine!

    1. You should forget about the toxic pit. PV is no more toxic than several functioning schools locally.

    2. Council was warned repeatedly about the bar problem downtown and the homeless situation is reaching critical mass, action must be taken immediately in the form of the sheriffs actually confronting this instead of hiding behind their radar guns generating revenue as is their are doing now. FOCUS ON THE HOMELESS and petty theft going on, it is growing daily and becoming dangerous. Was the STABBING last week on Encinitas blvd enough of a hint? Council get on this, do your job for crying out loud!

  3. Shaffer misses the point. Gaspar and Muir were prepared to purchase the property up to a cost of 7 million. They were prepared to hold their noses and pay twice the amount, but they could go no further. LIsa is always and forever the victim--even when she pushes through stupid decisions.

    Who knows what they will find when they start to do the work?

  4. 7:10, who exactly is "We"....

    1. That's quoting Shaffer using "we" presumably meaning the council.

      From "Kristin Gaspar and Mark Muir" to the end of the next paragraph is quoting Shaffer's newsletter.

  5. For posterity. (again)

    The city's appraisals of the property were done with the public/semi public zoning. It's a pretty restrictive zone in terms of allowable uses, so the commercial value of the property was appraised at a low figure. This was done in an attempt to give the city negotiating leverage with EUSD.

    It didn't work.

    EUSD was confident in their interpretation of state education code that allows for an automatic rezoning of surplus school properties.

    EUSD was auctioning the property with a guaranteed rezoning to allow 15 residential units per acre. Obviously, this would increase the commercial value to developers tremendously.

    Section (1) (G) (2) of the bidders instructions explicitly states that rezoning must happen before close of escrow (when payment is due):

    "Re-Zoning Purchase. The bidder may submit a bid price conditioned upon the potential re-zoning of the property to residential (DR-15) within an escrow period of up to thirty- six months with bidder required to close escrow within a period of sixty (60) days after re-zoning to DR-15 is actually finalized. "

    The DR-15 value of the Pacific View property was and is way above the city's earlier assessment.

    You can read the bidders instructions for yourself, including the guarantee of R22 rezoning here:

    1. Last paragraph should read "R15," obviously.

    2. I should also add that I think the city could have bought the property for less money.

      I believe a developer would have bid $10M for Pacific View. But that bid comes with risk, time and cost for EUSD. EUSD bears the risk of rezoning, and the city and residents were sure to fight it. There is always a risk that a judge might interpret state code differently, or decide R15 isn't the right zone. Even if the regime is eventually successful, it would be years before EUSD was able to finalize the sale and recognize the proceeds. They'd also have a hearty legal bill to pay.

      The city's bid had none of those risks, costs, or delays, because the city was accepting the property at current zoning.

      So, in my estimation, EUSD would likely have favored $8M quick and easy, over an auction bid of $10M burdened with risks and delays.

    3. 9:18

      So why would a developer pay the $10 Million amount, when as you claim the zoning change needed to happen to close escrow-?? They wouldn't, that is why ESUD had no other bids.

      THere was no guarantee the Council or planning commision would have changed zoning- even less so after Prop A passed. That is why EUSD had no other bids.

      THere was no guarantee a costly lawsuit by EUSD to compell a zoning change would have been successful. That is why EUSD had no other bids.

      Lisa Shaffer- Crab Apple Barth and Tony the Tool Kranz all had leverage but chose instead to screw taxpayers.

      You sound like a "Lisa the phony" Shaffer apologist. Remember, Lisa told untruths on the Prop A ballot statements, and then Lisa told untruths in her propaganda newsletter sent to residents about her support of a confiscatory sales tax.

      Note how Gaspar has the courage to provide residents concrete numbers of cost. Shaffer avoids mentioning any costs because she would prefer residents not be informed.

      Shaffer is a self-serving hypocrite spreading misinformation and half-truths. I am sorry I voted and supported her. She is dishonest. She is like PResident Obama, an egoist needing to get the last word as they are insecure with themselves and have an inferiority complex. Tonight Obama is on 60 minutes to rebut the interviews done last week with Putin and Trump - he like Shaffer is an egomaniac with an inferiority complex. Also like Shaffer, he was a 'Professor" who believes he always right and needs the last word.

    4. "So why would a developer pay the $10 Million amount, when as you claim the zoning change needed to happen to close escrow-??"

      I don't think you understand the deal structure. Any developer who bid $10M would not be required to pay $10M unless and until EUSD completed the zoning change. No zoning change, no $10M. That's what they mean by "a bid price CONDITIONED UPON THE POTENTIAL REZONING" (emphasis mine).

      Also, if EUSD's interpretation of state law was correct, then local zoning processes are superseded by state law. I won't go into detail, as everyone already knows this (including you). If you still want to pretend to be confused on this point, you can Google "Doctrine of Preemption" to read all about it.

    5. 10:38, What makes you think there were no other bids?

    6. One last time-THERE WERE NO OTHER BIDS!

    7. "Untruths" = lies. Let's speak plainly, shall we?

    8. 12:16,

      Your all caps notwithstanding, please tell us how you know this.

      Because frankly, it is unknowable.

      Even the people in the EUSD finance department can't know whether there were viable bids. Here's why:

      The auction was stopped before the deadline for submission; can we agree on that? Also, EUSD said at the time that any bid envelopes already received would be destroyed unopened; do you dispute that?

      Therefore, there are two possibilities to consider: (1) that EUSD had envelopes submitted, or (2) that EUSD did NOT have envelopes to destroy.

      If they DID have envelopes, it doesn't prove that they had any viable bids. It's possible that non-compliant bids were submitted (e.g. below the stated minimum bid). Since the envelopes were destroyed without being opened, the presence of envelopes doesn't prove whether or not there were compliant bids on offer. Likewise, the lack of envelopes proves nothing, because the auction
      Was canceled several days before bids were due. It's entirely plausible that bidders would wait until the last day to submit, in case new information emerged in the final few days that might affect how or whether they might bid.

      So, whether EUSD finance had envelopes in hand or not, it is unknowable whether there were viable bids.

      So please explain, in all caps if you wish, how you have come to possess omniscient knowledge.

    9. 12:16, I happened to be another bidder.

    10. Having gone through a number of bidding processes myself, Most bids show up on the last day often in the last few hours. While most of these didn't involve real estate transactions, being early means nothing. Just being on time.

      As noted above, a clear reading of the applicable state statute requires the city to grant the school site the same surrounding zoning. This issues about whether or not EUSD followed the Naylor Act is secondary. I'm sure the bidders knew this.

    11. 10:57 nice try to mislead-

      Why would anyone, anyone, paty a huge deposit and tie up that money with EUSD in what could be years long processes in hopes the council would change the zoning? answer they would not

    12. 1:29 if you were truly a "bidder" as you claim you would leaved your name. That you do not reveals you to not be a bidder but a teller of tall tales- heck, just Ol' ethically challenged Shaffer

    13. 3:17.

      You're wrong about my sealed bid (and it was turned in on time). The EUSD board may be the only ones who could back me up. I did not get a response. If you were at any of the meetings regarding Pacific View, you really should have a better idea of how many interested developers there were in that real estate. Maybe you weren't there.

    14. 4:19 -- Did the city top your bid? If so, why didn't you bid higher?

    15. 10:38 AM

      I just remembered that the planning commission did approve the PV rezoning. It was council that overturned it on appeal. I remember listening to the individual council members giving their reasons for overturning it. My favorite was Jim Bond saving his reason was the EUSD shouldn't sell any surplus property in case they need it in the future. Why he thought the city should deny a rezoning based on that reasoning is beyond me.

      Since the city now owns PV, the rezoning should be off the table.

    16. 5:13 PM

      If the bid process was a one time sealed bid there would be no further bidding unless there was a tie and the proposals had similar conditions. It's not an auction.

    17. 5:52 -- A non-answer. The question meant why didn't you make your original bid higher. Of course, I know the auction was a one-time sealed bid.

    18. The council didn't overturn the appeal. Dan Dalager had to recuse because of his property at 3rd and F Streets. The vote was 2 to 2, so the council took no action. The PC decision stood.

      Rezoning is only off the table for a period. The agreement states no zoning change for 10 years. Then if an upzone is proposed, it will be subject to a public vote under Prop. A.

    19. 7:07 PM

      There really is no excuse for this misinformation when it's so easy to verify online. On November 10, 2010 the council voted 4-0, with Dalager recusing himself, to deny the planning commission's recommendation to amend the plans and zoning to R-15 for PV. It was not a tie with Bond, Stocks, Barth and Houlihan all voting no. The actual vote was to have staff return with a resolution of denial which the council approved January 12, 2011 by the same four council members with Gaspar recusing herself as she had replaced Dalager.

      Off the top of my head, I believe the 10 year restriction is on the city selling the property not rezoning. The council had discussed rezoning for some of the potential uses they were considering. Not to R-15 but to a use that the P/SP wouldn't accommodate. I don't think the council mentioned any restriction to rezoning by their agreement with EUSD.

    20. I don't understand the comments above challenging 1:29 PM (10/11) assertion that he/she was one of the PV bidders. The challenger presents no evidence to call into question the assertion other than to say they don't believe it. They also demonstrate not understanding the bid process EUSD followed which was prematurely terminated when EUSD accepted the city's offer. Since EUSD shut down the process, you couldn't describe the city's offer as a bid because it would have to have been sealed and submitted just like the rest of them and possibly getting outbid.

      I think the challenger is simply refusing to accept that they don't know what actually happened. That there were bids submitted or planning to be submitted by other interested parties. How many we will probably never know.

    21. 7:07 PM

      I'm 8:53 AM. Perhaps you were thinking of the resubmitted plan amendments and rezoning on August 17, 2011 which was in reaction to the lawsuit EUSD filed. That lawsuit was put on hold while the application was resubmitted with several additional conditions. The council vote was 2-2 with Gaspar recusing herself. A tie is in effect a no vote. But this was the second time the council heard the application. Bond and Stocks voted for it and Barth and Houlihan voted against it.

    22. While it is true that you cannot know how many bids would have been submitted if the auction had not been called off prior to the deadline, it is very suspicious that the EUSD has no records of the 40 phone calls and 10 to 15 buyer site visits that Baird claimed in a March 27, 2014 UT article. A public records act to the district confirmed this.

  6. GASpar and Muir can not stomach that they lost on PV. Instead of forging ahead and making something wonderful for this community (besides more bars and additional deputies) they continue to whine.

    We get it ignorant mayor. You don't have to repeat yourself. Thank God you will soon be out of politics or the rest of the supervisors will have to put up with your child like ways.

    On your way out, take the other dumb head with you. He is way too rounded and looking worse every day. As for you, less gel in the hair would look more natural.

    1. Residents lost on PV, that's who lost.

    2. 10:43 put down the crack pipe and check into rehad

      Shaffer, kranz and Barth paid 10.5 million for a property that could have been bought for 3.5 million or less using the Naylor Act. Barth, Shaffer and Kranz told the public the property could quixckly be used......................ah, think that swap meet bullcrap Shaffer was pushing a year ago, turns out Shaffer lied again, the property can't be used. Shaffer told us when she bought it the city ahd the money to rehabe it- then in April this year Shaffer admitted the city did not have the money.

      You might accept lies from city leaders like Stocks, Dalager, Barth Shaffer and Kranz- the rest of us do not have to

    3. " . . . a property that could have been bought for 3.5 million or less using the Naylor Act."

      I don't know whether to laugh at this, or cry at this obvious failure of our public school system.

      Should I explain how Section 17486 (b) of the Naylor Act disqualified this site from the Naylor Act?


      Should I explain that the Naylor Act only allows for up to 30% of the property to be purchased?


      Instead, I'll just wish 3:14 a beautiful day. Truly outstanding day to be here at the beach. I hope you can exit the world of legal fantasy and paranoia long enough to feel sand between your toes and watch the big orange ball heading for Asia.

    4. Lynn, have you nothing better to come up with than the Naylor Act. It is getting old by now. Have you paid your fees to the city yet?

    5. How many residents did Barth call, asking them to file an injunction against the auction and Cite the Naylor Act? I personally know of three (I was not one), because she was too chickenshit to do it herself. She was getting legal advice from somewhere....

    6. 4:18, Andrew Audet was strongly considering some legal move to invoke Naylor, but nothing ever came of it. We can only assume he talked to a lawyer who convinced him there was no case.

    7. Not necessarily. Not everyone has the means to pay for or front what should be the city's legal expense responsibility. And anyway the city's supposed to be working for residents and not the other way around, not that our council has ever figured that one out.

      Fact remains Barth was pushing private citizens hard behind the scenes to do what she/the city would not.

    8. Whether or not the Naylor Act applied, the city council showed no interest in buying PV at any price. All they were interested in was a place to park vehicles. Maybe if the city had shown interest, they would have pushed the Naylor Act angle. So your anger should be directed at them.

    9. My anger is directed at any council member who believed we should have invoked the Naylor Act, but failed to act.

      Barth is the only one I know of who made phone calls to private citizens in a pathetic attempt to get others to do what she would not do for herself. Chickenshit.

    10. 4:28

      Your assumption is incorrect. The Land-use attorney who defeated the city during the Desert Rose Hearing and who also defeated the city during the Hall Park EIR was retained by a resident at personal expense to review the Naylor Act application on Pacific View. The opinion was the Naylor act fully applied and legal action could be taken with a reasonable legal chance of prevailing. To pursue legal action against the city, to both save Pacific View for resident use and to save Taxpayer money, the attorney required payment of an additional retainer to begin filing an injunction. It is my understanding Scott Chatfield of the Save Pacific View organization was asked to participate in raising funds from the members of his organization to accomplish two goals- Saving Pacific View, and properly invoking the Naylor Act to save taxpayer money thru legal action while creating leverage so the council might negotiate a better price. Apparently Mr. Chatfield was was not interested in helping with this effort. Shortly therafter Mr. Audet's name was no longer listed at the Save PV website. My understanding is he asked that his name be removed. There is video recording of the city hall meeting where Mr. Audet addressed the council and refers to the land-use attorney retained. It is public record.

  7. Yeah 12:40, the residents that would live in condos there.

  8. Gaspar and Shaffer are comparing apples and oranges.

    The $4 million estimate by the architect is the price that it might cost the city if going out for bids. The city is shackled by procurement rules. Also City Staff is not motivated to negotiate the statement of work. Estimates are padded high because of this.

    The EACEA will bring it in at quite a lower cost because EACEA has volunteer labor and is motivated to negotiate a better price, perhaps by changing the specifications or the time phasing.

    1. "Also City Staff is not motivated to negotiate the statement of work."

      If it's a fixed-price, low bid type of procurement staff can't negotiate unless the requirements have changed and even then only if the changes are minor. Any major change would have to be rebid.

    2. Precisely. When a contractor deals with a government agency he has to charge full price, this covers surprises, then subcontract out much of the work. The contractor gets his pay from knowing how to comply with regulations, and also takes a markup on the subcontracted work.

      That's why it costs $3 million for a lifeguard tower.

    3. Apparently, our mayor has no clue that there are extra costs to get an extremely old building into shape. God forbid she is a CFO of anything. She must have been hidden under a rock somewhere.

    4. 2:33 PM

      A contractor can charge whatever they want. It's up to them to figure out how to make a profit from their bid. The city will review a bid that it deems very low to be sure it's reasonable and that the contractor can successfully fulfill the terms of the contract. This wouldn't be much of an issue with PV as it's primarily a real estate transaction. Maybe you're thinking of prevailing wage requirements.

      "... also takes a markup on the subcontracted work". Remember these are blind competitive bids so any markup could raise their total bid price too high. Usually, what you're calling a markup is the contractor's overhead for managing their subcontractors. Whatever it's called, it's all interrelated to produce a total bid price.

      I think the council is counting on EACEA to supplement the PV construction with volunteer workers and donated materials to lower the total cost. That may happen but the history of many of these kinds of efforts are good intentions and early success only to begin running out of gas midway through the project. Not that they don't get completed but it often takes at least twice the time and a little extra funds. Hopefully, that won't happen with PV.

  9. 2:33 PM
    The $3 million for the approved lifeguard tower wasn't because the contractor will know how to comply with regulations. What a silly comment. The council increased the square footage of the tower. It is now more like a large mansion on Neptune in size. It will be such a nice building that most residents will wonder why didn't the council just go all the way and coat it in gold. Last discussions had a sheriff's substation as part of the lifeguard building.

    1. Construction of a wood frame house these days is under $200/sq ft, not including the land. That's $500K typically, any more is due to fancy upgrades. However, civic buildings are built to a higher standard and an architect will design to impress, cost being less relevant. They could save some bucks by going to the library and using standard plans.

    2. The Sheriff's have that 4 wheel drive off road vehicle, in which 2 to 4 Sheriff's cameo-clad deputies cruise around on. If they are having personnel shortages, why devote so many people to the beach? Life guards should suffice - they can call the Sheriff for back-up on the rare occasion that it is required. You can imagine the insider wrangling to get that cherry assignment - it is the Club Med equivalent for the Sheriffs!

  10. People, 10 years after the purchase, the agreement said that Encinitas could do anything that they wanted with the property. Kranz's claim that he has saved the property forever seems hollow and insincere when he was the one who proposed the $10 million dollar price tag and he is hanging with a lot of the development crowd these days. I hope that we actually can afford to keep this property!

    1. 7:47,

      Are the rest of the city properties prohibited from zoning changes?

      Couldn't any city property be put on a prop A ballot for rezoning at any time including our parks, open space, city hall, maintenance yard, and fire stations?

      Just because the restriction ends in 10 years doesn't mean the city will try to change the zoning. The city owns lots of properties without such a restriction, and rarely do they try to rezone--even before Prop A.

      The temporary restriction was put in at the request of Tim Baird, to assure he wouldn't look outmaneuvered if the city rezoned PV and flipped it for a quick profit.

    2. OK, here is what I know. If there sealed bids, as some have stated, then why, as one person said, did they district throw them out? How did they know for sure that the City would purchase the property, be able to get the loan, etc. Why not wait until they were sure? As someone else said, the reason is that the district knew all along that the CIty would buy the property. The rest was a game. No developer in their right mind would bid on this property if it could not be rezoned. Developers have a lot of money and they could have easily used their own attorneys if they could have figured out a way to zone it differently. Ask Marco on this. Secondly, yes Barth did call a number of people and as far as I know most of them did not do what she asked, as most people did think it was a waste of money, as they looked at the price tag of 10 million plus whatever it would take to get it up and running, whatever they decided to put in there. Here is what I don't quite understand. We citizens bought the property. So why then do a few people get to decide what goes there? Think about it. Whatever groups came together saying they could put something arty there is nice, but there are no guarantees that they will do it, and pay for it, and keep it maintained. And, why didn't we all get to vote on what we might have liked there. Maybe it would be an art center, but maybe it would have been something else? Everyday citizens, not in the "in crowd" didn't get a voice in selecting what they might like there. Bottom line, Tony Kranz wants the center to be named after him. He is a rather sad man that has finally been accepted by the people he wanted to be accepted by. All one has to do is check out his new clothes, new hairstyle, new lifestyle to see this. Is it any wonder his lovely wife decided to go work in Idaho? It was a good deal at 3 or 4 million.

      Lisa suggests that we have lots of money in the coffers. Then, I would suggest we use some of that to pave our roads, which are getting worse; pay down some pension debt, as it is going to do us in; stop pretending we are as wealthy as Carlsbad (we are not); get rid of some people that are really not needed at City Hall; and stop trying to get around Prop A, which is already happening. The reason they want to get around Prop. A is because they need the extra revenue. We are not as wealthy as Lisa might tell us. But the way she tells us is also a problem. It is sarcastic, nasty and downright crass. No matter what you think of Gaspar, she feels no need to trash the other council members. Remember how she ran as Maggie's choice? It's interesting that Maggie's husband does not think too highly of her at this time, and supported Julie Graboi n the last election. She says she is not running again. I hope she isn't..

      I have been told there were no sealed bids, as they developers were waiting, as one poster said, to see if there was any wiggle room on the zoning. Before that happened, Tony came up with the 10 million dollar figure and the bidding stopped. Am I the only one that thinks this is suspicious? Shouldn't the process been carried through until the end, and open the bids to see what they were. That is, if there were any bids. Just my 2 cents, for what it's worth. Hopefully, some people will step up and run and hopefully they will not be pawns in Meyer's and others, game.

    3. 8:37 PM

      Isn't city hall one of the potential affordable housing sites proposed? It would have to be rezoned in order to allow affordable units to be built. Another option is to change the uses allowed in Public/Semi-Public zoning but the result is the same.

    4. 9:13 makes some good points. It seems as if there are some big egos on the City Council. Teresa Barth gets some fruit tress named after her, even though it violated the naming rights that the City itself already has in place. I have heard rumors the Kranz would not say NO to PV having his name on it, and Shaffer (well who knows how her mind works). Notice the only other Council member in the City's history, to the best of my knowledge, that has something named after her is Maggie Houlihan (the dog park). Why is that? As much as i disliked Bond, Stocks, and others, they don't have their names onl anything. Seems odd.

    5. 9:13,

      Answering/responding to a few of your points:

      "If there sealed bids, as some have stated, then why, as one person said, did they district throw them out? How did they know for sure that the City would purchase the property, be able to get the loan, etc. Why not wait until they were sure?"

      Because the City of Encinitas made an offer to purchase the property contingent on aborting the auction. If they proceeded with the auction, the City offer would have been withdrawn. EUSD was forced to choose between the City's known offer, and the unknown result of the auction. EUSD decided a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

      If you abort an auction process, the ethical thing to do is either return the sealed envelopes to their owners, or shred them unopened. One of the important parameters of the auction was the date. Real estate markets go up and down, credit markets go up and down, business conditions go up and down. Any bids submitted would be specific to a point in time. If the deal with the City fell through, EUSD can't just hold the bids for months and open them at any random date to choose a winner. If the city deal fell through, they'd have to reboot the auction process and let bidders reevaluate their offer in light of current information.

      "No developer in their right mind would bid on this property if it could not be rezoned. Developers have a lot of money and they could have easily used their own attorneys if they could have figured out a way to zone it differently"

      Developers likely could not get the property rezoned on their own, no matter how much money they have for lawyers. It would require a Prop A vote, which would fail for sure. However, EUSD probably could get the property rezoned without a Prop A vote. There is a provision in state law that surplus school property must be rezoned at the request of a school district to the zoning of the surrounding neighborhood. When state and local laws conflict, the Doctrine of Preemption means that the state law wins. In this case, we have a conflict about how a rezoneing is to take place. Our local law says we have to have a public vote. But state law says that surplus school property must be rezoned similar to the surrounding neighborhood.

      Since the state law only applies to surplus school property owned by a school district, only EUSD has standing to invoke the zoning change under state law. Once the property is sold to someone else, it ceases to be surplus school property, and the new owner cannot request the zoning change.

      So, EUSD setup the auction to allow bidders to submit a bid "conditioned upon the potential rezoning of the property" during a long escrow period. In other words, a winning bidder would have to wait for EUSD to jump through the legal hoops to get the property rezoned to R15 under state law. Only after the rezoning would the sale be finalized, money paid, and the bidder would take title to PV as an R15 property.

    6. 9:13, "I have been told there were no sealed bids"

      I love hearsay from the anonymous about the anonymous, but I recommend you don't bet on it.

    7. 11:13- So why did they stop the bidding before the closing date? Just because someone posts anonymously doesn't mean they don't know something. I know staff does it all of the time. And, we all know that if Dr. Lori uses her name you can be sure there will be postings from Jerome and his cronies that are not flattering.

    8. BTW, you can thank a stupid City Council up near Long Beach for the state law in question.

      It's been a while since I read it, but the story goes that some school district up there had a surplus school property. By a vote of the City Council, the city rezoned the school property to "open space," which effectively destroyed any commercial value the property had. The school district was forced to sell the property to the city for peanuts. The City Council then turned around and rezoned the property again to light industrial, and sold it for a tidy windfall profit.

      They screwed the school district, and it was completely legal at the time.

      State lawmakers took notice, and changed the law to prevent it from happening again. That's why they put in a special path for surplus school property to be rezoned under state law and bypass the local zoning rules.

    9. 11:27 AM

      While it may have been the incident you mentioned that was the final straw, cities and school districts have been at odds for a long time over surplus schools sites. Since cities have the zoning power and, like Encinitas, most cities zone schools as some form of Public use, cities have great influence over potential property value.

    10. "EUSD was confident in their interpretation of state education code that allows for an automatic rezoning of surplus school properties." This interpretation is incorrect. There is no "automatic rezoning." Any rezoning, according to State law, must be done in accordance with local municipal ordinances and policy.

      "a clear reading of the applicable state statute requires the city to grant the school site the same surrounding zoning." This also misstates the facts.

      I don't know who is doing the "clear reading" but the actual statutory law states that the surplus school site can be rezoned so that the zoning is compatible with surrounding zoning, NOT "the same as." Also, it can only be rezoned if the restrictions and conditions of other parts of statutory law, including relevant sections of Education Code, such as the Naylor Act, have been adhered to.

      Barth, Shaffer and Kranz wanted so badly to take credit for the purchase of PV that they bowed down to Baird's unreasonable demands and paid far more than we had to. Shaffer and Kranz haven't learned a lesson in this, because they apparently can't see or admit their mistakes.

  11. One another topic. I was looking at Linked In yesterday and I saw that Marlena Medford, the former Communications Director for Encinitas, is now working at Peak Democracy. Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't she the one who hooked the City up with Peak Democracy in the first place? Are we still using it? Is this payback of some kind? Just wondering.

    1. I was under the impression that Vina chose Peak Democracy and hired Medford to manage it, but I could be wrong.

      After Peak Democracy's numerous and irreparable flaws came out, the council terminated the contract.

    2. If you are on Linked In you can check it yourself EU. If anyone else is on Linked In, same thing.

  12. What is so interesting is that you yahoos seem to forget that Gus boy already arranged for payment for the life guard tower, but here we are again putting out another $3M. Which begs the question, how many more lives will be saved by building this Taj Mahal??

  13. Marlena Medford

    Director of Government Outreach and Communications at Peak Democracy Inc

    Encinitas, California
    Online Media


    Peak Democracy Inc


    The City of Encinitas, SteelOrbis,


    University of Oklahoma

    ConnectSend Marlena InMail
    Contact Info

    Invited 10 months ago

    Director of Government Outreach and Communications
    Peak Democracy Inc
    June 2015 – Present (5 months)
    Communications Officer
    The City of Encinitas
    December 2013 – June 2015 (1 year 7 months)Encinitas, CA

    Oversee the communications effort for the City of Encinitas, including media relations, community outreach, website development, social media management, digital newsletter production and emergency response.

    1. All that and $5 will get me a ticket on the coaster....

    2. Medford spent a year allegedly researching all online forms of citizen input and picked Peak Democracy. She then "sold" it to Vina and the Council. Many citizens suggested it was not a great program as it was not statistically reliable nor valid. Council said it didn't care. I believe we are still using it, but I could be wrong. So now she has left the City and is working for Peak Democracy. Perhaps she just found that they were a better place to work, although they are headquartered in Berkeley. Or, maybe something else was going on. I have no idea. It does seem a bit odd.

    3. If she picked it, she had way less than a year. Medford's hiring was announced in November 2013, and Peak Democracy was announced in February 2014.

      Even if Vina hadn't pre-selected Peak Democracy specifically, Medford's task was impossible.

      Everyone knows internet polls are completely invalid. If you put safeguards in place to make sure respondents aren't multiple-voting or otherwise gaming the system, you make it so cumbersome that you get almost no participation.

      There was no online system Medford could have chosen that would have accomplished what the city claimed it wanted: a legitimate tool for gathering public opinion.

    4. The only statistical valid poll is a statistically valid poll. Voluntary response surveys are never statistically valid as there is no way to validate that the results fully represents the target population. The best you can do is estimate. To continue to rap PD for not being statistically valid is pointless and distracting. It was never intended to be.

      As far as the PD selection, at the time there were only a few companies out there with similar capabilities to PD. It wouldn't have taken long to evaluate them.

      "If you put safeguards in place to make sure respondents aren't multiple-voting or otherwise gaming the system, you make it so cumbersome that you get almost no participation." So are you saying any kind of input via the internet is impossible? You are also saying, in effect, this blog and others like it are a waste of time because they don't fully represent a given population.

      PD was modified to allow people to not only respond to questions but also provide development scenarios. It wasn't perfect and I haven't seen a system out there that is but it did allow people to give their input without having to come to city hall. The real problem is most people here don't want any solution to updating and certifying a housing element. Anything that moves that ball forward by definition has to be bad.

    5. But PD data were going to be used to inform the HEU maps and building preferences. It allowed for multiple votes and votes from non residents. That is not a tool that should be used to move anything forward.

      And people just might stop opposing the HEU if the the council stops lying about the HEU. Yes, that would be a good start.

    6. 3:47,

      I never said anything about statistical validity.

      PD is manipulable, which is far worse than simply statistically invalid, especially when it's going to be accepted as official public input in creating housing maps.

      It was complete idiocy (or worse, cynical deception) for Vina and the council majority to use PD's bogus responses as official public input.

    7. 5:37 PM

      PD monitored the input for the HEU to detect multiple entries. It wasn't perfect and it wasn't 100% but it was a far cry from the gaming scenarios people feared here. Many Encinitas citizens used PD in good faith but people here appear to want to throw those away. If you've looked at the public comments from PD that was included in the Feb. 3 & 5 2015 agenda report you'll see a fair distribution of responses. There doesn't appear to be any skewing. That said, we don't know if the PD distribution reflects the general Encinitas population. Just like we don't know if the people who speak at council meetings fairly reflect the general Encinitas population.

      The idiocy is not doing anything if it isn't perfect.

    8. Was just another bogus fluff position....

  14. That is because the housing element is a flawed idea that benefits a few and not the greater good

    1. 4:41 PM

      Maybe so but it's been state law for many years and was part of the recent BIA lawsuit. The settlement agreement includes the city passing a certified housing element. If we fail to do it, it will wind up back in court. I'm sure we can count on you to pony up a little extra to pay the legal fees.

    2. The state law says that cities have to back up housing needs with acceptable research. They spent the money on research and didn't like what residents had to say, so they are trying to go with the proxy of 30 units per acre that the state also allows. It would have been nice to know before they wasted millions of dollars and abused residents with endless educational opportunities and surveys that were blended or not processed at all.

    3. Thanks for the standard "state law" fearmongering, cheerleader Tony. If the council's sneaky, non transparent HEU is an example of how honestly we can expect them to implement the HEU, I will take my chances with a State-appointed judge.

    4. 10:29 AM

      'Thanks for the standard "state law" fearmongering ...'. In case you didn't notice, the HEU was part of the BIA lawsuit and included in the settlement which requires the city to adopt a HEU and put it on the November 2016 ballot. So far that's cost us $350,000 but maybe you think lawyers aren't making enough off Encinitas.

      And what is this "State-appointed judge" angle? There will be no state appointed judge. Whether it is the judge who handled the BIA lawsuit or another Superior Court judge who gets assigned, their objective is to oversee a certified HEU not do the actual work.

    5. The BIA owns this town until we say they don't. The State-appointed judge is the standard council threat should residents dare question the HEU and vote no - perhaps you've not heard them threaten voters with that one, 11:32.

      So let's say the BIA beats the State judge to it - what happens then? What exactly is the result of a BIA suit? Per Prop A, upzoning goes to a vote of the people. Does the BIA - basically, a collective of rapacious thugs - somehow trump a vote guaranteed to residents?

    6. 1:42 PM

      If Prop A prevents the city from having a HEU it goes away either temporarily or permanently. A judge can do that. Just ask the city of Pleasanton which had a local initiative capping the number of residential units that prevented the city from getting its HE certified. So the judge nullified it and that was upheld by the Court of Appeals. State statute trumps local ordinances whether or not they were adopted by council vote or local initiative. Pleasanton spent $2 M to find that out.

      "So let's say the BIA beats the State judge to it ..." I don't know where you're coming up with this State-appointed judge. That's not the way it works. In the settlement agreement, Section 4 Judgement and Enforcement, Subsection (b) "The court shall retain continuing jurisdiction to effectuate the provisions of this agreement until the later of: ... (iv) adoption of an Updated Housing Element and the General Plan and Zoning Amendments as required by Section 3."

      "Does the BIA - basically, a collective of rapacious thugs - somehow trump a vote guaranteed to residents?" No the state does. A lawsuit is filed to get the city to follow the law. That's what happen in the Desert Rose lawsuit. It cuts both ways.

    7. Let me repeat myself for the last time: "this State-appointed judge" line comes from council's threats to residents. Go ask them where they got it from, as all are guilty of making the claim.

      I'll still take my chances with a judge over our council who, to a person, have been dishonest from the beginning about the HEU. That is why they are having trouble getting residents to swallow their stories.

      And this is not the first attempt at an HEU; previous ones were defeated because residents were not buying what the city was trying to sell them at the time. The council/city cannot for the life of them run an honest HEU campaign. Residents smell the rotten fish.

    8. 2:36 PM

      I don't recall ever hearing the council saying it that way but that is immaterial. I greatly suspect that a judge will defer to the council on the contents of the HEU. The judges concern will be that the HEU is legal and certifiable. A judge isn't going to do a deep dive on the HEU contents.

      I don't share your view that the HEU has been "... dishonest from the beginning ...". I think you just refuse to acknowledge what has to be done to get a certified HEU.

      You're obviously angry and bitter. I know where the rotten fish smell is coming from.

    9. I am angry and bitter and I'm not alone.

      Want to start with the secretive contact to the 95 parcel owners a year and a half ago? Follow that with the Andreen/Gaspar meeting with the 95 and developers as "stakeholders?" Want to explain why those meetings are not on the "transparent HEU process" timeline and would not have seen the light of day had one of the 95 not come forward?

      Start by explaining to the rest of us angry, bitter people why we should be ok with that and why you're obviously ok with that.

      Next we can move on to Murphy's RHNA allocation numbers and perhaps have you explain why our assigned numbers went from 1300 to 850 to 660 and back up to 1300. Murphy never made clear what happened there and the council never asked him. You find this honest, do you? You good with taking the city's word for the bouncing numbers doubling back up? How about that 20% buffer, while we're at it. Did you know about that and are you good with the council not revealing it to the public? You don't share the view that voters should know they're voting for an "allocation" that includes a 20% uplift? If not, why not?

      We can move on from there, but it's a start. And if these are all minor points to you, all I can say is "wow."

    10. 4:02 PM

      The fact that the 95 parcel owners were contacted is a nothing burger. If you're potentially going to change a parcel's zoning, as an owner I'd damn well want to be informed of that ahead of time so I have the chance to respond if I wanted to. Since it's only preliminary, there is no need to contact surrounding property owners. There is plenty of time for that. Go back and look at the minutes when the General Plan was first adopted and there were plenty of speakers advocating to zone their property a different use than proposed. That's how it works.

      I don't defend Andreen on anything.

      The changes in the RHNA had to do with what HCD will accept. HCD has accepted some and rejected others. Any comments about what our ultimate RHNA number will be refers to the target number of acres of higher density that the city will have to rezone. The city had hoped to convince HCD to allow them to use R-25 but staff told council HCD wasn't persuaded. For this RHNA cycle and the carryover from the last the allocation hasn't changed just the number of new affordable units to be planned for. The buffer refers to a little extra in the numbers in case some sites aren't accepted by HCD, and they review every site, so the city doesn't have to amend the EIR.

      "We can move on from there" You may be moving on but I'm done. This stuff has all been explained here in previous posts. I hope I'm wrong but you appear to have your mind made up and it would be a waste of my time to continue.

  15. One thing that I can add is that several times, in the past, professors at San Diego State asked the City Council if they would like them to use graduate students, who would get course credit, to help them design and implement a statistically valid and reliable questionnaire that could be sent to each household and could be verified by a specific coding system (which would make sure only that home answered, and it could not be copied) for a mere $1500.00. It seems like that would have been a win-win for the City and the citizens. However, the offer was turned down every time it was asked. Now, they don't ask and other cities and agencies of the government use them. It's to bad that some Councils have been that short sided, especially for that little amount of money. I know this to be true because I once asked for this to be done. I will not post my name, as I am sick to death of the City and its shenanigans, and after they read this post, if it had my name on it, they would now probably come begging. However, these slots are booked years in advance, as there really are some agencies out there that can see a little more in to the future. So, it's our loss and Peak Democracy's gain. As far as Medford, she told a few people that it was her that found Peak Democracy. Perhaps she did it before she was hired, when she was at the Patch, and that was a selling point in getting hired. I don't know. All I know is what she said and what she is doing now.

  16. Exchange with EUSD in June 2014:

    Please provide the records in whatever form possible of the bids that the Encinitas Union School District had from parties interested in purchasing the Pacific View Elementary School property when or before the city of Encinitas itself committed to the purchase.


    The sale of the Pacific View site was a confidential sealed bid auction with a deadline of 4:00 p.m., March 24, 2014, however, the City of Encinitas made the offer to purchase on March 20, 2014 which the Board of Trustees accepted on March 21, 2014, postponed the deadline to May 22, 2014 and then cancelled the auction on April 29, 2014. All interested parties were notified and requested to be removed from the bid process. Therefore, the District does not have any bids on file from the auction process.


    Am I reading correctly that the interested parties themselves asked to be removed from the bid process?

    Should I conclude that the District did have bids on file from the auction process but destroyed them after canceling the auction on April 29?


    We had a number of interested parties with the bid process going through the business department who would have destroyed documents since the auction was cancelled.

  17. Masterfully ambiguous wording, EUSD!

  18. 6:34

    Thanks for being pro-active and doing more than just complaining on this blog.

  19. Back to Peak Democracy, Medford has written about a new feature aptly named "Skip Logic." It is an adaptable feature that allows for users to be more efficiently herded into the answers PD is paid to produce. It is a high-tech solution for the hours of cherry picking and answer changing that Encinitas Planning has done in the past.

    1. Consider a survey with two questions:
      Do you own a car? Yes/No
      What color is your car?

      Skip logic allows the survey creator to make a rule such that if the answer to the first question is "no," then skip the second question.

    2. 9:18 AM

      You're wasting your time with 8:37 AM who doesn't understand survey methodology and doesn't want to learn. The line about Skip Logic, "It is an adaptable feature that allows for users to be more efficiently herded into the answers PD is paid to produce." says it all. PD is the work of the devil. Pity those poor people in Sunnyvale:

      "Using skip logic in this way can be a great way to ease people into more complex or involved surveys, without overwhelming them. That’s been the case in Sunnyvale, CA, where staff has used used skip logic to give people an opt-out option in a lengthy land use survey. Interestingly, when given the choice to quit or continue, most will decide to take the entire survey. At the time of this writing, more than 60 percent of the participants in Sunnyvale had elected to finish the survey. This suggests that giving people an option may actually encourage participation."

  20. Back to Medford. With her thin resume and not-great editorship of the Patch, it's now clear why she was brought in to fill a high-responsibility position at the city. She was a plant by Vina to push PD on residents and spin its supposed virtues. Not surprising coming from him, but did the council know what he was doing?

    1. 10:02 AM

      And just what are your credentials to be making statements like that? What experience do you have in public administration that gives you insight into their workings? What you write is nonsense and reflects your ignorance. Please stop.

    2. 10:02, explain how Medford as plant was not the case. Use your words.

  21. A public records request last year to the EUSD asked for any records or evidence to support Baird's claims, made in a March 2014 UT article that the district received 40 phone calls from interested buyers and that there were 10 to 15 buyer group visits to the site. EUSD responded that it had ZERO documents to support those claims - no phone logs, no emails, no requests to visit the site, no letters, nothing. How could all of that happen - 40 phone calls and 10 to 15 site visits with not a single paper or electronic record being created? EUSD pulled a fast one on the City; the only question is did Lisa and Tony know they were being tricked into thinking there was real interest in the property, or were they willfully ignorant. Any reasonably responsible steward of public money would have asked for confirmation from Baird to substantiate his claims of lots of interest prior to agreeing to that price.

    1. Tim Baird had a walk through of the Pacific View site for interested bidders, but also open to the public. Many members of the public were there wanting to get the tour. It included a former city council person. There were perhaps 10-15 builders and real estate people as potential bidders. The public asked some tough questions to make sure bidders were aware of the risks. The question about bringing 4th Street up to city standards (80 feet wide), first brought up by land use attorney Felix Tinkov to the council, was asked which could have reduced the net acreage by 20%. Questions about asbestos and the zoning change were also asked in front of all the potential bidders. Tim Baird was not happy, and even angrily told one person not to take any photos. Afterwards the meeting continued in the district offices. Part of the public went to that too. The intervention of the public may have discouraged bidders. It's believable that the city was the only bidder.

      Baird's claim has partial validity, but it paints a false picture of what actually took place.

    2. 6:00 PM

      Tinkov represents McPherson who owns the property opposite the northwest corner of PV. McPherson has said a number of times that he wants the access road to be an alley and not an extension of 4th Street. I assume the other property owners along there also feel the same way. Besides making it into a street would require moving the old school house.

      If the developers in attendance were experienced, I'm sure the things mentioned were already on their radar. I think you're giving those members of the public a little too much credit.

    3. You'd be surprised at how much the public knows, 6:20.

    4. 6:20 -- Keep repeating like a parrot, but repetition won't make it true. The truth leaked out that the city got taken to the cleaners. The stack of bids didn't exit. The bungled negotiations of City Manager Vina led to his being pushed out. When the council realized what happened, votes shifted on the council, and it was adios to Gus Vina.

    5. 6:58 AM

      Hmmm... So you're saying that an experienced developer wouldn't be thinking about the potential of a school built in the 50's possibly having asbestos? It only had occurred to them after a question from a member of the public. Or that they only would become aware of the difficulty to rezone the property from questions, again, from the general public?

      So while many here basically say the council does whatever developers want, the council wouldn't be inclined to rezone PV for those very same developers. Remember, the second time around two council persons did change their vote and approved the rezoning but since Gaspar recused herself, it died in a 2-2 tie.

      Your post reflects the duality that many here exhibit. On the one hand, developers (or council, etc) are evil geniuses but on the other hand are morons.

    6. 6:00 AM

      Do you remember the date of that walk-through? If Baird knew that interest had waned, but then represented to Kranz and Shaffer that interest was high, that is a problem for the district. It was very clear in the city council meeting where they announced the deal that this was a panic buy, driven by the belief (whether genuine or not) created by the district that there would be bidders.

  22. It's like anything else, if you say it long enough people will believe it. As I have said in caps before, there were no sealed bids. What else can I say without giving my name?

    1. 12:38 PM

      Talk about "... if you say it long enough people will believe it".

      "What else can I say without giving my name?" you could start by explaining why we should believe you. For instance, are you/were you an EUSD employee or board member? So far, as far as I'm concerned, you have no credibility.

    2. 3:37- All I can say is that I know what I posted is true. You don't have to believe me, that is your right. Perhaps someone who bid on the project would step up and put their name on this blog and then everyone could call me a liar. That would work for me.

    3. You still haven't explained what you mean by "no bids." Do you mean that none had been submitted yet when the auction was canceled a few days before the deadline? If so, you know that means nothing, right?

      Or do you mean that no bidders were preparing compliant bids for a an offer conditioned on EUSD rezoning the property to R15? If that's what you mean, then you'd need to explain how you had access to the private decision-making sessions in the offices of all local developers.

  23. We will never know if there were any bids because the auction was cancelled a few days prior to the bid date. However, it has been verified that the district has no evidence to support its claim that there were a lot of interested parties looking seriously at the property (and there would certainly be some document trail if there really were 10 to 15 site visits from interested parties - one of the district's claims).

    1. 4:21 PM

      Why you people want to rehash this is beyond me. If you had looked at surrounding properties on the Assessor's database you would have seen that $10 M for that whole block was not out of line. Of course that meant PV would have had to be rezoned to R-15. The council gave no credible reasons for denying it.

      Also, EUSD had agreed to sell PV to Art Pulse for $7.5 M plus some share of residential sales.

      I say this as someone who did not support buying PV, especially for $10 M. Not because I thought we were paying too much but because it was too much money given the city's other needs.

      What's done is done. Move on.

    2. Well, if EUSD misrepresented the interest level in the property in order to induce the City to purchase it at that price, then that is fraud, which has a 4 year statute of limitations, and the City could sue the EUSD for the excess over the FMV. One other thing you need to consider, the sale was after Prop A. Any re-zone would have to go to a general vote, and the result would have certainly been no. So, the proper zoning on which to base the value would be the current zoning, not R-15 which would have never happened.

    3. Really?

      So you are suggesting that the intent of state lawmakers was to pass a law that says surplus schools "shall" be rezoned to the surrounding neighborhood, but that the local ordinances and processes must be followed.


      If that's the case, then what actual effect does the state law have? Why have a state law at all about zoning of surplus school property, if the city zoning is business as usual?

      Think about it. Because that's exactly the issue a judge would consider: was it the intent of the legislature to enact a law that has no purpose or effect? (Hint: the answer rhymes with "snow").

      Not that it mattered to bidders in the auction. Because the rules of the auction made rezoning EUSD's problem--not the bidders. EUSD was soliciting "a bid price CONDITIONED UPON THE POTENTIAL REZONING OF THE PROPERTY TO RESIDENTIAL (DR-15)" (emphasis mine).

      As in, the rezoning is a condition of sale. As in, if EUSD can't deliver on the rezoning, then the bidder doesn't have to buy the property. As in, EUSD was indemnifying bidders against the risk of rezoning. As in, bidders were bidding on the value of the property as though it were already DR-15.

      I'm struggling to come up with more simple ways to say it.

    4. No, the state law does NOT say that that surplus schools "shall" be rezoned "to the surrounding neighborhood. It only states that if State Education Code, including the Naylor Act, has been complied with, then surplus school sites shall be rezoned so that the new zoning is "compatible" with adjacent properties.

      This potential rezoning is only to take place after certain conditions have been met. Baird bamboozled the public, and so did his compliant Board of Trustees, with the exception of former EUSD Trustee Mo Muir.

      Vina was a terrible negotiator. But Council's dissatisfaction with him may have had more to do with the YMCA baseball fields, how the renewal of that lease played out, rather than his mishandling of PV.

  24. I did not make any of the posts above. I'm weighing in for the first time on this. I was told by a person extremely close to the discussion of the EUSD board that there were no other bids on Pacific View. I believe this person, but can say no more. I can say the person has high credibility and was connected in a way that gave him access to the information.

    1. 5:14, For whatever reason, your associate is highly mistaken.

  25. Pacific View is 2.8 acres.

    At the EUSD guaranteed rezoning of R15, that translates to 42 residential units (more if Density Bonus is invoked).

    $10M / 42 = $238K land cost per unit. Even small units that close to the beach would sell for $1M.

    That leaves $762K per unit.

    At 1800 square ft per unit, and cost of plans, permits, utilities, and construction of $300/square ft., that puts the cost to build each unit at $540K.

    $540K + $238K= $778K total cost per unit.

    Which would leave $222K gross profit per unit.

    Even after paying cost of sales, you are looking at 170K profit per unit, or a total haul of over $7M on the project.


    There would have been bidders.

    1. Base density is calculated on net acreage, not on gross acreage. A parcel of 2.8 acres would need a private road which would have to be deducted. There is the cost of tear down and grading. Remember that part of the property is fill, which would need to be stabilized. On site parking is required and building underground parking to maximize net acreage is very expensive and is problematic so close to the bluff.


      There may not have bee bidders.

  26. 5:30 sounds just like Lisa Shaffer, who has stated in council that there’s “no need to contact surrounding property owners.” Interesting comment, considering no one in this discussion raised it; this poster introduced that opinion, one that only Shaffer has voiced. I seriously doubt the nearby homeowners would agree with her view, not that she would ask.

    That poster also has the inside story about HCD: none of those details have ever been made public, per City SOP. No doubt “staff” sold Council their their line and rather than question it, they bought the explanation wholesale. Shaffer especially is guilty of relying, without hesitation, on staff.

    The “little extra” buffer sounds like her dismissing the approximately 250 houses we were not allocated; notice that 5:30 doesn’t address the fact that residents still have not been told they’ll be voting for a buffer number in addition to the real one. Shaffer has brushed off the “buffer” when questioned before. Perhaps the 250 would fit neatly in her neighborhood.

    The refusal to acknowledge and actually deal with issues with is a hallmark of Shaffer’s attitude. She loves nothing more than to “just move ahead and put that behind us.” Not moving on to further investigation and true understanding, but the kind of moving on that means no lessons are ever learned.

    1. 9:14 AM

      But I'm not Shaffer and staff has discussed at various council meetings what they hope to get HCD to accept and what didn't work out (i.e. R-25). The November election is just over a year away. There is plenty of time to hash the HEU and its EIR.

      Staff did mention at council meetings trying to have a buffer and explained why.

      I watch the council meetings on TV. Since you have your mind already made up, you either don't watch (or attend) the meetings and if you do, don't listen to what's being said. I just don't automatically discount what's being said as all lies which you appear to do.

      As far as "just move ahead and put that behind us" there will be plenty of opportunity for the public to weigh in on the HEU. We have until next summer to prepare it and a ballot measure.

      You really are grasping at straws.

    2. Since you seem to have the insider track, care to explain why the 95 parcel owner communications is still not on the HEU timeline? Why it's being sold as creating affordable housing when in reality nearly all will be market rate? Why no one knows why the numbers bounced around and settled at the max? Why the 20% buffer isn't being communicated publicly?
      I could go on from there, but gather you prefer these pesky questions stop so we can move forward and hear about it next year. The city would like nothing better than to get away with providing as little information as possible upfront and instead spend our taxpayer money frightening us into voting "yes." By starting now with fearmongering, they'll have as long as possible between now and the vote. Remember: the council cannot campaign closer to election time. Unless, of course, they repeat their Prop A "we're not campaigning, nope not us" antics of holding "personal informational sessions."

      You really are trying to get folks to ignore what's really happening.

    3. 11:28 PM

      I'd say you have the fear mongering technique nailed down.

      Here is the What's Next from the At Home in Encinitas webpage:

      May-December 2015: City staff prepares Draft EIR

      November 2015: Public input on draft design guidelines and proposed changes to the zoning code

      December-February 2016: Draft EIR public review and comment period

      February-March 2016: City staff prepares responses to comments on Draft EIR

      April 2016: Final EIR published

      Late Spring 2016: Planning Commission recommendation and City Council decision on Plan and endorsed plan to be referred to Encinitas voters

      November 2016: Public vote on new housing plan

      So it looks like we're only weeks away from jumping back into the HEU. Plenty of time to ask those "pesky" questions but I'm quite confident you won't accept the answers and will continue to claim that staff don't want to answer them and continue to be "sneaky".

    4. You still haven't addressed the issues raised about lack of transparency and whether you are ok with what's gone down so far.

      Plans all look good on paper, but past city performances show a whole lot of dog and pony and not much truth. Why should we expect anything different in future?

      You folks going to admit the inconvenient truth that affordable housing produced will be virtually nil? Or are you planning to continue pushing the bogus claims that everyone wants to live dense and high so they can walk and bike to work and that seniors have abandoned their cars and are clamoring to live in shoeboxes?

      Or are you going to continue to be sneaky? Because anything less than the bald truth is, by any definition, sneaky.

    5. I'm not 12:05, but . . .

      It wouldn't matter.

      If the city uses overlay zones to force unit production to be actual affordable housing, you'd just change stripes and claim they were trying to turn Encinitas into a drug and crime infested slum.

      If they go with R30, per state law, you'll cry that they are just building luxury condos.

      If they do a blend, you'll say they are simultaneously creating slums and condos for the 1%.

      You see, there is no compliant HEU, and no process to create an HEU that you would support.

      Because you are an obstructionist.

      Prove me wrong.

      Tell us the outlines of an HEU that complies with state law that you would tell your neighbors to vote for.

      I'll be here holding my breath.

  27. The housing element is finished and on it last round to HCD for approval. Residents haven't seen in a public hearing the first draft presented to HCD not the second draft sent to HCD in September. Slimey, planners have continued to act as if there is plenty of time to comment on the housing element while the council allows the planners actions
    Remember, the vote is on the housing element with all its new programs that gives developers and the BIA more fodder for new lawsuits.

    1. The HEU isn't finished. It's my understanding that staff is asking HCD to bless their approach. If HCD approves the approach they will still have to review and certify the final HEU.

      HCD preapproval is just a preliminary step. Why get preliminary approval? Because it's easier to make changes based on HCD feedback without having to go through rounds of public meetings. Of course you will counter that this being "sneaky" but the final draft will still have go through public meetings, planning commission and the council and there is no guarantee that changes won't be made to the HEU based on everyone's input. And those changes may affect HCD's approval.

      But you don't care about this as 1:35 PM points out and your reference to "slimey" planners gives you away. It's spelled "slimy" by the way.

      And just so you know, I've argued this with you not in the hopes of changing your mind. My goal is to show your arguments aren't credible. Whether someone agrees with the final HEU will be up to them. I just don't want anyone to become biased before reading the document.

    2. And the rest of us have the same goal :)

      And you still haven't responded as to why you're ok with the severe examples of lack of transparency. Something about a "burger" ?? is hardly enlightening if you're trying to win people over to your side, which is still completely unclear. Ignoring specific arguments is hardly going to win anyone over; instead it just demonstrates a wish on your part to gloss over the process' failure thus far, hardly compelling.

    3. Howdy.

      1:35 here.

      Still holding my breath.

    4. Per SANDAG, Encinitas produced .5% between 2009 and 2013 - that's point five percent - of its RHNA allotment from all the wonderful density bonus projects that have blighted our neighborhoods.

      You want an acceptable HEU, which will basically be a blank check to more density bonus projects that under the HEU will bring added density and height in the name of affordable housing? Not going to happen on the current path.

      Force true affordable housing and I'll talk to my neighbors. Stop lying about who's going to benefit, hiding behind-the-scenes meetings with developer "stakeholders" and maybe we can vote for it.

      The city's problem is that honesty will earn them a rejected HEU at the polls. Depending on residents not finding out the dishonesty is not a reasonable expectation.

    5. No exhale yet.

      Where exactly would you put our RHNA allocation?

      Which parcels, either identified on the city's maps or not?

    6. Which allocation? 1285, 853, or 669? All came from the mouth of Murphy. To which do you refer, and can you spin a tale as to why the large discrepancies? Or perhaps you're not allowed to tell?

      Still waiting for your response on just how ok you are with city half-truths as described earlier. You ok with all that, interested insider?

    7. 11:13 PM

      As a kid on a farm, I had to catch piglets to be castrated. I can attest that you are a lot slippery than they were and believe me they were pretty slippery.

      By the way, are you talking about the RHNA allocation that was agreed to in the SANDAG document for this cycle, the RHNA allocations for this cycle and the last one combined, or the difference between the combined RHNA allocations and the units HCD will give us create for. The last number is what we have to plan for. As I understand it, staff has gotten HCD to accept some units that they at first rejected which would reduce the number the city has to plan for.

      I'm sad to say I think your problem is either this is all over your head or you just refuse to learn the nuances. Hopefully, others don't have that problem.

    8. 11:13,

      How about this:

      Just for sake of argument, take the lowest number. 669. I think we can all agree that a compliant HEU will need to account for at least that number (probably more).

      Where would you put 669 future growth units?

    9. Sorry you take questioning the process as "slippery." That you are not disturbed about the changing number tells you're a city insider.

      The SANDAG number reports on the percent of actual affordable units produced vs. the allocated number over the 4-year period. .5 percent is abysmal and shows just how concerned "affordable housing advocate" developers are about creating affordable housing.

      Feathering developer nests as a reason to upzone is going to be a hard sell to the average resident, not that the city is forthcoming about that being the real reason we're asked to upzone.

      I'm not taking your bait to place units because you're asking me to place market-rate units. This is the infamous "dots" exercise all over again. At the risk of repeating myself: the city has a problem, but it's not mine to solve.

    10. Okay then. I'll just keep holding my breath.

      I've made the observation that you are an obstructionist. It's based on the premise that there is no HEU process you would approve of, and no compliant HEU you would support.

      I don't think your points have any credibility, because your intent is not to make the process or the HEU better. Your intent is to attack them no matter what.

      You can't expect to be taken seriously in your criticism of the process, when what you really want is to blow up the process.

      Of course, I'm always open to new information. Any time you want to prove me wrong, just come back and describe the process and outline of an HEU that complies with state law that you'd support.

    11. 3:12 PM

      I admire you for trying and, at least in print, remaining calm.

      "I'm not taking your bait to place units ...". That says it all. My hope is that others realize that this is not a serious person and to disregard the rants. There is being a concerned citizen and there is being, as you so eloquently stated, an obstructionist.

      Whether people realize it or not, I often look things up before posting to be as accurate as possible. This person just wears me (and others) out. I don't have the time or the patience.

  28. 2:00 PM
    Find the letter on the city website then come with your excuses.

    1. The HCD July 3, 2015 review response to Encinitas' first HEU draft can be found here (Pdf):

      The September 10, 2015 city cover letter to HCD for reviewing the second draft is here (Pdf):

      HCD has 60 days to review and respond back to the city. As you no doubt have noticed, only 34 days have elapsed and I could find no review letter for the second draft. So we don't know whether HCD has approved it.

      Why would I need excuses?

      By the way, I hope this hasn't taken you away from proving 9/11 was an inside job. So many questions there have gone unanswered.

    2. Nice, nasty attempt at discrediting a concerned citizen who surely is not alone in his/her views.

      Don't look now, but your mask just slipped.

    3. 6:03 PM

      I have many entries above trying to rationally explain the process and this person refuses to listen. I encourage questions from concern citizens and I don't hold it against them if they are mis/uninformed. Nobody knows everything. I think 1:35 PM (who I am not) best described it.

      Was my 9/11 reference nasty? Maybe but it was more from exasperation. There are people who come here to learn the issues. Hopefully, those people will be voting on the HEU next November. I want them to vote on the HEU merits and not be poisoned by conspiracy theories.

      Sorry if this doesn't align with your intentions.

    4. You outline city plans for workshops, big whoop. "Input" is twisted by consultants and spit out the other side is unrecognizable from the original comments. Excuse residents if they're suspicious of more of the same in the upcoming rounds you tout.

      And anyone who questions or opposes the HEU is "misinformed?" Are you SURE you're not Lisa??

    5. 1:06 PM

      I didn't outline or tout anything. I cut and pasted what was on the city's website. Get a grip.

      "Input" is also twisted by commenters here.

      I think I would know if I was Lisa. I just ran over to the mirror to verify it. I can say definitely that I'm not Lisa.

  29. 9:42 AM
    You understand that the vote will be on the housing element update, not just the parcel maps. At the March council meeting Murphy told the council that he wanted to send the maps, not the housing element document to HCD for their comments on upzoning sites. Murphy also said there would be other times to comment on the housing element. This was a lie by Murphy and staff.
    In May Murphy sent a completed housing element (the first draft) for HCD approval. This first draft was never presented to the residents nor the council for a hearing. In early July Murphy received the HCD letter with what they wanted to see in the housing element. This July HCD letter was never presented to the residents nor the council in a hearing. Sept. 10 a revised 2nd draft of the housing element seen only by the planning staff was sent to HCD with a request from Ranu that HCD find substantial conformance with the submitted draft HE. The Sept. 10 HE was not presented to the residents not the council in a hearing.
    HCD may find substantial conformance with this 2nd draft that was never seen by the public or the council. However, the residents have been shut out of any comments for deleting objectionable programs, wording, etc, from these two submitted drafts with Murphy and Ranu's complete disregard for residents and council input.
    Residents and the council have been tricked and lied to by Murphy, Ranu, and other planning staff.

    1. 10:38 AM

      The benefit of continually making things up like you're doing is you wear out people who try to honestly refute your nonsense. But you've surpassed that point to venture into the very thing you accuse staff of. Lying.

      "... Murphy told the council that he wanted to send the maps, not the housing element document to HCD for their comments on upzoning sites." If you knew anything about the way HCD works you would know that they need the documents, policies and detailed site inventory for their review even if they are drafts.

      You are simply lying. You have become not only untruthful but untrustworthy and down right mean.

      So post documents to the webpage is hiding?

    2. 11:41 AM

      I should have written:

      So the city posting the documents to the Housing Update webpage is hiding them?

  30. 11:41 AM
    There's no making things up. No public hearings by Murphy and Ranu. You have other information that details public hearings on the first draft and the second draft before they were sent to HCD?

    1. 12:06 PM

      At their March 11 meeting council directed staff to submit the conceptual (draft) HEU to HCD for substantial compliance determination. The council was advised that this normally is an iterative process and to expect HCD to require some changes. Council did not direct staff to return to them before resubmitting to HCD a revised HEU. I'm sure they all saw HCD's July 3 review letter.

      So your ire should be directed at council. However, HCD cannot officially certify the HEU until it has been formally adopted by council which would be preceded by approval of the planning commission.

      Instead of pursuing this conspiracy theory, why don't you read the current draft of the HEU and tell us what's wrong with it.

    2. What the he$$ does iterative have to do with the housing element and was iterative the word used and who used.

    3. If you don't know what an iterative process means, then google it.

    4. 7:48 PM

      Sadly 10:29 PM, I see what the problem is. "What the he$$ does iterative have to do with the housing element". It's almost like English is a second language. And what's with the "$$" instead of just writing "hell"?

      I'll just step back carefully so as not to further arouse this person and allow them to continue to mutter and rant to themselves. Hopefully, they'll get help.

  31. 12:32 PM
    Really, the council knew? You say - " I'm sure they all saw HCD's July 3 review letter." And you know this how? The public didn't see this July 3 letter from HCD. If the public didn't know about the letter how would the council know?

    1. 12:39 PM

      Oh my God! Is it possible that council members talk to staff without inviting the public in? Could council know things that the public doesn't?

      For the record, I have no confirmation that any of the council saw the HCD letter but since the HEU is very high profile, based on my experience (not in Encinitas), I assumed staff would want to keep the council apprised of the progress. I know this doesn't comport with your conspiracy theory.

    2. You assume a lot about what "staff" tell the council, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. And we're not talking small-ticket items here, either.

      Rossini Creek discharge warnings from the State ring a bell? News to the council till it was too late. How many "I wasn't told" Shaffer newsletters have gone out? Too many to count. But perhaps that doesn't comport with your insider reality.

    3. 2:39 PM

      Then show up next week and ask them during Oral Communications.