Saturday, January 30, 2016

City releases draft EIR for high-density development plans

EIR being "environmental impact report," that is. Many of the environmental impacts presumably being increased gridlock and vehicle exhaust on Encinitas' already-congested main thoroughfares.

The full set of documents are here. The maps of proposed high-density development are here.


  1. I wonder how many will actually read it.

    Seems many already have made up their mind in advance of relevant information and the drafting of a proposal and mitigation.

    1. 7:47 AM
      Good luck to you in deciphering this sloppily disjoined tower of Babel.

  2. The City has burned the Citizens soooo many times, there is zero support for anything the existing City staff produces.

    Until Karen cuts the massive deadwood at City Hall, the citizens will never support something proposed by staff.

  3. So let's get this straight. The city paid RECON $300K for a 750 page report that mostly reprints material that the city bought from other consultants? That makes a lot of sense!

    1. Hey - it's only taxpayers' money!

  4. 8:33 AM
    It's actually closer to half a million dollars. The city calls it repurposing. Like repurposing old tennis shoes for yard work or repurposing that left over steak into hash. The EIR will also be repurposed. They can use it in the restroom stalls.

  5. Nothing new in the draft EIR. Anyone who has been following the process will know what is in it.

    The use of the term "village center" is the worst offense. Staff came up with this term a few years ago to deceive the pubic by not calling it what it really is -- a denser urban center. Didn't anyone look up the definition of the word "village?" It's a "small community or group of houses in a rural area, larger than a hamlet, usually smaller than a town, sometimes incorporated a a municipality."

    Here's what it says about the Cardiff Village Center:

    "Established mixed use town center, at a relatively low scale with a unique character.

    Opportunities for multi-family housing in a 'village" setting, sensitive to existing character."

    I love the part about "low scale with a unique character." The area can already build to 2 stories, yet plans say to 2-3 stories. It's a sneaky way to upzone to 3 stories without actually saying it clearly.

    Adios transparency.

  6. I bet "high density" must mean all buildings will be "higher" like 3 stories.

    1. Yes, Prop A made it only possible to increase density by spreading the density out rather than up, its math and science not 'wishin' and hopin'. Ask Everett and Bruce.

    2. Prop A requires that any increases in zoning (density, intensity of use) or height above 2 stories/30 feet goes to a vote of the people.

      Ask the initiative itself for a real answer.

  7. The document is hard to follow, unless you have time to read the whole thing carefully. They should have a final map at the end. My quick read indicates for all the talk of Cardiff Village Center, the final map excludes it from any changes. So, why is it that they talk about something only to rule it out. Their thinking process is of interest, but I want to see the final map, with specific words, like 3 story could go here, 2 story could go here, 20 units could go here, etc. They do themselves a big disservice by not being clear and explicit.

    1. Yes, Cardiff and Olivenhain have largely escaped the density push, with Leucadia and Old and New Encinitas getting the worst.

    2. EU- how did Cardiff escape if the document creates floating zoning that the council of five can then force on all 7 blocks of Cardiff? This is why they want the rail trail, it will create the future argument that Cardiff if a rail oriented town and needs increased density.

    3. Good point.

      Cardiff escaped on the current maps, but if the Prop A termination clause is left in, it's game on for developers in the next round.

    4. Cardiff escaped any Density because of Catherine B. she cut some deal with Mark and Kristen to allow them some input in exchange for leaving enough room for the Rail Traila nd Homeless new home in Glen Park to keep all the high density in Leucadi and New Encinitas. Cadriff should be happy.

    5. Ah, but the prop A clause will stay firmly in. Considering it's buried at the back of the floating zones document, the city's intent to "kill it" as Tony once said, is crystal clear.

    6. 4:44. Wrong. The plan for Cardiff came from MIG, Gus, Stocks and BARTH. Shaffer, Kranz and Blakespear have just kept it on track. The MIG-Norby-Barth plan always had the floating zoning wording to give the city the right to increase density anywhere, anytime they want. The reason Cardiff avoided zoning density increase thus far is the work of citizens and a movie showing the shady actions of staff and contractors to mislead the public.

  8. Planning Dept.'s minions at each of the five HEU public meetings were caught repeatedly lying about what this turd would bring if it passes the voting process. Many community members attended in order to listen in on their pitch to unsuspecting people who genuinely came to learn what this HEU was all about and ended up constantly correcting Plannings disinformation to these uniformed community members.

    Absolutely shameful behavior that would not last in the public sector and yet, here in Encinitas, it is known standard operating procedure. Where else would this be tolerated?

    Karen, please fire these shameless liars asap. You know who the biggest culprits are and so do those citizens who have been paying close attention. Their names have been proffered repeatedly, so no need now to repeat them. You know who they are and we are waiting for some declarative action on your part.

    Please don't wait until this fails to pass the vote. Don't imagine it is just a few of the usual suspects who will vote this down. There are many more who can't afford the time to publicly participate who despise this behavior by Planning and this regurgitated plan they are trying to pass off as something new. It is not, except for the fact that it will gut any Prop A protections and disenfranchise the public from having any say over future developer schemes to get around our current zoning.

    Please Karen, tell these Planning Staff members to start looking for another job.

  9. Karen has no power, haven't you figured that out yet? Jeesh!

    1. Karen serves "at the pleasure of the Council." If the Council didn't defer constantly to staff, residents could address their concerns to the Council and be heard.

      But no, you get nothing from the Council and instead drop right back down to the bottom of the food chain where the real power lies.

      Ever seen an Escher picture of the stairs going up that somehow send you down? That is the perfect image of our city in sad action.

  10. They use words like Smart Growth, Holistic approach, Intelligent balanced zen development.

    Bottom line for me is if increases density from existing general plan, its a no vote for me.

    why to I want more people on the streets, beaches, waves, and the noise and pollution that comes with them.

    If they want to live here, pay the price or move to San Marcos and come here when you can. There is not enough land to build here and keep the same charactor that currently exists.

    So after all the bullshit the bottomline is

    1. Do you like Encinitas with the density of today. If so, vote no in the election or

    2. Do you want to increase density and become more like huntington beach? -- if so, vote yes on the housing element update.

    Its that simple.

    1. Huntington beach is the perfect example. The rail trail is exactly the concrete, sterile infusion to create the vibe of HB, as well as mid rise 3 story dense rat trap housing. The traffic is jammed on encinitas blvd as well as several other spots. Quality of life? Look at how several of the council members present themselves and you can see at least three of them don't care about health or well being, and it translates in this EIR.

    2. Question: did the construction of your house increase the population?

    3. no. my house predates my birthyear and all the birthyears of my wife and kids. Net no gain polluters.

      Thanks for asking.

      The developers and lawyers just want to sell out our high quality of life for their profits. Its that simple.

    4. Really? So. . .

      At some point, no house.

      Then, your house was built, and I assume a family moved in.

      Yada yadda yadda, no population growth.

      Good for you. Maybe you can teach us how this works exactly, and we can apply it to future construction projects.

      Problem solved. (Dusty hands gesture)

    5. 7:12, There either should or should not be a concept of a city "full grown". Its obvious which mindset you subscribe to. The less congested Encinitas is, the healthier, happier and safer we'll all be. Migrate to Carlsbad. They have countless acres of open space to help you attain your ambitious dreams.

    6. 7:30,

      Here's the mindset I subscribe to:

      1.) No coastal city in the history of Califonia has ever become "full grown," and stopped or reversed population growth. It has literally never happened. Hundreds of cities on the coast. Never. Not one.

      My humble conclusion is that you, me, and any collection of activists or council members are highly unlikely to achieve that objective.

      2.) If the more likely future includes some growth, should we (a.) let it happen randomly, with no plan, or (b.) figure out a plan? I vote B.

      3.) I also believe in our representative republic, order, and the Doctrine of Preemption. I think things generally work better when we all agree to be bound by a social contract--where we follow rules like: don't steal from others, don't drive drunk, and pay the taxes you legally owe. Like that last one, sometimes it isn't fun to follow the law. In such cases, it might be a good idea to use our personal talents and resources to get the law changed. But we should still follow it even as we work for change. The one exception to this rule--if the law is inherently immoral or evil. Rosa Parks was the definition of righteous in her willful disregard for Jim Crow.

      Maybe that's where we disagree, friend.

      In my humble opinion, state housing law is a flawed Frankenstein creature that is an obvious product of strange bedfellows--the right-wing real estate developer bloc, and the leftie granola affordable housing advocates. There is nothing magical about R30 that creates housing for poor people. But it does create housing below the median price of similar-sized detached homes. And so it may fail miserably at creating housing for our WalMart cashiers, it may create housing that would outgrew use be out of reach for the WalMart managers.

      Not cheap, but cheap-ER.

      It's an imperfect law, but most are. It's imperfect, but not evil--in my view anyway.

      If you think the HEU and Jim Crow are morally equivalent then I guess we just disagree on that point. Maybe one day after we're all long gone, they'll be speaking your name as they tell the tale of how an act of civil disobedience led Encinitas to become the first California city in history to stop population growth.

    7. BS- Plenty of cities have stopped growing, Del Mar, pebble beach, subburbs of Santa Barbara.

      Lets take the no/slow growth model and not the build dense 3 story building walmart approach. We can always upzone in the future if we decide we want 3 or 5 story buildings in the future.

    8. "Many of the environmental impacts presumably being increased gridlock and vehicle exhaust on Encinitas' already-congested main thoroughfares..."
      Which is exactly what the Cardiff Rail Trail will do if it is allowed to go ahead. Catherine said in her last 'Blog' that there is nothing that can be done to stop it; except she left out that a Recall of her would stop this project dead in its tracks.

    9. 5:20 says Del Mar has stopped population growth.

      Del Mar says they have an HCD approved Housing Element that accommodates projected growth, and RHNA allocation for all income categories:

      5:20 says Pebble Beach has stopped population growth. Pebble Beach isn't a city, but rather an unincorporated part of Monterey County, which also has a Housing Element that accommodates all RHNA growth numbers:

      5:20 says suburbs of Santa Barbara have stopped growth. Yet, Goleta has a certified HEU, and places like Montecito are unincorporated parts of Santa Barbara County, who--well, you know:

      So who are we to believe?

      5:20, or, well, facts?

    10. I believe 5:20 and facts.

      Bottom line is I will always support any candidate that is no growth. kill the housing element.

    11. 7:10,

      I respect that.

  11. PS - Quit having so many fricken kids.

    1. Right, no more rug rats to take care of.

    2. No. no more human overpollution issue. Learn about human control

  12. They can't steamroll Prop A and someone should be held responsible wasting a half million dollars for this brazen cut and paste document. It undoubtedly was initiated by Gus and landed in Karen's lap. Our citizenry has decided no more 3rd story here and we meant it.

    1. Be responsible. Thats a nice concept. The decision was made before Karen and so its Jeff baggage. beyond that blame GUS.

      I always knew he sucked from day one.

      That showed how Barth has no leadership or intelligence for the City. Her most signifigant task along with Gaspar was to employ a good City Manager and they failed miserably.

    2. 10:56,

      Our citizenry has not decided no more 3rd story here. Our citizenry has decided that we should vote on any proposal that goes above two.

      Prop A calls for a vote, and now people like you are bitching that there's going to be a vote.

    3. 7:08 - you're missing a couple of important distinctions here, but I suspect you know that.

      No one is bitching that there's going to be a vote. They are bitching about the half-truths and outright lies that the City is trying to sell people in order to get it passed. They're bitching about plans the City has to open us up nice and wide for the BIA to have their way with us.

      The next distinction is the fact that the HEU includes a clause to reverse Prop A.

      That little factoid is buried in a short couple of sentences at the back of the approximately 70-page Floating Zones document.

      The Council are already dreaming up the many ways they'll claim they were transparent with this and they're giving us what we want: never again to have a voice in how Encinitas develops.

      Why do I get the sense you can't wait?

    4. You're right 7:08. There does have to be a public vote on places taller than 2 stories. I retract my bitch about that. However, RECON thinks they can give the public 4 plan "choices" but title two of them identically. I guess they forgot to distinguish plan 1: 2-3 "2 stories" from plan 1: 2-3 "3 stories" by giving them the same plan number? The same goes for the next 2 "choices". How stupid do they think we are, numbering 4 choices but supplying only two? Was that an accident, incompetence or a strategy to place the choices on two different pages hoping their identical "plan numbers" would better not be noticed? By all means if the people of Encinitas want that kind of intense development, I'll stand by our majority vote. But let's stop doling out hundreds of thousands of dollars for developers trying to pull wool over our eyes with cheap card tricks.

    5. These "mistakes" happen far too often. Misplaced files, buried links, and missing information are standard at the city.

      Staff does what they're told. It's not in the city's best interest for residents to truly understand what's in the HEU. Put those two facts together and you'll have your answer to "accident, incompetence, or strategy?"

    6. The sooner the VOTE comes the sooner this Prop fails, the sooner a Judge begins making land-use decisions for Encinitas, the sooner property-owners that go before the Planning-Commission can depend on the Commissioners following state laws.

    7. 8:38 AM

      What a fantasy world you live in. A judge doesn't want to have day to day involvement in land use decisions. More then likely the judge will suspend any impediments to HEU adoption (i.e. Prop A) so the City Council can adopt outright without having another election.

    8. All the more reason to read the EIR and make comments on it; Yes?

    9. 8:38 and 11:02, what a fantasy world you BOTH live in. Per HCD - HCD, got that? - the State does NOT send in a judge. NOT, got that?

      What could happen is "affordable housing advocates" like Meyer and the BIA sue Encinitas because awwwww they don't get access to unfettered market-rate "infill opportunities" the day after the vote, god forbid it passes.

      You both know that (if you are not one and the same person) and you are both engaging in fearmongering, either on the part of developers or the City (not really a difference at this point, is there?).

    10. Read the comments and think your input will actually count?? Why would the city start respecting residents now? No, the city is on a strict path of carrying out what Gus and Jeffy set up for them to enact.

      Nothing any of us says will make a gosh-darn difference. I wouldn't waste the ink. Just say no in November. There's your comment.

    11. 8:23 PM

      How deep do you have your head in the sand or or you just not able to understand?

      Actually, the State Attorney General sometimes gets involved in a lawsuit but it's usually a private interest who believes they've suffered some harm who sues seeking redress or correction of the situation. If the parties are not able to find resolution then a judge would insert themselves. First, I'm sure, by directing the city (in this example) to resolve the problem (adopt the HEU) within a given period or face the judge becoming more actively involve in decision making. Since, in this scenario, this would be after losing in the election, the judge would suspend or invalidate Prop A.

      We have been sued twice recently where part of each suit includes lack of an HCD approved Housing Element. In the first suit, the city agreed to adopt a HEU that has been approved by HCD. The recent Meyer lawsuit also complains of an out of date housing element along with density bonus issues.

      So how is this fear mongering? The lawsuits are real.

    12. 10:44 AM
      And you don't think the 3 council majority aren't clapping their hands in glee with another lawsuit to show residents how smart they were in settling the BIA suit.
      You mimic the three.
      The Meyer lawsuit is a rehash of his 2009 lawsuit with parts of the BIA mixed in to the rants. Nothing new there. Councilman Kranz and Councilwomen Blakespear and Shaffer have made it very clear they want to destroy Prop A, the people's right to vote.

    13. 8:05 PM

      How sad it is that you are left to project what you want the three council members to be thinking. Voices in your head. "... clapping their hands in glee ...". It's obvious you are just too far gone.

  13. 11:46 is right-

    live and learn . Population connection holds truth.

  14. The vote fine print also reduces onsite parking requirements for high density. The state just reduced them and our council sees fit to reduce them further. Oh, we just cannot do enough for developers, can we? What should be parking places will instead become at-market units.

    Yes, our city is doing everything to ensure profits for the same developers with whom - also in the fine print - the City will sit down once a year to ID new "infill opportunities." More "opportunities" for high-density, market-rate housing that will not include enough onsite parking. Have fun trying to park even close to your home.

    Council just stares and says "staff" told them it's all good.

  15. Read pages 65 of the HEU, a little before, and a little after to see what everyone is talking about. Then tell me they are not trying in every way they can to get around Prop.A.

    1. Not get around it, reverse it.

  16. Every single drawing that Planning came up with on the HEU looked like a prison complex minus the gun turrets and fenced in walls. Is this what we want for/in our community? I think not.

    Every single development projection proposed 2 to 3 stories. Anyone who believes these are not all three stories or more, is kidding themselves. The disingenuous attempt by Planning to bamboozle the gullible few into approving of this turd is forever to their shame. This goes for those who refuse to stand up for this community from their supposedly secure positions at city hall.

    History will have its say in the end. Where do these few who have the power to react in a positive manner on behalf of the community want their legacy to forever reside?

    1. Many only in their bank accounts.

    2. Maybe Manjeet had a hand in the drawings! Rumor has it that he worked on prison projects. So is that how they identified him for the Encinitas Planning Department.

      I wish that Manjeet would let us know if this is true. He seems really busy kissing ass trying to hang on to his job at the moment.

  17. Breaking --

    "Experts" now predicting better than 50/50 odds of sun rising in East morning of November 9, irrespective of HEU vote outcome.

    1. Have another shot...toke...whatever.

    2. 7:36, Welcome to EU, flat earther.

    3. Welcome to Lawyers and Developers world- All liars and only care about profit and NOT community character.

  18. The same thing that brought all the current residents here is bringing all the new ones. The people who lived here before you weren't happy with the changes you brought. You're not happy with the changes others bring. This is how the world works. It's purely selfish entitlement to say the change must stop now that you're here.

    1. That is a lame rationalization for condoning haphazard over-development. People are entitled to have a say in the community in which they live. The ones who stand to profit the most tend to call the shots in a money driven society. If the residents want development control, then they have every right to influence the decision making process. The buck has to stop at some point.

    2. How come Encinitas isn't also being required to create good jobs for all the newcomers to town? And schools, churches, mosques, parks, beaches and whatsoever. What is feeding the growth? How many additional factories and job-producing businesses does Sacramento want us to provide?

    3. 9:21 AM

      A lot of the growth right now is natural increase (i.e. births over deaths).

    4. 9:21 AM
      It is the opposite. The jobs should be there is the reason for the increase in housing. Encinitas has limited commercial potential.

    5. Hype by the BIA is feeding the perception of growth. The U.S. Census shows a nearly flat forecast for California, but where's the money in acknowledging that?

      At a SANDAG presentation a few years ago, the agency admitted that its own forecast was too high compared with the "gold standard" U.S. Census. But adjust theirs down to be in line with reality? Never, there's no money in that.

      Hype and greed are feeding the supposed growth.

    6. The forecasts are done by both SANDAG and the State Department of Finance Demographic Research Unit which are the official numbers although SANDAG coordinates with them. The BIA can hype all they want and even come up with their own numbers but that means nothing officially.

      Nice try.

    7. Per SANDAG, they were off cycle from the U.S. Census and would "catch the number up next round." Meanwhile, the BIA runs with the high "demand" claim.

    8. And per SANDAG, the Census numbers - not their own - were the "gold standard" - and reason given for why SANDAG's would be adjusted down next round.

      Nice try.

    9. From the Census Bureau:

      "The U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States. It is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. The data collected by the decennial census determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities."

      They even count people living in illegal accessory units. Any other population numbers are estimates or forecasts whether done by SANDAG or DOF Demographic Unit. Both will recalibrate their estimates (and forecasts) to the results of each decennial census. However, census results are as of April 1st and estimates are usually for January 1st so they must be adjusted.

      So the current estimates have the 2010 census results figured in but just because the 2010 figures came out lower doesn't mean there hasn't been subsequent growth since.

      The BIA can claim what it wants but that doesn't make it true. By the way, the current population estimate for Encinitas as of January 1, 2015 is 61,518 which is an increase of 0.8% from 2014 and an increase from 59,518 in 2010. That's from the Department of Finance. They won't have a 2016 estimate for a few months.

      I don't know why you are conflating the BIA hype with SANDAG/DOF estimates.

    10. While I did not make make the BIA/SANDAG connection, SANDAG does feed the BIA hype by refusing to adjust down figures they themselves say are too high.

      Whatever their calibration process, SANDAG's numbers do not fit with reality and open us up to some pretty awful densification. For our city to go along with the farce is unconscionable, but nothing new there.

    11. SANDAG doesn't revise their published estimates unless there are errors. The revision goes into the next iteration of the estimates. Same goes for the Department of Finance. This would be the case whether the numbers were high or low. SANDAG isn't feeding the BIA hype because all you have to do is point to the 2010 census figures. However,just because one year was lower than expected doesn't mean that subsequent years might grow more than the estimated and there make the forecast for subsequent years closer to the original numbers. Estimates and forecasts rely on understanding trends but the financial crisis in 2008 wasn't a trend and there was no way to anticipate it in a population forecast. The census is a point in time and doesn't depend on knowing trends.

    12. 11:56, Good point how the state disproportionately requires more housing and doesn't give one iota about more jobs created in our city, let alone our whole state being in a drought. Guess they think money grows on trees and water will come from EBT cards. "Live Work Lofts" look good on paper, but seldom can a business owner / resident afford to have both in one place. The French Café on N 101 being the only place I'm aware of where that is working so far - out of the numerous other LWL projects here in Encinitas. Perhaps the state should rethink housing / jobs / water conservation ratios.

    13. Note that SANDAG revises their population figures, but what about their RHNA numbers that drive the growth machine?

    14. SANDAG uses the regional RHNA number from HCD which will be revised for the next cycle. They aren't going to revisit this cycle's RHNA allocation.

    15. Opposition's point exactly.

  19. Vote no on the EHU!!!
    Meanwhile, your streets go unrepaired, and the city can't fund the project that need/should be completed w/o borrowing more monies.

  20. Dropout of SANDAG and tell them where they can can stick their false future population estimates. They have no legitimacy on this and only serve to degrade our community's character and kowtow to the developers every desire. Screw SANDAG. Who needs them?

    1. Sandag. Stupid and not doing any good.

  21. Leaving SANDAG would be a reality if we could only find our cojones and follow Corte Madera's lead:

    1. Good article, 5:47. How many households are in Encinitas? 3800 are "pretty much built out" for Marin's 3 square miles. We have 25 sq mi. and I think that includes a lagoon or two.

    2. We would still be subject to any future SANDAG RHNA allocation as it is the official organization for that purpose. It's in the legislation. However, if we weren't a SANDAG member, we might have to be on the sidelines when they do the next RHNA allocation.

    3. We fared no better - worse, in fact - not being on the sidelines.

      Stocks took all they could dole out, and then some. Those who witnessed the SANDAG RHNA handouts said he was only too happy to indulge his developer pals. Patrick Murphy corroborated this at the "visioning workshops" of a few years back, or whatever the hell they were called. He said there was "no negotiating down of any numbers."

      Shaffer has not made a peep in our defense. Ask her, and she'll tell you herself.

      Pull out of SANDAG, our representatives there only hurt us.

    4. $tock$ did major damage to this city during his developer/pension friendly tenure. Let an insurance salesman run a city and he'll sell out - and line hi$ own pocket$.

    5. 3:43 PM

      If you read the final RHNA report you'd realize this is just fantasy. There were several methodologies to choose from. Other than the one ultimately chosen would have been better for Encinitas but that was true for other cities as well. This idea that Stocks somehow stuck it to Encinitas is just nonsense. I'm not him or a friend.

  22. We can always upzone Encinitas to 3 and 4 stories in the future and kill the character like Oside and Huntington beach did. For now I chose to keep it 2 stories and no more density.

    Kill the housing densification. We do not need any SANDAG grants, raised property taxes do way more for the City that a measly little grant.

    NO and increased density in Encinitas and NO on the housing element.

  23. I agree. Focus on quality of life issues with no increased density and property values will soar. High property values will provide much more City revenue then any cumbersome, condition filled grant.

    City leader need to get their priorities straight. Come on new bunch in 2016 plus blakespear! Give us some hope.

    Until then, NO on any increased traffic, pollution and more box houses through Encinitas. Its easy, just say NO.

    1. And the grant is not a guarantee! Sold to us by the council as absolute "lost money," the truth is that we would be competing with the 17 other SANDAG cities for any grants. Not a reason to ruin our town over.

      Just say no.

  24. This Housing Element has NEVER been citizens' plan. All of the so=called citizen participation events have been a waste of our time since citizen guidance was never considered in a scientific way. Cherry-picking the occasional comment from a developer and basing the entire plan on how to maximize density for the benefit of developers and City staff is nothing more than fraud.

    The actual way that citizens have participated is that we get to pay for all of the consultants and the sub-par planning staff who have been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to make people think that they are doing studies.

    Go see the movie "The Big Short." Our Planning Department has nothing on the crooks in that film.

    1. If what you say is true, then you should be celebrating.

      If the city has created a plan that diverges completely from what citizens will approve, then it can't win at the ballot box, right? Isn't that what you want?

      If the city was able to construct an HEU that both complies with state housing law, and incorporates a "scientific" representation of citizen input, then the ballot prop would surely pass, which would be a bad result for you, right?

      So it sounds like you should be pretty relieved and happy about the HEU public input process.

      The truth is, YOUR input may not be the same as an average citizen, and YOUR input may be fundamentally incompatible with HCD's interpretation of state law. The whole process is meaningless if it results in a plan that HCD will reject, so citizen input that conflicts with the law must be ignored.

      I think the city is doing a pretty good job of outreach, listening, and incorporating citizen input when that input doesn't conflict with state law.

      I suspect you really understand and agree deep down. That's why you are so upset--because the city is on a path that gives the greatest possible chance that the HEU will pass at the ballot box, and that really pisses you off.

    2. Thank you for the insider's point of view. They pay you by the word, or wot?

    3. 8:27 AM

      "This Housing Element has NEVER been citizens' plan."

      If you mean a HEU that many of you would write than that's true. Of course that also means the HEU would fail to gain HCD approval and expose the city to more legal action. More money wasted and a HEU that would still ultimately look a lot like the current draft. We all have to sacrifice a little to get through this.

    4. More legal action from greedy developer crybabies has become a bore. The notion that one in particular can hold 60,000 people hostage is absurd and the city has got to find a way to deal with him.

      Muir and Gaspar indicate they're ready for the fight, but the other three can't manage to so much as peek out from under the covers.

      I'm not voting yes just so David Meyer and his ilk can continue to run development in this town.

  25. The city finally stopped claiming that the upzones will be affordable. They'll be nearly all market rate. The city reduced onsite parking requirements to give developers even greater profits. Worst of all, the city buried the overturn of Prop A in an HEU policy doc that they count on few voters reading and catching.

    No way the average citizen would support the above and I suspect that pisses you off, 8:53.

    Guarantee real affordability, require onsite parking provisions to the max allowed by the state, pull the Prop A reversal, and I'll vote for it.

    But that plan would piss you off, wouldn't it.

    1. 10:31,

      I have limited time, so I can only address one of your points. It's an important and generally misunderstood one: the "reversal" of Prop A.

      I put "reversal" in quotes, because in fact it is no such thing.

      What you are effectively arguing for is a SUPER Prop A that doesn't exist in local law. Prop A assures the voters get ONE vote on up-zoning, not multiple votes relating to the same parcel.

      I have read several approved Housing Elements from other cities, and I encourage others to do the same. If you do, it will be clear that a voter-approved HEU does not change a single line of local codes. (Say what?) That's right. The HEU doesn't change a thing.

      An Approved Housing Element is a list of plans and promises--that's it. HCD looks at the plans and promises, and makes a determination whether the execution of those plans will bring the city into compliance with state housing law. The plans and promises are pretty specific as to what will be done, and when. So an approved HEU might say that this parcel will be zoned in a certain way to accommodate a certain number of units at a certain density, by a certain date.

      If the voters approve the HEU, then voters have had their say, and Prop A has been satisfied.

      Subsequent to the approval by voters and HCD, the city is bound to execute the plans and promises on time. If not, HCD can declare us once again out of compliance with state housing law. So after approval, the city must manage a process and schedule to make the zoning changes approved by voters in the HEU. The clause at the root of so much misinformation (e.g. "reversal of Prop A") simply means that the voters don't get to vote a second time, while council is executing the plan and changing zoning parcel by parcel according to the voter approved plan.

      So there you have it. Prop A is intact. Voters get a vote, but only one vote. There is no SUPER Prop A that entitles voters to multiple votes during the process. A vote for the HEU approves the plan, and authorizes City Council to execute it.

      Simple. Logical.

    2. Plans and promises? The city is specifically upzoing certain parcels and presenting new zoning categories for taller structures. Yes, if an owner of a designated parcel elects to build at lower than the R-30 proxy for affordable housing, HCD could come back and require upzoning another parcel to take its place. Also there will will new RHNA numbers in the next cycle that will require upzoning and height increases on new parcels. Voting for the next succeeding HEU will simply be done by the council if this HEU is passed. Best to vote NO and keep our Right to Vote

    3. The plan, as presently proposed to be voted upon, is definitely a reach-around Prop A. For one thing, if the "by-proxy" zoning of 30 units per acre is not achieved by actual construction, and does not result in actual affordable units, then those missing units must be added on to future State housing requirements.

      The current maps are over-reaching in that, as someone else mentions, here, one high density parcel could be substituted for another.

      Those who championed Prop A, and made the heroic efforts of qualifying the initiative for the ballot, anticipated that we citizens would get to vote on any development exceeding the requirements.

      Passing the HEU would be a wholesale sellout of citizens' expressed desires to keep density down.

      Our city could and should encourage counting of all existing accessory units and creation of new ones. They shouldn't have to have low income covenants to be counted, just as the "by proxy" zoning units don't have to have affordability covenants. The State should automatically consider accessory units as "by proxy" affordable housing, just as it would for those parcels zoned (but not yet built)under zoning categories of 30 units per acre.

      There is a huge double standard here, designed to raise profits for developers, NOT to actually count and certify existing affordable housing.

  26. 12:03: Your explanation may be simple, but it's wrong:
    The wording of the Encinitas Right To Vote Amendment (Proposition A) is clear on this:

    [30.00.060 6.1] “Maximum Height. On and after the date this initiative measure becomes effective no building or structure shall exceed a maximum height of two stories or 30 feet. Height shall be measured from the lower of the natural or finished grade adjacent to the structure, to the highest portion of the roof immediately above.”

    The wording of the Draft Proposed Encinitas Housing Element seeks to eliminate this right:

    [30.36.010 B] “Conflicting Provisions Wherever a conflict exists between this Chapter 30.36 and the Encinitas Municipal Code or any Specific Plan, the intent, provisions and requirements of this Chapter controls.”

    Additionally, the Draft Proposed Encinitas Housing Element gives the City Council the ability to change things without further voter approval:

    [30.36.100 K]
    2. If amendments to any part of its planning
    policy documents, including but not limited to
    the General Plan, specific plans, Encinitas Municipal
    Code or its Local Coastal Program, are
    required to secure or maintain certification
    that may otherwise invoke the requirements
    of Chapter 30.00, the City Council is authorized
    to make any and all necessary amendments
    with a four-fifths super majority vote or any
    other lesser super majority vote should less
    than five Council Members be eligible to vote
    while maintaining a quorum.

    If this isn't a reversal of most of the provisions of Prop A I don't know what else you would call it.

    1. "required to secure or maintain certification"


      ONLY for actions relating to the execution of voter-approved HEU plans and promises. Outside the bounds of commitments we;ve made to the state in the voter-approved HEU, Prop A remains in full force.

    2. All the city needs to do is claim that any upzoning or increase in height is necessary "to secure or maintain certification," and the deed is done. It becomes a discretionary decision by the council. Anyone wanting to challenge the vote would have to sue the city.

      As former Councilman James Bond famously said, "If you don't like what we do, sue us." That puts an enormous burden on the public and essentially kills Prop. A

    3. 2:58,

      If you believe council will ignore this new section of code, and that's a reason to vote against it, then why does any law matter at all?

      Why does Prop A matter?

      If they can simply ignore this section of code, then why wouldn't they simply ignore Prop A?

      The argument that people (including Council) will violate laws is a pretty weak argument against having laws. We have laws against murder, and people break them, and some people like OJ Simpson get away with it. Does that mean we'd be better off without a law prohibiting murder?

    4. Prop. A matters. Why do you think the city put in the language to modify Prop. A? It's not a question of ignoring the new section of code. The new language gives the council discretion to claim the need to secure or maintain certification without a public vote. Governmental entities do this all the time. They don't see it as violating the law, just getting what they want.

    5. 1:52 / 3:25,

      No one is talking about violating laws.

      It's plain English. They can upzone whatever they want far into the future so long as they say it's necessary to comply with any new HCD / SANDAG demand.

    6. 5:06,

      Now we are getting somewhere.

      What suggested rephrasing of that one clause would you propose to clarify the limited scope of super majority votes?


      How and when will you make a positive contribution to local civics by offering your improved language to our elected representatives?

      I look forward to the moderator and contributors to this blog working on an improved clause, and how to get it adopted into the final ballot proposition!

      Now this is exciting!

    7. 6:53,

      I'd take the clause out entirely. HCD already approved the current upzoning proposals.

      The added clause is a gratuitous repeal of Prop A, and quite unnecessary as far as I can tell.

    8. Why re-phrase a bald-faced attempt to kill Prop A? Remove the two clauses (yes two, in two different policy documents) altogether.

      Resident problem solved. Not so much for developers and City Hall.

    9. EU beat me to it by one minute and is correct re: HCD. This "may need to adjust" the submission is bull and a Trojan horse to sneak through the repeal of Prop A.

    10. So, we vote on the HEU, which is a list of plans and promises, right?

      And let's say for sake of argument that voters approve it. So Prop A has been satisfied, right?

      So when the Council sets about executing the plan, and putting zoning changes into effect, is it your understanding that Council has the power to vote those zoning changes into effect?

      I will bet you one shinny penny here and now that Prop A supporters would cry foul, and insist that the electorate vote again on each zoning change, each in a separate vote.

      Is it your understanding that Prop A was intended to offer voters multiple bites at the apple?

      I think it's completely fair to amend the language to clarify and limit the scope of Council's power to execute the approved plan (and only this round of the plan).

      But to suggest that we vote on the HEU, then vote again on the execution of zoning changes is absurd, and not what anyone who voted for Prop A imagined.

    11. No one is suggesting two votes. You are putting words in mouths. HCD already said our plan is good to go, so not sure what adjustments our city anticipates needing.

      If the HEU passes, it will both satisfy Prop A and kill it.

      But you know all that.

    12. 7:21 PM -- You are deliberately misinterpreting Prop. A. The HEU includes upzoning and increased heights on 33 selected parcels. If approved, there will not be a second vote on the same parcels. The city has bundled the parcels in a single package for a vote. Nothing in Prop. A prevents this.

      The Prop.A killer language does not limit the scope of the Council's power. In fact, it expands it. It puts back in the super majority loophole that Prop. A took out to return the original language.

      Obviously you weren't at the special Planning Commission meeting last night. Several people spoke about the gratuitous language to eviscerate Prop. A. Planning staff is not denying what the amended language will do.

      We all need to remember that without Prop.A the HEU, complete with upzoning and increased building heights, would be a done deal. Council would have simply approved it. The public would have been cut out and developers would have gotten their their wish list.

      But you understand that and it motivates your continual postings of the same distortions of what the proposed changes will do.

    13. The HEU doesn't change zoning in and of itself.

      Think about it. Assuming the HEU passes at the ballot box, the next step is to submit the voter approved HEU for final review and approval by HCD.

      If the zoning changes were automatic, pursuant to the public vote, then what would happen if HCD found a reason to reject in the final review? Answer: we'd have a bunch of zoning changes and program changes take effect even though they don't satisfy the legal requirements of state law. Does that make sense to you?

      Please read Del Mar's HEU, and you'll see that the HEU is a plan that requires subsequent votes by Council to put the provisions of the plan into effect.

      It makes sense that Prop A requires a public vote to approve the HEU plan. It does not make sense that Prop A also requires subsequent public votes on the actual zoning changes.

      The clause in question clarifies this point, but could be written better.

    14. We are thinking about it and your continued attempts to twist the Prop A-eviscerating language in the fine print is not working, or haven't you noticed? This double vote business of yours is double speak.

      A red flag on its own merit is the fact that the city put the Prop A language where they know most people won't look. If that doesn't tell you something's wrong here I don't know what will, but then again it's clear you're helping do the city's dirty work so I don't suppose the hiding of the Prop A clauses is something that bothers you, 8:03.

    15. 10:34, making this real simple, a question:

      Is it your belief that passage of a Housing Element Update at the ballot box would automagically change zoning without any further action by Council or voters?

      Yes or No?

      Before you answer, consider this quote from page 15 of the guide linked below:

      "Failure to Implement. The adoption of a housing element also creates a mandatory duty to take the actions mandated in the element. If the element obligates the community to take a particular action, failure to implement that aspect of the housing element breaches the mandatory duty created by the element and, therefore, constitutes an act inconsistent with the element. A suit to compel performance of the action may be brought as a writ of mandate. §65583(h)."

    16. And from where does this scary suit issue? Be careful here, cause it's not the State.

      And anyway, if Meyer and his goons even get as far as a judge, I'll take my chance with a court decision over this monster the city is selling.

      Try another tack, this one is getting you nowhere.

    17. Nobody wants to answer the yes / no question at 1:03?

      It's a very simple question, and very relevant.



    18. What is your point??? This plan has all kinds of issues for folks to oppose. For the last time:

      Killing of Prop A's beyond the HEU
      Reduced parking requirements
      Plans to meet annually with developers to "streamline permitting processes

      Dude, the list is long.

      Return to your master and report failure to convince anyone this plan is not a disaster.

    19. 1:03 / 4:01,

      There was always going to be one public vote, not two. Nobody at the city has ever suggested otherwise.

      Passage of the HEU would satisfy the letter, if not the spirit, of Prop A, and the council would be authorized to do the upzoning as laid out in the HEU.

    20. And then in the next cycle, when more sites are needed, will the 4-1 council vote allow them to plop a floating zone over some other location(s) without a public vote?

      Curious mind wants to know.

    21. So EU 6:02 seems to agree that subsequent action by council is required to put the elements of the plan into effect. Correct?

      And when Council brings up agenda item X, to up zone parcel Y, what specific language in Prop A gives them a hall pass to vote on upzoning. And what are the chances one of the usual suspects wouldn't hire Evert Delano at that moment?

      If you already agree that the "spirit" of Prop A is to have one vote, then why not put that specific language into the HEU prop to pre-emot any confusion or lawsuits later?

      I agree by the way that Council super majority has too much power the way it's currently written. Their scope of power should be limited to the elements of the HEU as passed by voters. Amendments or future HEU cycles should go back to the voters.

      The problem here is that some people would rather have the poorly written clause as a campaign issue, than a well-written one that takes the issue off the table.

      That's fine, but they are playing with fire. This is a presidential year, with high turnout and generally less informed voters. This is a complex issue for people who are making the effort--most are not.

      I'm willing to bet that no matter what happens between now and November, the HEU is likely to pass, and it won't even be very close. Sad to say, most people just can't be bothered, and will only hear that every other city in the county has completed the process but us.

      If that happens, would you rather have the correctly worded and precise clause that limits what Council can do with a supermajority, and for how long, or would you rather get stuck with language in the HEU that has some potential for abuse.

      That's my point.

    22. And you would get the city to reword the, exactly? Residents have talked themselves blue with the Council both publicly and privately. Either way, you're met with the same blank stare.

      This "playing with fire" comment is a joke. The Council has refused to be at any point along the way. The city, in refusing to eliminate or change the language, is the one playing with fire. The only ones who prefer the poorly-written clause are the David Meyer crew and the five council members who are bizarrely under his spell.

      But you know that.

    23. "Council has refused to be flexible" is what I meant to say. At any point. Blank stare. You see how far you get with that, 6:58, and report back.

    24. A total misunderstanding of Prop. A here by certain posters. All it does is require a public vote as the FINAL STEP in major amendments to the General Plan/Municipal Code involving upzoning and building/structure heights. This means that the normal process is followed up to City Council approval. Then the public vote is required as the FINAL STEP. The public vote does not come before, but only approves or rejects what the City Council approves.

      HCD has already found substantial compliance with the city's draft HEU. It will only go back to HCD for changes before council approval. Since the city signed a settlement agreement over the BIA lawsuit to pass a HEU, the City Council will surely approve the HEU in one form or another. Council approval triggers the public vote.

      Everyone knows that little or no affordable housing will result from the HEU. Planning staff has admitted this. Everyone knows that traffic will get worse. Perhaps it's time to reexamine and challenge this HEU requirement.

      If the City Council approves the HEU and the public rejects it, a very interesting legal question arises. Since the council passed the HEU, can the city be sued? If the public rejects it, can the public be sued and how would that be done? There is no case law on any of this. It is uncharted territory, but Columbus sailed into uncharted territory and discovered the New World.

    25. I'm sorry, but you are just not right.

      Here are the steps:

      1.) City Council sends draft HEU for review. (Done)
      2.) EIR process completes.
      3.) City uses EIR and further public input to amend the draft HEU with final selection of parcels, and final language on programs.
      4.) Council crafts a ballot proposition for voters to accept or reject the final version of the HEU.
      5.) Election Day. We vote.
      6.) If the HEU ballot prop passes, Council submits the final version of the HEU to HCD for review and determination on "substantial conformance" with state housing law.
      7.) HCD issues a letter of conformance, or a report detailing what parts of the Final HEU are not in "substantial conformance" with state law.
      8a.) If HCD rejects the HEU, it has to go back to Council for rework. It is unclear from the language in the current draft if voters would have to approve Councils changes before resubmission to HEU, but probably not (this is a problem).
      8b.) If HCD issues a finding of "substantial compliance" after step 7 or 8a, then the City is legally obligated to take actions on schedule to put all elements of the plan into full effect on the schedule determined in the HEU itself.
      9.) Council votes to change municipal codes, policies, programs, and zoning per the HEU.
      10.) The city submits progress reports annually for HCD review. If the execution of the elements of the HEU diverge in substance or in timing from what's written in the HEU, HCD can withdraw it's determination of "substantial conformance" until the city can show that we are back on plan.

    26. Just had an "Ah-ha" moment after rereading 7:15.

      If it's a correct read of Prop A that the public vote is to be the final step that puts density / height changes into effect, then we shouldn't be voting on the HEU, because it's not the final step. The Council votes that put the plan into effect (Step 9 above) are the final step.

      This would be a huge mess, as there will need to be many Council votes strung out over a few years to enact all the changes in the HEU. Could be 20-30 seperate votes, depending on how they agendize them. Imagine the mess if we had to arrange public votes for each of those 20-30 "final steps."

      Maybe I'm giving Sabine too much credit, but it's clear to me now that decision to move the public vote up to an umbrella vote on the whole plan, and adding language that gives Council the authority to execute the plan later is actually a pretty elegant solution.

      Still think it's poorly worded, but it's a simple and clever solution.

      If that's what's going on, there is absolutely zero chance the city will completely remove that clause. It would be handing the obstructionists a bucket of sand on their promise not to throw the sand into the gears.

      Not going to happen.

    27. Both 7:45 AM and 8:39 are wrong on the process. Here's a section from the Prop. A Initiative:

      5.1. No Major Amendment of any of the Planning Policy Documents shall be effective unless and until it is approved by a simple majority vote of the voting electorate of the City of Encinitas voting `YES' on a ballot measure proposing the Major Amendment at a regular or special election. The entire text of a Major Amendment and an easily readable map of the geographic area affected shall be included in the sample ballot material which is mailed to registered voters prior to the election.
      5.2. No Major Amendment and no Regular Amendment of any of the Planning Policy Documents shall be effective unless and until it is approved by an ordinance adopted by the City Council, but no such amendment shall be considered until a public hearing is conducted on the proposed amendment at both the Planning Commission and at the City Council in the manner provided by state law and advance notice is given as required by section 4.3 below."

      Of course, there is more to the initiative. Yet it is all about upzoning and height increases that require a major amendment. To change Prop. A also requires a vote, so the language to eviscerate Prop. A does require a vote to undo it.

      HCD has already found that the parcels approved for upzoning and height increases satisfy the Substantial Compliance requirement, meaning sufficient parcels are upzoned to meet the RHNA numbers for affordable housing. HCD is not concerned about the EIR. This is to satisfy CEQA law. No matter what the EIR impacts are, the City Council can always approve it with "overriding considerations," as they did in the past on the Hall property project, and simply ram it through.

      The vote will approve or reject the changes in zoning and height limits.

    28. I have not seen the fine print that might be slipped into the November Ballot measure. Such fine print could allow the supermajority to select future locations for upzoning without the protection of Prop A. Sites on any of the current maps are bad but the wildcard ability would be much worse. Keep your guard up!

    29. 7:27,

      That fine print is already in there.

    30. 5:57, kind of nitpicky but I stand corrected.

      Step three in the ten-step process outlined above should read:

      3.) City uses EIR and further public input to amend the draft HEU with final selection of parcels, and final language on programs, AND PASSES AN ORDINANCE ACCEPTING THE FINAL VERSION OF THE HEU.

      Otherwise, the ten steps are exactly correct.

      The PDF at 1:03 is a great resource that explains it well. I encourage you to read it.

    31. HCD has not made a determination of substantial conformance on the final version of the HEU, because the final version of the HEU doesn't exist yet.

    32. From City site: "As noted in HCD's second review letter (October 2015 letter of compliance), the City's Draft Housing Element as revised substantially complies with State Housing Element law."

      What's your source, 8:50?

    33. 10:56,

      Page 15 of the document linked below.


      "Prior to the adoption of a housing element or the amendment to a housing element, the local government must submit a draft to HCD for review."

      And then, later in the same paragraph:

      "Once adopted, the jurisdiction must immediately submit the final element to HCD, and HCD must issue a written determination indicating whether the element substantially complies with the law. (§65585.)"

      Note the words "draft" in the first review, and "final" in the later review.

      Also note from your quote of the city website the word "draft," which should tell you that the HCD step described is not the final determination.

      The draft HEU will change from its current form to final, as the city has yet to finalize the map. Also, some parts of the draft may be modified based on new information from the EIR.

    34. City worker: the word "draft" is oftentimes not updated by "staff" who - whoops - forgot to update doc titles.

      And anyway HCD said the plan is good, so all this "draft" lingo doesn't mean much...unless "final" just means even more shady crap will be stuffed in the stinker.

      You guys are struggling to sell a sham. Word is getting out you guys are working against residents and for developers. What's your plan B?

    35. 11:58,

      I can only assume you are talking to me, the lazy city worker who continues with the nefarious work of informing you on weekends.

      I think I'm done showing that HCD reviews the HEU both in draft form, and in final form after adoption by the voters. I cited sources that are very clear and simple for anyone who really wants to understand.

      If you disagree, I'd like to see your sources that suggest that HCD has issued a final determination.

      If you don't want to do that, then It's clear you have Nelsonian Knowledge, and we should agree to disagree.

    36. HCD has made a determination of substantial conformance on the submitted version of the HEU. The council will use this to choose one of the maps or a combination of parcels that satisfy the RHNA numbers. The council does not rework the HEU, staff does this, and then council approves it or send it back to the staff.

      But time is running out. The city needs the final version of the HEU ready for the Registrar of Voter by August for the General Election in November. Otherwise, it's a special election that would cost the city $250,000, instead of $50,000 during a general election. Already the HEU is late for this HEU cycle. The council will approve it. That's a no brainer. The settlement of the BIA lawsuit mandates approval.

      Anonymous at February 6, 2016 7:56 PM concedes that he/she was wrong and missed the most important requirement of Prop. A. The only question remaining is whether the city will take out the Prop. A killer clause. Information from inside the city is that they are very worried that the HEU will be rejected.

      If rejected, the most likely scenario in court is that the city will be required to take another stab at a HEU that will garner public approval. Staff took the easy way to update by using R-30 proxy zoning for affordable housing. They didn't want to count illegal units and legalize them, which would probably satisfy the RHNA numbers. But then there's no big, new revenue stream is doing that. Glen Campora, HCD Assistant Deputy Director, said at Lisa Shaffer's meeting that they are flexible, but staff failed to take advantage of that.

    37. 1:15 PM

      You continue to misunderstand the accessory unit issue. Even if they could be identified they wouldn't count toward this cycle. The HEU also has to go for approval by the Coastal Commission which may request some changes.

      While I have no particular insight, I wouldn't be surprised if a judge wouldn't set a four to six month schedule for adoption of a HEU if it loses in November. The state legislation allows a court to give the city as little as 120 days to adopt. This has already be adjudicated, with an agreement in place. Given the history of the HEU in Encinitas, don't expect a lot of leeway. And don't expect another election.

    38. 2:14 PM
      As you say, you have no particular insight. What was adjudicated before a judge in a court of law? Certainly not the BIA lawsuit. The three Council members Kranz, Blakespear, and Shaffer who agreed to settle with the BIA didn't have the agreement adjudicated. The terms were filed with the court, but that wasn't adjudication. Get a Black's law dictionary Ask Councilwoman Blakespear for her copy.

    39. And 2:14, you continue to trot out this "judge" business. HCD is not taking us to court, no judge will be sent running down here at their request.

      David Meyer and his big daddy the BIA may come flying into town, if they can figure out who they'd have to sue to prevail.

      If these "affordable housing advocates" do somehow convince a judge to force anything on Encinitas, we'll deal with it then. The attack on residents in the current plan is so clear that many are already saying they'll take their chances with a judge.

      So you can repeat this "judge" business to your heart's content. Cat's out of the bag that it'll be developers suing, not the State, and no one likes an extortionist, especially one as slimy as the BIA. Your thuggish threat will only increase the number of "no" voters.

    40. 2:14 accuses a "misunderstanding" about accessory units. 2:14 lies about the accessory units. HCD has stated that newly-permitted ones would count toward the current cycle.

      Bam! Go away, developer troll.

    41. I'm not 2:14, but I am the main contributor to this thread, from the perspective of trying to understand, explain, and improve the HEU process. I'm trying to do so in a way that is not inflammatory, and does not respond in kind to personal attacks (although I'm not above a little sarcastic dig when it's earned).

      Here's my final take on the issue of the "reversal" clause of Prop A:

      I believe granting powers to A Council supermajority to follow through and enact all elements of the HEU of the voters approve it makes a lot of sense.

      Without some acknowledgement of that power, Prop A would be distorted and abused in an attempt to force dozens of votes out of Council chambers that the electorate already approved in the HEU umbrella vote. This would be nothing but a nullification tactic, and it should not be allowed to happen.

      But. . .

      The current clause is poorly written for three reasons, and should be rewritten to limit the supermajority power of Council.

      Reason 1: HCD rejection of the final plan.

      If HCD has a problem with any of the changes made from the draft HEU, and the final version that voters approve (assuming they do), then HCD will document changes that need to be made to the HEU in order to comply with the law. The current clause gives Council the power to make those amendments and enact the plan without returning to the voters. This would mean that the plan approved by the voters is not the same as the plan that gets enacted, and that should not happen. If the changes are material, it's possible the enacted version would not have passed at the ballot box, which undermines the intent of Prop A.

      Reason 2: Anendments at the annual HCD review.

      Let's say the voters and HCD approve the HEU, and the city sets to work putting it into effect. In year two of the plan, new information emerges that makes one of the map parcels unbuildable. They find the last nesting site of the rarest mosquito on earth, or undisclosed toxic waste, or a mega earthquake fault--whatever--it's unbuildable. As I understand it, in the annual progress report, the city can simply say, this site is out, and we plan to replace it with one of the others that went through the draft and EIR process. If HCD finds that the swap would maintain our substantial conformance, then the current language gives Council the power to make the swap without returning to the voters. Again, if this repeats a few times, then the enacted plan could bear little resemblance to the one voters originally approved, which is against the spirit of Prop A. Like in Reason One above, if one of the parcels swapped into the plan is currently occupied by an orphanage for the blind, then maybe voters would not have approved an HEU that originally included it.

      Reason 3: the next round of HEU is an exercise that could correctly be described as "maintaining" our conformance with state law, so the current clause eliminates the need to go back to the voters for approval of the next HEU. Obviously, this one is the most likely and material problem with the current clause.

      I would encourage folks to reach out to your Council members. Cut and paste from this post if you want to describe the problem. Encourage them to replace the current clause with language that limits the scope of supermajority power ONLY to enacting the elements of the HEU detailed in the voter-approved version, and only for the current cycle.

      In my humble opinion, that's the right thing to do.

    42. You lost me at "granting powers to 'A' Council supermajority...makes a lot of sense."

      This Council cannot be trusted any further than you can throw them. That goes double for the "expert staff" on whom they have many times said they rely.

      This Council cannot be trusted with any increase in power, least of all with the HEU and land use decisions.

    43. 7:28,

      Just FYI, the capital "A" and a few other errors due to fat thumbs and rushing to finish the post during half time.

      I respect your position, but the spirit of Prop A is to let the voters have one vote to approve or reject changes to density or height. The compromise suggested above does exactly that.

      If you are arguing for an HEU that does not specifically authorize council to enact the plan, then I'm afraid you support a distorted vision of Prop A that most voters who approved it would not recognize.

      You are welcome to your opinion, but it's basically that of a political arsonist.

    44. "Political arsonist?" Someone's sounding desperate.

      Know that any clause in this plan that kills Prop A will have its proponents and supporters crying foul and voting no. Those folks number in the thousands.

      There is no need to compromise: remove the clause that kills Prop A and then people might listen. Maybe. The level of mistrust is through the roof, in case you haven't heard.

    45. "Political arsonist?" Someone's sounding desperate.

      No need to compromise: remove the Prop A-killing language and the 1,000s of Prop A proponents and supporters might actually consider the plan.

      Residents have a vote guaranteed them by Prop A to approve or reject changes to density or height, that much is true. But your so-called "compromise" includes a reversal of Prop A and simply ain't gonna fly, no matter how hard you twist and turn.

      Hiding the Prop A killer clauses - there are at least two of them - in fine print sends up a big red flag to residents. To say the City is overplaying its hand on this one is an understatement, to say the very least.

    46. 9:57,

      If you honestly believe that the changes I described above would be harmful to voters rights to weigh in on density/height changes, then please describe a scenario.


      Assume the HEU language was changed to allow a council super-majority to enact elements of the HEU that voters approve, AND those powers were limited only to the exact version approved by voters, AND limited to the current HEU cycle.

      With that assumption in mind, describe a scenario under which voters would be denied a vote, where you think they should have one.

      If you are a serious and thoughtful person, this should be easy. If you are a political arsonist, you'll change the subject, call me names, recite talking points, and otherwise refuse to accept the challenge.

    47. 6:10 PM -- You are indulging in fantasy scenarios. Rare mosquito? Earthquake fault? Deputy Planning Director Manjeet Ranu has said that the upzoned parcels can sit there forever with out new affordable units as long as the potential remains. Additionally staff is planning a "cushion" of upzoned parcels just in case. Staff has said 20% cushion and the consultant RECON has recommended 50%.

      There's no need for the Prop. A killer clause except to give council unlimited power for upzoning and height increase in perpetuity. A damn good reason to vote No on the HEU.

    48. 10:37, You were probably typing, so you didn't see it, but take the 10:27 challenge.

      Maybe there is a scenario I haven't thought of. I'm always willing to admit if I'm proved wrong.

    49. Look 11:19, it's clear you're doing the city's work. The city is not to be trusted. End of story.

    50. 11:46, I appreciate your view; we are probably not going to agree in the end. But I honestly welcome any scenario in response to the 10:27 challenge that you think shows some threat to voters' rights under Prop A.

    51. If the clause is so benign, why is it so buried?

    52. The clause isn't at all benign in present form. Above I detailed three different scenarios where it could deny voters rights that they currently enjoy under Prop A.

      I can't speak to its position in the HEU, because I don't really care where it is, and neither would judges or lawyers. In also not a mind reader, so I'm unwilling to declare the motives of people I don't know, and haven't talked to

      What I am trying to do is preserve the sprit of Prop A in a way that does not rely on any particular vote outcome in the Fall.

      If you truly care about preserving Prop A, then you'd join me.

    53. Sorry, but there's no other conclusion to draw than that you are a troll. Your comments convince no one. Why don't you give up and find honest work?

    54. 4:30, Now you have hurt my feelings. But I forgive you, because we are all neighbors, right?

      Personal attacks are no substitute for well-reasoned argument.

      Does this mean you won't be offering a scenario to the 10:27 challenge?

    55. Your "scenario" is city propaganda nonsense and no one is taking the "challenge."

      No need for the clause, beginning and end of story. Its burial is part of the tale of city trickery.

      That's all.

    56. No scenario is necessary. The meaning of the Killer Clause is painfully obvious. When a planner was asked at one of the workshops why the clause wasn't up on a poster board for all to see, he lamely answered it was in one of four binders with the full draft on the table. The planner did add that the city might take it out. That was the only defense after the planner realized someone had found it.

    57. Since no one seems to be able to offer a scenario that demonstrates harm, it would appear that if we convinced to city to revise the clause, then Prop A, and the right to vote would be preserved no matter what happens in the Fall.

      That sounds like a good thing to me. Yet no one here seems very supportive. It's almost like saving Prop A isn't the real issue.

    58. Just give up, would you? Folks are not buying what you (the city) are selling.

    59. Geez, 9:11: Save Prop A by REMOVING THE CLAUSE. Why do you think the City put that in the doc in the first place? They want to mess with it. Really crystal clear.

      You seem to have an agenda.

    60. And if you remove the clause completely, how would you avoid the legal mess of law suits when council agendizes votes to enact elements of the voter-approved plan?

      Prop A, as currently written says ONLY voters have the power to approve increases in density or height, right?

      When council votes to enact that which voters already approved, what language in Prop A grants council the power to make those votes?

      Because without that power, obstructionists will distort and abuse Prop A to claim that BOTH the HEU vote, AND the votes to enact it are under the exclusive power of the electorate, forcing dozens of votes over a period of years back to the ballot box . . .

      Even though voters already approved those changes in the HEU.

      So, please explain:

      Is it your intent to defend a distorted version of Prop A that calls for voters to approve things twice, spread over dozens of votes?


      Do you see a hidden part of Prop A that prevents such distortion and abuse of Prop A?

      Show your work.

    61. No legal work entailed. Who is feeding you this cockamamie scenario? Lisa Shaffer, the chief Council fearmonger? The Planning Department? You sound too uninformed to have come up with this yourself.

    62. I noticed that you didn't answer.

      Here's a different question:

      If you think the threat of a legal mess doesn't exist, then what is the harm in reinforcing council's power to enact all elements of the plan?

    63. The harm is in reversing Prop A. I don't care what happens with the HEU, quite frankly, and neither will anyone who supported it.

      It's interesting that the city is not making the claims you are. It's all in your head. Or perhaps yours, Shaffer's, and Sabine's.

    64. Meant to say no one who supported Prop A will give a rip about the HEU.

      The HEU has the developers' mitts all over it and the Prop A reversal is just one sneaky move among many.

    65. You are not being a serious person. You have been exposed.

      Your Argument 1: the threat of legal mess and abuse and distortion of Prop A doesn't exist. The clause should be deleted. This implies that you believe Council already has the power to vote to enact all elements of the voter approved HEU. But if Council already has the power, then nothing should change if the HEU includes a clause reinforcing council's power to enact. In that case, a well-crafted clause only grants a power your argument implies they already had, so it's irrelevant.

      Argument 2 is: adding a well-written clause that grants council the power to enact (but only the version approved by voters, and only for the current cycle), is effectively "reversing Prop A."

      Argument 1 and argument 2 are mutually exclusive and contradictory. Either a well-written clause acknowledging limited supermajority power to enact the voter approved HEU IS consequential, or it IS NOT consequential. Can't be both.

      So which is it?

      If it is consequential (i.e. "Reverses" Prop A), then you should be able to take the 10:27 challenge, and show a scenario where such a clause would result in some demonstrable harm to the electorates "right to vote."

      If such a well-written and limited clause is inconsequential, (i.e. its redundant, because the risk it mitigates is fictional), then it obviously follows that it's also harmless, because it grants power council already had.

      See what I mean?

      You are exposed.

    66. Watching the back and forth and now wonder about your source, 8:16? abd if it came from city hall?

      I listened to Mike at the city and he did not quote anything about what you say? when someone said something about this problem

    67. To Anonymous at Feb. 9 8:44 pm

      The logic in "your argument 1" defies logic. Here is what the killer clause in the draft HEU says:

      "Any changes necessary as a result of Department of Housing and Community Development and California Coastal Commission review and certification following the November 2016 vote shall NOT require a subsequent ballot measure, even if the change would otherwise trigger a ballot measure per Proposition A. The November 2016 ballot measure will expressly DELEGATE the authority to enact changes to ensure a certified Housing Element and Local Coastal Program certification to the City Council. Delegation of authority specific to accomplishing required state certifications is consistent with Proposition A because the voters are asked to AUTHORIZE it in the comprehensive November 2016 ballot measure."

      Three words are capitalized to show that a YES vote in November will delegate and authorize the city council to approve upzones and height increases WITHOUT a public vote.

      The frosting on the cake is a similar clause in the draft Floating Zones document:

      "If amendments to any part of its planning policy documents, including but not limited to the General Plan, specific plans, Encinitas Mu¬nicipal Code or its Local Coastal Program, are required to secure or maintain certification that may otherwise invoke the requirements of Chapter 30.00 [Prop. A], the City Council is authorized to make any and all necessary amendments with a four-fifths super majority vote or any other lesser super majority vote should less than five Council Members be eligible to vote while maintaining a quorum."

      We will be voting on both documents. Upzones and height increases will NOT even require a unanimous council, if approved by the voters. Prop. A is effectively killed. There will be no more public votes.

      See what I mean?

      You are exposed.

    68. Nicely done, 9:19. No amount of smoke and mirrors can hide this developer-backed power grab.

    69. 9:19, Thanks for a serious and thoughtful response.

      You are quoting the current draft. If you've followed this thread, it should be clear that I'm not defending the current language. I agree with you that it's an overreach.

      My proposal is to amend the two sections you quoted. Specifically, revised language should replace those sections such that Council should have the power to (1.) enact the HEU as approved voters. full stop. If subsequent reviews by HCD or Coastal Commission require changes to the planning docs that are material to to the issue of density or height, then the amendment process must include a public vote. And (2.) Council's power to enact the provisions in the approved HEU only applies to the current housing cycle. By law, we'll be repeating this HEU exercise periodically, and voters should approve at each cycle.

      If Council could be persuaded to amend the current HEU draft to incorporate these changes, then Prop A would be preserved whether the HEU vote passes or not. It's a compromise. Council would be compromising by adding a material risk that HCD or CCC-required amendments would extend the uncertainty, cost, delays, and community division of more public votes. Folks who oppose the HEU and development no matter what would be compromising because the new language would take Prop A off the table as an issue in November. Also, it doesn't give them the legal loophole to challenge Council's ability to enact the HEU, which they'd really like to have.

      The proposed change is a compromise, but a good one. It preserves the right to vote irrespective of the outcome in November, but it requires both sides to accept some bits they'd rather not.

    70. Oh, so all your posts were defending theoretical language that you think you'll be able to convince the city to adopt?

      Wow. Just wow. Good luck with that.

    71. 10:18 AM
      NO - and stop with the council just wanting a little bit of compromise.
      “The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.”
      ― Adolf Hitler

    72. Council definitely knows what it's doing. Go back to Kranz's statement the night of the lame Rutan & Tucker report out on Prop A: "I want to kill this thing."

      I agree, stop with the compromise. No one who supports Prop A will be talked into a "compromise" of any sort. Just the word sends up a red flag. The people spoke when they passed Prop A. The city can't seem to get over this fact and respect the vote. Why can't you?

    73. 11:05,

      You are correct. We'll see.

      It'll be a good gauge of Council's confidence in the November vote. If they are concerned that the Prop A issue could affect the outcome of the election, but they realize that they need some assurance that they can enact the provisions after the vote, then I think they'll be responsive. If they accept the compromise, I expect they will promote the hell out of the fact that they a are preserving Prop A, as well they should.

      If, on the other hand, they are very confident that the HEU will pass, and that the Prop A issue won't be decisive, then they'll ignore the proposal.

      Either way, we'll get a read on where council thinks the vote is headed.

      Also, if they ignore the compromise proposal and stick with the current language, then they have no fig leaf to cover up--they really do intend to kill Prop A.

      However, it's also possible that they could seek advice from City Attorney and/or HCD as to whether the proposed compromise might affect HCD's determination of substantial conformance. I can't see how it would, but who knows?

    74. Other cities have their version of prop A and have updated housing elements. You do like to stir the pot, don't you?

    75. What other cities?

    76. Escondido, for starters. Look 'em up. Don't be lazy. You are clearly new to all this.

    77. 4:36 PM

      Escondido and Yorba Linda had elections to get their housing elements approved. Escondido had to add more sites to give themselves a cushion. Maybe Encinitas should do the same (add more than enough sites) and just skip the language.

    78. Oh, but Encinitas is going for a "cushion" in addition to the Prop A killer. A 20% cushion, with consultant Veronica Tam pushing for 50%.

      Considering the maps should contain viable sites only and the State never checks back to see whether any affordable housing was built, you have to wonder at the motive behind a 50% cushion. Or 20%, for that matter.

  27. To much uncertainty and lies.

    Its time too spread the word. No vote is good for Encinitas.

    Yes vote is for the State controlling your property. No vote is for you controling your destiny. Its that simple. NO to drug, No to complacency, No to ignorance, and No to higher density. No means No which is often good for one's soul. NO... ahhh feels like Aummm.

  28. I'll call it here. No on whatever number they stick on it.

  29. So when can we get this City focused on improving our quality of life?

  30. 9:590- Sick. the rest of the homies.--thick

  31. Best bet for Encinitas is to vote NO on housing element.

    Lets keep Encinitas like Encinitas, NOT Hungtington Beach.

    1. Exactly - just say no until they give us a straightforward plan that doesn't hide stuff. That makes me more than uneasy. I'm voting no.

  32. Challenge: see if you can tell the difference between the two descriptions below.

    Current Municipal Code definition of net acreage:

    NET ACREAGE, for the purpose of calculating density, shall mean the slope adjusted unconstrained gross acreage within the subject property. Constrained acreage shall include flood plains, beaches, permanent bodies of water, significant wetlands, major power transmission easements, railroad track beds, existing and future right-of-way and easements for public or private streets/roads, and the area contained within the panhandle portion of a panhandle lot in a zone where the minimum required lot size is 10,000 square feet or less.

    Proposed Housing Element Update description of net acreage:

    Net Acreage means the total acreage of the lot minus any area proposed to be dedicated for future rights-of-way.

    Some might call this major change a shady, developer-driven move buried where no one will look, yet included in the November vote. Others might suggest a “compromise.”

    1. Good find. How many other loopholes are hidden in this thing?

    2. 7:59 AM

      If you're referring to the following:

      The “net” lot area was utilized to calculate a potential buildout yield on each viable housing site. The City’s General Plan and Zoning Code require that certain constrained lands be excluded from the gross lot area. For purposes of density, the gross lot area was reduced by the presence of constrained areas. Constrained areas include steep slopes, floodplains, beaches, permanent bodies of water, significant wetlands, major utility easements, railroad track beds or rights-of-way, and easements for streets and roads. The following discusses the typical constraints observed on some of the viable housing sites and then provides an approximate reduction in projected site density."

      That's from the EIR which isn't the HEU. Nowhere in the HEU document could I even find the words "Net Acreage".

      "Some might call this major change a shady, developer-driven move buried where no one will look"

      So tell us which page this is on in the HEU draft.

    3. Floating Zones, chapter 30.36, October 2015.

      Not the EIR.

    4. 9:58 PM

      I found it. That document was written by consultants. The "Net acreage" definition is there at the end in the Definitions section even though it doesn't appear anywhere else in the document.

      Net Acreage was already defined in the Zoning Code long ago and how to calculate it. This isn't going to change.

      This is nothing more than consultants using their boilerplate text and it wasn't picked up by staff. It's currently a draft and won't be in the final document.

    5. It changes the definition for the new R-30 floating zones, which are the parcels being upzoned. The old definition won't be applicable to the new zoning category.

      Don't be too sure that the new definition will be taken out. The new definition was put in for a reason. Consultants don't do things willy-nilly. The city wants the added revenue from the greater density the new definition will give.

  33. I do believe the second def allows the developer to increase the amount of land to enable a higher density calculation. It pretends he can build on water to drive up the number of houses he can stuff on a parcel.

    If this one doesn't have David Meyer guiding Jeff Murphy's (now Ranu's) hands on the keyboard, I don't know what does.

  34. More Floating Zones HEU fun: reduced onsite parking requirements for high density, section 30.36.090. Before you get your developer panties in a twist, 6:18, this gem is also not part of the EIR.

    This means the developer gets to build market-rate units where onsite parking spots should be required. Overflow parking from not enough onsite spaces goes into the surrounding neighborhood.

    Jeff Murphy's Housing Element Update: the gift that keeps on giving.