Wednesday, June 15, 2016

6/15/16 City Council meeting open thread *** HOUSING PROPOSITION ***

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

Of special interest tonight is the Housing Element Update which will put a proposition on November's ballot to allow high-density three-story condos in many areas of Encinitas now zoned for two stories and/or non-residential.

Please use the comments to record your observations.

54 comments:

  1. So...assume the City will plow ahead full speed, but tonight's item should NOT BE HEARD this evening. "Staff" posted a 171-page updated agenda report full of additions and deletions.

    That is a violation of the Brown Act that requires 72-hour notice of new information before a regularly-scheduled meeting.

    They just can't help themselves, can they?? Assume the city will have the usual nonsensical excuses at the ready to spin this. Assume the Council will adopt whatever "staff" puts in front of them. Because, you know - staff are the experts!

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    1. The same department has been in charge of this failed plan for the past six years, and yet they are all still here. At the very least, shouldn't our Planning staff be able to work something called a calendar? There are absolutely no standards of performance at the city in a community of people who have high expectations. We need council members to set the tone for high standards and not this weekly farce.

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    2. "That is a violation of the Brown Act that requires 72-hour notice of new information before a regularly-scheduled meeting."

      No it's not, Government Code (Brown Act):

      54954.2.

      (a) (1) At least 72 hours before a regular meeting, the legislative body of the local agency, or its designee, shall post an agenda containing a brief general description of each item of business to be transacted or discussed at the meeting, including items to be discussed in closed session. A brief general description of an item generally need not exceed 20 words. The agenda shall specify the time and location of the regular meeting and shall be posted in a location that is freely accessible to members of the public and on the local agency’s Internet Web site, if the local agency has one.


      54957.5.

      (b) (1) If a writing that is a public record under subdivision (a), and that relates to an agenda item for an open session of a regular meeting of the legislative body of a local agency, is distributed less than 72 hours prior to that meeting, the writing shall be made available for public inspection pursuant to paragraph (2) at the time the writing is distributed to all, or a majority of all, of the members of the body.

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    3. What does it say about this blog when quoting the California Government Code gets your entry removed? Whether it's the spam filter or by manual removal, citing actual text with little comment helps educate readers.

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  2. The Rail Trail which was item 11C is the first item on the agenda. There were no advance notifications on this. There were 4 speakers, which is low because many would have attended later in the evening.

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  3. VOTE NOOOOO on the Housing Element.

    If it is so great, why must they resort to trickery, lies and propaganda at the cost of at least 4 million dollars. Kiss Manjeet Ranu, Strong, Vurbeff and others good bye once this thing is voted down.

    Good plans that actually reflect the values of the community needn't be force fed to voters.

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  4. BOMBSHELL: Council were thinking the four maps added up to a superset of parcel options they could swap around to assemble a final map tonight.

    Not true.

    The EIR has locked them into picking one of the maps basically as is. They can tweak density or height on specific parcels as long as they end up with enough units and buffer to satisfy RHNA.

    Gaspar is pissed off this wasn't made clear earlier.

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    1. Nothing is ever clear coming from the Planning Department, particularly since Manjeet has taken charge. Citizens have tried to tell the Council that he is a liar, but now they seem surprised that the rug has been pulled out from under them, too.

      Look at the row of so-called consultants sitting behind Strong and Ranu. Most of them are paid tens of thousands of our dollars to plant their asses in chairs to make a showing at meetings. Our planners can't seem to use the bathroom without hiring a consultant to support them. This department reflects poorly on the Council since they have been played for at least six years.

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  5. Excellent point 7:58. Also the attorney says we will have SEVERE CONSEQUENCES if the Council doesn't chose from these 4 sites, as it will not get on the November ballot. All the Council looks pissed, even Shaffer. The attorney who is telling them all of this is someone they hired to write the language on the ballot. Seems as if he should have told them a bit earlier. Also, he said the median income in Encintias was $65,000. According to Wikipedia that is low, as it is about $75,000. They makes a difference. He also keeps referring to Prop.A as something else. Has this man done his homework, and how much is he getting paid to do this?

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    1. So the lies about Prop A continue. What happened to the pledge from this council that they would uphold Prop A since it is the law?

      All Mike and Manjeet have been doing for the past year and a half is to try to derail and work around Prop A. It looks like they are caught with their pants down tonight.

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  6. Prediction......after listening to all speakers, council will vote to approve this stating their hands were tied and there is no other alternative.

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    1. Agree with the approval prediction. And no pants down. Wait for it...Council will praise staff to the skies.

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  7. How embarrassing. Dude just got up and said he supports the HEU, but never heard it was about affordable housing. Whoops.

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  8. Hats off to a few very articulate speakers including, Rahul Deshpande, the new President of the Cardiff Town Counci, Peter Stern, Bruce Ehlers, and so many others who spoke tonight at he Council meeting. Encinitas Votes also has a running commentary for those interested.

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  9. Planners can wear jackets and ties for the hearing, and it still will not convince voters to accept their plan. Vote no on the Housing Element.

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  10. Council is on their game tonight.

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  11. This new special council they have brought in is very good and very smart, but he's also an arrogant a-hole. I wouldn't want to hang out with him, but he knows his sh1t.

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    1. He spoke with assurance. Don't confuse that with telling them the truth.

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  12. Blakespear, Kranz, Muir, don't expect to get re-elected.
    Gaspar don't count on that supervisor job.

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    1. What will Gaspar do? She'll be like $tock$ - washed up. Good riddance.

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  13. 11:15-

    Right. That dude looked like a total tool! A complete idiot.

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  14. Recap- The only change made on the maps were that Cardiff could have 2 instead of 3 stories in their downtown area. There were at least 2 Brown Act violations, but no piggy, right? The whole Council looked like they had no idea that they had to vote on one of these maps that evening. But, all of the maps have 3 stories. So it does beg the question what happens to Prop. A , which is the law already? Do the intend to ignore it? I hope we don't let them. The smug attorney may think he knows is stuff, but I very much doubt if there are Severe Consequences if we turn this down. I have found many cities that are also not in compliance and nothing has happened to them. The attorney makes it seem as if BIG GOVERNMENT from Sacto will come in an reign havoc on us. They don't have the staff to do that. Don't be fooled just because he sounded good.

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    1. Bring in the courts, all the lies by planning will come to light. Maybe even some jail time. They are not very smart as they have shown, repeatedly. Do,you really think they know how to cover their corrupt tracks. Doubt it. Will their developer bosses throw them under the buss with the first wiff of legal,ramifications, hellmyeah they will.

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    2. Exactly: bring in the courts. There is no way, despite the frantic warnings of council and cronies, that this monster of a plan could be worse than a judge. It doesn't get any scarier than it already is.

      And "staff": spare yourselves composing scenarios of gloom and doom. When will you learn we're not buying what you're selling?

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  15. "many cities"

    That's some Trumpesque vagueness right there.

    Bonus points for combining in one post a demand that we comply with state law (Brown Act), and ignore state law (housing).

    Logical consistency much?

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    1. Aw there you go again with that "law" BS. And no, I'm not being sarcastic. It is BS.

      HCD says there is "flexibility" in dealing with them and how much we do/don't do. The suggestion by Muir that we go back to HCD died on the spot.

      The council got exactly what it wanted last night. They will not get what they want when this thing goes down hard in November.

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  16. Per the Cardiff change, do you believe a developer will want to build a two story up to 30' on 65% of lot? Will it pencil out? Would they need to do underground parking?

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    1. A developer will prefer second story commercial, which they have always had the right to build. A second story restaurant with a view is worth more to them than an apartment. The third floor would have changed things with a floor of luxury condos. They only got the third floor if they built residences. Underground parking (below the water table) would be needed for two stories (commercial or mixed use) to use the land. Construction nightmare.

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    2. Good question concerned.

      Hard to tell. It's certainly less lucrative at 2 stories than 3. The Seaside center has had a lot of capital investment made in the last few years. The business plan for that investment would be justified by a certain number of years of higher rent. Not enough time has elapsed for the owner to recover those costs yet. So any sale or redevelopment proposal based on the new zoning would have to also pay off those previous project debts, as well as show profit for the future project. Having two stories limits the number of units relative to land cost. If underground parking would be required, that's more cost.

      Bottom line, the financial bar on the Seaside property would be pretty high initially, but it gets lower every year under the new zoning, as debts on the historical capital investment are paid down.

      The VGs/Cardiff Office center is pretty old and hasn't had much capital investment. I would imagine it would be much easier to make a sale or profitable redevelopment proposal on that property.

      If the HEU passes, I'd expect to see the VGs property get redeveloped before the Seaside one, unless the owner is happy living off the current rental income, and doesn't want to replace it with one big lump sum check.

      I'm not in real estate, but I have worked on business cases for capital investments.

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    3. 11:11- The owner of the VG's center lives in Spain. A few years back some of us approached the people who manage it and asked him to ask the owner if he wanted to sell. The answer was NO. Perhaps he will change his mind, but that was about 3 years ago when we asked. So, it will be interesting to see what happens to that property.

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    4. As I understand the "Best Pizza" look is the plan for the property. They were going to do Best Pizza first and then do the rest in time. They gutted Best Pizza so it's pretty much a rebuild other than the structure.

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    5. Is the Besta-Wan Pizza House on the same block? what confusion. Will the real best pizza stand up?

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  17. Remember this. If you vote for this Housing Element, you are also nullifying Prop.A. The language of Prop A. says citizens can vote to change it. So be careful how you vote. Prop A was a citizen initiative. And, if overturned, it affects other things. For the poster who said something about Trump vagueness, do your own homework. It's apparent you have a computer and you can Google the same thing I did. We can't do all the work for you. Yes, there were actually 2 Brown Act violations last night. But we all know nothing happens when the Brown act is violated. I offer nothing will happen if we say no to this HEI as well. Gov. Brown pretty much decimated the group who does the investigating of violation of Housing. They have no money, very little staff, and have not taken one city to court. Look it up if you are skeptical. In fact, I suggest anyone who is skeptical do your homework. This is too important to leave to staff and the fear of lawsuits.

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    1. And again: HCD itself admitted it never goes after a city for non compliance.

      Affordable housing "advocates" may sue - such as our very own David Meyer - but we have to decide who runs this town. Is it the 40,000 registered voters or Davud Meyer? Is the 40,000 or the mega profit-driven BIA?

      Say no to the HEU and no to the shakedown from Meyer and the BIA.

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    2. Right on brother! ((11:08))

      Furthermore, the city will cave to the residents before going under oath, not that it will ever go there for reasons stated by 11:08. If it did make it to court, the real reasons why we cant pass anything will come to light. A criminal investigation would be ordered or some people would be fired at the least. I am sure our own city attorney knows to not get courts involved as he would be scrutinized as well.

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    3. Yep 11:49. Our own City Attorney already knows they violated the Brown Act last night, in fact twice. He also knows a lot more than he is telling us, perhaps even the Council. More on that later. For now, if this passes, it effectively guts Prop.A It is true that the citizens can vote for the HEU and Prop A would remain in place for future upzonings. However, how much left is there to upzone? So, in my opinion, this is the defining moment for Prop A as well.

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    4. Garbage.

      Worst legal analysis I have ever heard.

      Making a conscious decision to get sued without a legal leg to stand on is really really dumb. What you are suggesting leads directly to worse outcomes than passing the HEU.

      If the HEU gets voted down, Meyer or another developer will buy an interest in any property that has shown up on any map throughout the HEU update process. He gets to chose the parcels based on his financial gain, not community character or traffic impacts.

      Meyer will them propose a 3-story, R-30 plus density bonus project that pushes the boundaries in every way you can imagine. The planning commission and city council will deny the project.

      Then Meyer will partner with affordable housing advocacy groups to buddy up on a lawsuit against Encinitas, which we will spend a ton of money on and ultimately lose, and have to pay the legal bill for Meyer and the affordable housing advocates.

      Best case scenario is the court declares prop A an incompatible restraint on development in conflict with state housing law and sets both Prop A and the result of the public vote aside. The court would give City Council maybe 90 days to pass a compliant HEU, and another 90 days to implement it. Of course, doing this against a deadline will be sloppy hurried. In the end, we'd get an HEU similar to the one we voted down minus a big chunk of cash we give to all the lawyers (ours and the plaintiffs').

      Worst case scenario, the court grants a victory to DCM limited to the one parcel in question, and his legal costs. DCM takes the proceeds and plows them into the next property. Over time, we lose case after case, and the legal bills pile up again and again. And the community character is completely lost as the developers choose which parcels they want to develop based exclusively on profit potential. Lather, rinse, repeat until actual units developed hit RHNA targets.

      If you live in O-hain, this might not be so bad, as the highest profit potential is likely concentrated on the coast. Which means the pattern of development will be concentrated there. Cardiff, Old Encintias and Leucadia would be screwed royally.

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    5. Thank you, Marco (or clone)! Fearmongering and wild speculation at its wordiest.

      Even the developer bought-and-paid for "expert" attorney mumbled last night that a judge would potentially come in - only if prompted by a Meyer - and place a moratorium on construction.

      Um, ok. Sign me up.

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    6. 3:09

      He gets paid by the hour that is why that load of BS is so wordy. And the moratorium would be placed while the criminal investigation is done and a reasonable plan that respects height and set back restrictions is completed. Could take years once they discover how wide spread it is. Could our city attorney get disbarred? Almost seems like he is in on the funneling of encinitas dollars and property values to developers. Knowing our city they will probably hire Duke Cunningham as a consultant.

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    7. The scary thing is, I think you people actually believe this crap. You have convinced each other that you can win, and I don't mean the vote. You might actually win the vote and have the HEU rejected.

      But you have created an illusion for each other of a consequence free world. You want a specific outcome so badly that you are willing to reverse engineer a substitute reality where the facts are in your favor.

      It's an exercise in mass delusion, and it might just destroy the specific thing you purport to be saving: our community character.

      If that happens, will you accept responsibility, or invent yet another alternate universe where someone else is to blame? Don't bother. We know.

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    8. Ha ha ha 4:42

      In your world it is win or lose In reality we just want the spirit of this doomed mandate to be fulfilled, 3 stories is not mandated. Laws change, especially special interest laws that intend to dupe the public. You have created the illusion that we all see for what its is. Sorry, but your/you whores in planning and on the council days are number. You are delusional if you think the city, state, or special interest group will hold our town hostage with the threat of lawsuits and even more development. This BS plan put together is not the end all be all for us like it is for you. A realistic one can be made, it will suck for the developers but studies have actually shown a negative return on buying politicians so they should have known. Furthermore, "might destroy..." Is way better then absolutely positively destroy.

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    9. No kidding, 5:54. 4:42 is sounding verrrry desperate. I wonder if there are firings or probations or potential bonuses tied to this thing failing? "Staff" act like there are.

      Same goes for the prepaid answers the EIR attorney and "expert" consultants the Council - we - shell out the big bucks for. We are paying them to work against us.

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    10. 5:54 PM

      Wishful thinking isn't a strategy. Right now the legislature is considering bills that are even more onerous on the locals for affordable housing. So far a number of these bills are showing strong support among the legislators. The density bonus bill 2501 which limits, in essence, local review of density bonus projects even has the backing of the governor. So you go on with your unsupported hope that things will turnaround to your way of thinking.

      Many speakers Wednesday night talked as if HCD is the source of the housing element requirements when it's actually right in the legislation. HCD just has to uphold it.

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  18. Yes they will do underground parking in all of these condo developments.

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  19. How ironic. At the council meeting the consultant attorney answering the council questions is an attorney for developers. He represented a developer in a lawsuit against Monte Sereno.

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  20. The bottom line is A vote for the housing element is a vote against prop A.

    I for one do not want density is like Huntington Beach. I will be voting against the housing element.

    Tell all your friends and neighbors. If they want Encinitas to look like Huntington Beach vote for the housing element .

    If you like it it the way it is today, vote no against the housing element. It's that simple .

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    1. Is it really that simple? No - it's not. I certainly don't want Encinitas to "turn into Huntington Beach" either....but guess what - it won't. The geographic boundaries of Encinitas pretty much ensure that by itself. But I don't want Encinitas to stay like it is either. I want it to be current, vibrant, a nice mix of young and old that promotes a healthy, active and intellectual lifestyle. For the most part the city has done a great job in promoting those values - however the execution at times is embarrassing. Oh well, reward the try and keep trying. I see the Vote No campaign as a visceral response to impotence and I'm still on the fence as to whether it's the right move or not. Is it easier to pass it and then change it with different representatives? If it fails, there will be consequences but it's a stretch to say exactly what those are. I abhor obstruction (Hall Property) - no one gets what they want and no one is happy with the outcome. I prefer to keep things moving forward - sideways is OK too -

      - The Sculpin

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    2. oh good lord, Sculp. Do you really not think that "rezone it and they will build" is NOT a threat?

      Your prefernce to "keep things moving forward" is shared less and less by most residents. It's known you drank the Kool Aid a long time ago, so your remarks are hardly relevant now. It is the rest of us who have moved forward. Fearmongering no longer plays.

      The consquences outlined by HCD and confirmed on Wednesday by the HEU attorney would be welcome: a judge declares a moratorium on construction until the city passes a HEU. At some point, the city will cave and produce a HEU free enough of shenanigans for folks to get behind...or not. In the meantime, we enjoy a building moratorium. Bring it on.

      Developers and the BIA have overplayed there hand. Talk about shooting themselves in their collective smelly feet.

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    3. If you seriously look at some of the zoning changes that this HEU proposes, they're almost nonsensical. There's no way the current economic outlook would support building out these parcels. The koolaid thinking of some basically says that developers always make obscene profits. They don't. Look at the corner of Encintas Blvd. & RSF road. It's not a bad spot for a project - but any project there would be transformative to the surrounding infrastcructure, the geography and the current commercial zone. That's expensive! Not to mention you have to get several property owners sufficiently aligned with the project to either contribute or sell. On top of that signs of another downturn are here. Construction financing is hard to come by. These trends fly in the face of the claim that this HEU will open the floodgates to greedy developers. If you've ever done a development deal you know they never turn out the way you expect. Bottom line, while these zoning changes have an immediate effect on paper, it will be well into the next economic cycle if any of these changes translate to actual construction.

      All that said, I'm certainly not proposing that this is a well thought out HEU. I agree that it's a flawed document drafted in response to a short term threat. But that's what's on the table.

      As for a building moratorium, I certainly would not want my property rights abridged because a city council couldn't get their act together and do its job.

      Sigh...................

      - The Sculpin

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    4. If the zoning changes are nonsensical, they should come out.

      And as for property rights: you apparently missed the fine print that waives consideration of property values when constructing high density next to single-family residential and low-density zoning

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  21. oh good lord, Sculp. Do you really not think that "rezone it and they will build" is NOT a threat?

    Your prefernce to "keep things moving forward" is shared less and less by most residents. It's known you drank the Kool Aid a long time ago, so your remarks are hardly relevant now. It is the rest of us who have moved forward. Fearmongering no longer plays.

    The consquences outlined by HCD and confirmed on Wednesday by the HEU attorney would be welcome: a judge declares a moratorium on construction until the city passes a HEU. At some point, the city will cave and produce a HEU free enough of shenanigans for folks to get behind...or not. In the meantime, we enjoy a building moratorium. Bring it on.

    Developers and the BIA have overplayed there hand. Talk about shooting themselves in their collective, smelly feet.

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  22. 10:50

    The actual affordable housing movement is just getting started. The crap the we currently have has shown to result in a negative number of affordable homes built since. More attempts by developers to enrich the,selves in the name of the poor, through Sacramento, will only result in a bigger pendulum swing against the greed and the status quo.

    Its called democracy., happens everyday here.

    Nothing you say can change the fact that we are paying people good money to not come up with a clean HCD. They lie, manipulate, and mislead every stepmof the way. First couple of times it happened, to my face, I let it slide. Now I want a pound of flesh and will get it with a no vote. If it a judge gets involved even better, then we get to hold people accountable.

    Give up,on your wish of three stories in Encinitas, not going to happen. Talk about wishful thinking. Did you learn nothing from prop A? I know a lot of people in this town and not a single one has anything nice to say about the currently structured plan. Going down in flames, thanks for wasting more tax payer money.

    Is your argument that we should just pass this becuase it will get worse anyways? I don't know if it is desperation or just stupidity.

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  23. See especially this "by-right" reference:

    "He said being able to build "by-right" — meaning with a greatly reduced review process — would incentivize him as developer to build more, faster."

    in this article:

    http://www.scpr.org/news/2016/06/15/61693/5-things-to-know-about-governor-brown-s-proposed-h/

    This is text from numbered page 11 of our approved HEU plan:

    "This rezoning program will result in the rezoning of 101.53 net acres of land, creating an opportunity for at least 1,987 units that are allowed by-right during the planning period pursuant to Section 65583.2."

    This is text from searched page 49 of our approved HEU plan; the underlining means it was added for the final draft:

    "Notwithstanding the mid-point reference above, future development in the At Home in Encinitas (AHE) Zone is regulated by Chapter 30.36 of the Zoning Code, which allows a maximum density “by-right."

    If "by-right" means the same thing in the state doc as it means in our HEU, staff has sneaked in and council has passed a way to bypass laws and ordinances (CEQA?, Prop A?) that hinder development.

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