Dear Mayor Gaspar and Councilmembers Blakespear, Krantz, Muir, and Shaffer,
I am writing to you regarding the inclusion of "Site C-3" (several parcels in Cardiff's Commercial District) in the Sustainable Mixed Use Plan (SMUP), also called Environmentally Superior Alternative. This plan removes 7 sites from and adds a SINGLE site to council's Modified Mixed Uses Places (MMUP) plan. Removing net 400-500 (going from approximately 2400 to 1987) units obviously seems like a superior alternative.
I suggest an Even More Environmentally Superior Alternative - Remove the SINGLED out Cardiff Commercial District from the plan. Why should this site receive special treatment?
1. This is the ONLY site added by staff in creating the SMUP (see below e-mail).
2. The inclusion of this site is NOT DEMOCRATIC. All the other sites on the SMUP came from the MMUP, which is more democratic in nature, because it was based on multiple engagement exercises with the community. This site could have been put on the map by a single person on city staff. Not democratic.
3. The people of Cardiff (and greater Encinitas) never got a chance to weigh in on this site, since this site has not been on suggested on many of the other maps. This seems like an END-RUN, more so since one of parcel comments states, "Developer Interest."
4. This is a massive change to the DEMOCRATICALLY DERIVED CARDIFF SPECIFIC PLAN. Hence, likely not the preferred place for density in Cardiff.
What is problematic about changing the zoning of this site to Cardiff?
1. The Cardiff Commercial District sits at the intersection of two one lane roads in the heart of our community. This is not highway 101. This is a sleepy beach town. One of the LAST PRESERVED BEACH TOWNS on the California coast. Increasing the bulk and mass, changes Cardiff forever.
2. The people of Cardiff value public and private views. The natural slope allows everyone to have at least a peek. Three story mixed use is not like 3 story residential. This new zoning will allow 38 feet of height, with allowances on the roof top for air conditioner heat exchange (loud) and such. The current heights in Cardiff are 12 feet and 22 feet, depending on grade, with 4 feet for roofline. At 38 feet, this property is being zoned to be HIGHER THAN PACIFIC STATION. This will adversely affect views.
3. Traffic is already problematic in this area due to the Chesterfield crossing and narrow lanes on Birmingham. Any INCREASE IN TRAFFIC, as the 200 residents from the 100 allowed units travel to and from work, at the same time people come for grocery shopping or to restaurants and bars, will be untenable.
4. This is a massive change to our community for 67 HCD units that are not really needed. The SMUP has 1987 units, whereas the city needs 1093 units (possibly 1286).
What can you do now that EIRs, etc. have been done?
1. If Council agrees with the above reasoning (or other rationale), please remove the Cardiff Commercial District from the HEU.
2. It has been said that staff's view is that once various bureaucratic processes are completed, it is difficult to adjust things in a timely fashion. Sometimes you have to just say no, and send people back to think more imaginatively, to innovate, and to improvise. This is what leaders demand. You can tell staff this is what you want to do. You can put this plan on the ballot, get the public vote, and then fix the bureaucratic elements. We rely on your leadership here.
3. It has been said the EIR would change if you remove the Cardiff site. This does not make a lot of sense. Under the proposed change the property owner would have the right to keep the property as is, build with current zoning, or build with the proposed upzoning. Therefore, the EIR should already account for the Cardiff Commercial District retaining current zoning.
I am submitting this respectfully, and am open to any further dialog that may assist you.
Cardiff by the Sea Town Council
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Cardiff Town Council protests high-density switcheroo on tonight's agenda
Cardiff Town Council: