Wednesday, September 30, 2015

David Meyer's new Density Bonus project

From the Inbox:

There's a new Density Bonus project in town!  The Weston family is developing approximately 14 acres off La Costa, west of the I-5.  Last night's CPP (Citizen Participation Plan) meeting was fronted by none other than David Meyer, the self-described "Entitlement Consultant" for the Weston family. 

Meyer's "I always get my way from this city" attitude was evident as residents raised concerns about:

  • the 450 cars expected to enter and exit daily through one outlet onto La Costa Blvd.
  • the soil that has already turned up, among other ag leftovers, toxaphene, one of the worst known carcinogens.  Meyer was hardly conscientious about his handling of contaminated dirt on Nantucket projects (Sheridan and Andrew), with the City equally happy not to enforce compliance.  The City is currently deciding "whether" an EIR will be required on this project, even with the presence of toxaphene.
  • Meyer's rounding up on base density, despite the Council's recent agreement with the BIA that future development will round down.  Meyer simply and with complete confidence stated: "The City is wrong."  When asked about his threat to sue the City if it required rounding down, Meyer claimed the person "had their information wrong," even though he had made recent public threats  to the  Council that he would, in fact, sue. 

Testy when asked about previous attempts to get out from under affordable housing requirements, Meyer attempted to rewrite history to a skeptical crowd.  Many present knew that the real story on the affordable units on Meyer's Saxony project is that they were traded away, but done under the builder's name, Shea Homes.  This was a typically slick move by Meyer, similar to his returning the two affordable lots at Nantucket to Barratt American before BA went bankrupt.  Meyer walked away from that one without building the two affordable units he'd promised.

His stock answer to everything was "it's the law," to which audience members responded "it's a sham." 

What remains to be seen is how far backward the City will continue to bend for Meyer, given the departures of Vina and Murphy.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


A memorial shrine south of Las Olas:

The words in the picture frame are Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden.
In Loving memory of Tara Jean Murphy 1969 - 2013

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message 'She is Dead'.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

She was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
Murphy was killed crossing the highway on April 7, 2013.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Super Harvest Moon total eclipse tonight

Take a look to the sky tonight.

The eclipse starts about 9PM, and will be total about 10PM.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

9/23/15 City Council meeting open thread

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

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Fruit forest to honor Teresa Barth

Coast News:
A proposal to create a grove of edible fruit trees in Glen Park dedicated to former City Councilwoman Teresa Barth is up for consideration by the City Council Wednesday night.
What do you consider Barth's greatest contributions to Encinitas from her eight years on the city council?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

SD Reader follow-up on Olivenhain drug house fire

San Diego Reader:
Neighbors who reported the house fire told authorities they saw a man, later identified as Jeremy Henry, 39, at a second-story window screaming for help. The man broke the window and climbed down with help from neighbors.

“He stated there was another person in the house to responding firefighters, before he was taken to a local hospital for treatment,” the medical examiner reported. Fire-department personnel attempted a rescue but were repelled by heavy smoke and fire.

“[Henry] said there was thick smoke and he could not see his hand in front of his face,” read the report. Bed posts blocked some of the windows, which made it “difficult,” and smoke alarms in the house were “inoperable,” the survivor reportedly stated.

Henry told authorities that Black was the only other person in the home. “He told deputy Backouris that he and the decedent had gone to sleep in the master bedroom on the second floor. He was awakened by black smoke filling the room and woke Shelby. He was able to find the window and broke it. He thought Shelby was right behind him when he went through the window,” according to the report. The woman’s body was found directly under the escape window.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Car Wars

Cranky old car driver meets earnest young bike advocate on Traffic Commission; hilarity ensues.
Commissioner Dave Hutchinson took issue with [Commissioner Brian] Grover promoting “complete streets” — roads that accommodate car lanes, as well as bike lanes and sidewalks.

“Your agenda, so it’s been revealed in the last couple of weeks, is anti-traffic,” Hutchinson said. “It’s complete streets, which cuts down the flow of traffic.”

Hutchinson also said that the commission’s mission is to ensure the steady flow of car traffic, not bike access.

“When I joined, this was the traffic commission ... biking wasn’t even in the vocabulary,” Hutchinson said. He added that the commission now has “this emphasis on biking, which is opposed to what we’re supposed to be doing in trying to get traffic to flow through this community. I have a real problem with that.”

In response, Grover quoted the city’s website, which states that the seven-member commission makes recommendations to the Encinitas City Council on “matters related to the circulation of motorized vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles and on matters related to public safety.”
UPDATE: An anonymous commenter says that the city is investigation whether Grover's communications with a subset of council members is a violation of the Brown Act, and another comment purports to quote one e-mail which might be in violation. What are the consequences to violating the Brown Act? We hear an awful lot about it but never hear any consequences.

UPDATE 2: Hutchinson responds.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Leucadians applaud state grant for rail underpass

By Wednesday night, word had spread through the city’s Leucadia community about the city’s grant success. More than a dozen parents and students from Paul Ecke Central Elementary, plus William Morrison — vice president of the Leucadia 101 Main Street Association — appeared at the council meeting to give their thanks to Pruim, as well as other city employees and the council members.

“For the Paul Ecke community, this underpass means way more than connecting Vulcan (Avenue) and the 101,” Rebecca Conley, vice president of the PTA, told the council. “It means connecting the parents and the school. It means connecting the families and the kids and our community as a whole.”
The large grant, following on the heels of the Santa Fe underpass grant, comes despite Encinitas supposedly "losing out on infrastructure grant dollars" due to the last several councils having failed to pass a Housing Element Update.

Power failure across wide swath of Encinitas

Locals from the coast 101 area to Village Park are reporting a complete power failure that began around 1:45 pm today.

By about 2:07 pm, power was coming back on in some areas.

SDG&E's Twitter feed reports that the company was ordered to cut power by the state.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Encinitas celebrates California car culture

... with the annual Wavecrest Woodie Meet, where classic cars come from all over the West for the weekend to celebrate California's history of beach culture and the open road.

The City of Encinitas kindly reserves the whole Moonlight Beach parking lot for the event. Drive on down to Moonlight Beach this weekend and check out the classics!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

9/16/15 City Council meeting open thread

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

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Planning Dept to keep on keepin' on improving

From the Inbox:

On tonight's agenda, Planning is going to launch their Continuous Improvement Plan.


We conduct ourselves with honesty and integrity, live up to our commitments and openly
communicate our processes and actions to the public in order to promote trust.

2015-09-16 Item 11A - Development Services Continuous Improvement Information Item

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Leucadians report return of summer gas smell

From the comments:
AnonymousSeptember 12, 2015 at 1:38 PM Heavy Duty gas smell in Leucadia today. What the hell is it?
AnonymousSeptember 12, 2015 at 1:43 PM
We just smelled it too.
This is a recurring summer phenomenon in North County, noticed again last month. We believe it's organic from the ocean, caused by the summer heat.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

House cleaning begins: Planning Director Jeff Murphy out!

This from an EU source who has been consistently solid in the past.

Murphy is reportedly gone as of October 2, and will be taking a job with the City of San Diego.

Murphy was hired by former City Manager Gus Vina, and had a rocky relationship from the start with both the council and the public. The perpetually failed Housing Element Update was the responsibility of his department, and residents say Murphy's Planning Department often encouraged property owners to build denser developments out of character with their neighborhoods. The City Council famously ripped into Murphy in 2013 when he tried to replace the 4/5 majority rule for upzoning with a 3/5 simple majority.

Murphy was most recently responsible for the new full-time, pensioned code enforcement officer who did almost nothing to address the downtown problems but instead harassed a Cardiff bar that wasn't bothering anybody.

A longer, but surely incomplete, history of Murphy's travails can be found here.

Former Sierra Madre Councilman Joe Mosca appointed to Parks & Rec Commission

In February, controversial former Sierra Madre Councilman Joe Mosca applied for the Parks & Rec Commission.

Last night, the City Council appointed Mosca to fill a vacancy on the commission.

Judging by his past and his political affiliations, Mosca will run for City Council, and he'll align with the Barthist "Smart Growther" faction on the council.

More on Mosca's history at Sierra Madre Tattler.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

9/9/15 City Council meeting open thread

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

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

2016 Election Pre-game

By request.

There are a lot of interesting structural dynamics in the 2016 election.  Here's how we see the players. We'll categorize them by the three local factions: Republicans, Barthists, and Prop A folks.

Kristin Gaspar (Republican): Already announced Supervisor run.  Opponents are Escondido Mayor Sam Abed and incumbent Dave Roberts (or a Democratic replacement if Roberts doesn't recover from the hostile work environment and improper use of taxpayer funds scandals).  Gaspar is thus likely out of Encinitas politics unless she fails to make the top two in the June Supervisor primary and then announces she'll seek re-election.

Catherine Blakespear (Barthist): Likely to run for Mayor from her safe council seat (as Tony Kranz did in 2014).  May not face a serious challenger because most other candidates would find it easier to win a council seat.

Tony Kranz (Barthist): Will run for re-election unless he moves out of state.  Likely to win due to large number of open seats (4 if Blakespear wins Mayor seat) and likely weak field.

Mark Muir (Republican): Likely to run for re-election, won't challenge Blakespear for Mayor because it would a lot riskier than running for council.  Likely to win re-election.

Lisa Shaffer (Barthist): Has said she wouldn't run again, but don't count on it.

Paul Gaspar (Republican): Seems politically ambitious and could probably win a council seat given his name recognition and fundraising ability.

Sheila Cameron (Prop A): Won't run again.

Julie Graboi (Prop A): Seems inclined not to run, but would be among the stronger Prop A candidates due to name recognition and practice on the campaign trail.  Remember, Tony Kranz got elected on his second try.

Al Lerchbacker (Republican): Hasn't been seen much since failed 2014 campaign, so it's unclear whether he's still interested.  However, with party backing and an earlier start and easier field this time, could probably win a seat.

So at this point we'll pencil in Blakespear for Mayor, Kranz and Muir to keep their council seats, and two other seats up for grabs.

We can think of several other Barthists who might run: the "Engage Encinitas" women and a traffic commissioner or two.  We're not aware of any other Prop A folks getting ready to run.  What have you heard?

UPDATE: Welcome former Sierra Madre Smart Growther Councilman Joe Mosca to the race!

UPDATE 2: Apparently the rules are such that if Blakespear wins Mayor and thus vacates her council seat, the seat does not go to the fourth-place vote getter, but is appointed by the council.  The vacancy wouldn't occur until the new mayor is seated, so presumably the new council is the one to make the appointment.  If Mosca wins, the Barthists would have a 3-1 majority and make an appointment to give themselves a 4-1 supermajority (which could resurrect the Barth-Shaffer-Kranz sales tax increase).  If Lerch or another Republican wins, we'd have a 2-2 stalemate which could lead to the appointment of an independent, non-partisan compromise candidate.

Happy 50th Carol Kook

Friday, September 4, 2015

Stocks, Gaspar, Muir launch North County Republican PAC

There's a new PAC in town. North County Leadership Council:
Despite the fact that North County holds a large proportion of the county’s population (approximately 57%), serves as an important economic hub, and holds practically unlimited potential, the region lacks an established political network dedicated toward promoting and electing the next generation of pro-prosperity candidates.

Consequently, a coalition of North County elected officials and community leaders has established the North County Leadership Council, an organization dedicated to supporting and electing strong leaders for the future while advocating for issues that matter to the region as a whole.

We believe an alliance among elected officials from all North County cities and jurisdictions north of State Route 56 can create stronger political leadership and new opportunities for the region.

Primary among the organizations activities will be the establishment and growth of a Political Action Committee geared toward supporting local and regional candidates who have received the endorsement of the organization.

In addition, the NCLC will also seek to organize regional leaders to address, advocate for, or oppose issues that have an impact on the entire region.
Former Mayor Jerome Stocks is the Chairman of NCLC, and current Mayor Kristin Gaspar and Councilman Mark Muir are on the board of directors, along with other north county Republican mayors and council members.

Filings show that the PAC was established in May, with its initial funding coming in June from Gaspar, Muir, and Stocks Insurance in addition to Oceanside Councilman Jerry Kern and two others.

Anyone interested in supporting stronger political leadership and new opportunities for the region can contribute here.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Local Summer

In the 1890's, early German settlers in Olivenhain coined the term "Lokalen Sommer," referring to that time from early September to early October when the Zonies headed back home and the grommets were back in school, but the weather remained spectacular and the beaches were all for locals.

In the tradition of those early settlers, Encinitans from every corner (especially Merle), rejoice in Local Summer to this day.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Solana Beach kidnapper Jack Doshay back in custody on charges for second attack

CBS 8:
A man accused of trying to kidnap a little girl outside a Solana Beach Elementary School is back in custody on a new charge related to another alleged kidnapping victim. He is now being held on $5 million bail.

Jack Doshay was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. The prosecution said there may be changes to the charges he's facing. The preliminary hearing was set to start at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, but the courtroom was switched, causing a delay in the hearing.
Back in April, we pointed out that DA Bonnie Dumanis' inexplicable decision to charge Doshay with simple, rather than aggravated, kidnapping meant that he could be back on the streets preying on children before he turned 30. Perhaps this second incident will cause prosecutors to take the case more seriously despite Doshay's family's wealth and political connections.

The new charges are related to a previously reported 2010 attempted molestation of a 5-year-old at Doshay's former elementary school.

UPDATE: From the Reader:
On September 2, prosecutor Ryan Saunders informed a judge that he was able to get an indictment on ten charges from a grand jury last week, after he brought forward new evidence against Doshay.

Some of the new charges include lewd acts on a child with force, kidnap with sexual intent, and a charge of multiple victims. The maximum prison time if Doshay is convicted of all current charges is 50 years to life in prison, according to prosecutor Saunders.
It's going to be very hard to prove that older case unless they've got some physical evidence they're not telling us about. They'd better bring more serious charges in the 2015 case.