Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Housing meeting tomorrow night

After the failure of Measure T at the polls, the City Council will meet with residents tomorrow night to find a way forward to meet state housing mandates.

The meeting will be at 6pm at the Senior Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The $64,000 sketch

Well, once you have a $3 million lifeguard tower, prices start losing their shock value.

Coast News:
The City Council’s recommendation to the group, which is composed of local residents, community stakeholders and city commissioners, included the following:


• Approve a staff request for $64,000 that would allow city staff to develop conceptual drawings of an under crossing at Verdi Avenue as an alternative to a proposed at-grade crossing at Montgomery Avenue in Cardiff.
Who's drawing it? Picasso?

Undocumented driver plows into shoppers at Trader Joe's

Del Mar Times:
An unlicensed 87-year-old woman crashed her car into a Trader Joe’s store in Encinitas and injured four people on the afternoon of Jan. 26, authorities said.

A preliminary investigation found the woman, who was the sole occupant of a 2002 Honda Civic, backed her car into the store at 115 N. El Camino Real near the front door at about 2:38 p.m. and hit four female pedestrians, said Sgt. Scott Bligh of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department's North Coastal Station.


Three of the pedestrians were taken to local hospitals, while one was treated at the scene, Bligh said. No information was immediately available on any of their conditions, but authorities said each woman complained of pain and one was being treated for potential broken bones.

The driver, who had been cited in the past for prior moving violations and has never been licensed, was uninjured, Bligh said.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

1/25/17 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Encinitas housing in Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal:
The San Diego suburb of Encinitas hasn’t fulfilled a housing plan in more than two decades, and voters in November chose not to adopt one in a citywide referendum.

That leaves the city open to litigation from Marco Gonzalez, a former environmental lawyer-turned affordable-housing advocate. Mr. Gonzalez has fought antidevelopment neighborhood groups in Encinitas and surrounding towns in the past and threatened to file a lawsuit in October if the election failed.

He hasn’t sued yet, saying he is waiting to see what happens after the appointment of a new council member to fill a seat vacated by the city’s newly elected mayor.

“Sometimes you need to have a stick,” he said, “and whack a few cities over the head.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Yes on Streetscape

Darius Degher in the Coast News:
The reduction of vehicular lanes to one on each side will be a positive development in the long term, even if there is a period of adjustment needed.

Even if traffic becomes worse along Highway 101, this will only prompt drivers to stay on the freeway during rush hour (as they do in Del Mar), instead of using the 101 as a freeway surrogate.

Most importantly, it will, over time, encourage local residents to leave their cars at home and use their bikes instead. In future summers, when tourist families arrive from Phoenix in their incredibly large SUVs, hopefully, they will be able to park them for the week and rent bikes to get around instead.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Leucadia Streetscape's back

Apparently the draft Environmental Impact Report came out over the holidays and it ain't pretty. The public comment period is now closed.

Doug Fiske writing in the Coast News:
Few people like the Leucadia 101 corridor as it is. But the Streetscape plan described in the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) the city released in December is not a good upgrade.

Among the plan’s specifics:

[...] The plan would reduce a four-lane highway — called a major arterial — to two lanes but claim it’s still a major arterial. [...]

[...] 14 unrestricted lefts onto (Coast Highway) 101 from side streets. Where there are now two traffic lanes each way, lefts are already a hazard. Where there’s only one northbound lane, lefts are more hazardous. One traffic lane each way would make lefts even harder and more dangerous. [...]

[...] Solana Beach’s 101 corridor is a commercial success because there’s plenty of parking. To equal that corridor’s parking capacity, Leucadia Streetscape would have to add 2,700 spaces. Adding only 136 spaces over 2.5 miles would not produce the commercial boom the city and the Leucadia 101 Main Street Association have been salivating over [...]

[...] Removal of 31 heritage trees, including the iconic eucalyptus at the Leucadia Boulevard intersection. [...]

[...] Encroaching on or taking 16,545 square feet of private property.[...]

[...] In its words, “the draft EIR concludes that the project would result in significant unavoidable impacts for emergency services (fire protection and police protection) and traffic circulation.”

The project would increase emergency response times that are already far worse than the fire department’s goal. [...]
What's not to like?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

El Callejon replacement seeks to expand business hours

Party on, Encinitas!
In addition to Thai, Korean, Japanese and Chinese cuisine, the new restaurant, named Open House, is proposing to sell beer, wine and alcohol on site with a Type 47 liquor license, the same type of license as its predecessor.

Open House is proposing to open earlier and close later than El Callejon, with business hours of 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tipster: Mosca misrepresented his Sierra Madre past to Del Mar Times

One of the central complaints from Joe Mosca's former constituents is that he ran as a community character preservationist, and then voted pro-development.

From the Inbox:
Mosca tells a whopper in this article [Del Mar Times].
Mosca said many people were “under the impression that [he] was anti-growth,” but he did not label himself with a stance.

“To say you’re pro-development or anti-development really pigeon-holes you on the city council when you have responsibilities such as the [state-mandated] housing element and accommodating Regional Housing Need Allocation numbers and balancing that with property owners’ rights,” he said. 
Here is what he told the Pasadena Weekly in 2006.
Campaign motivation/issues: “I propose to solve the challenge of over-development by working closely with preservation groups to use preservation funds to purchase any open spaces that become available in our community to ensure that the open spaces will stay open and be held for the benefit of all the community. I also propose to change our zoning laws so that they represent our vision for our community and that they protect our vision to the fullest extent of the law. I do not want our community altered by high-density development projects or large buildings that do not fit into the fabric of our community."
Sound familiar?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Editorial: Muir was right on Mosca pick

North Coast Current:
What qualifies someone to be appointed to the Encinitas City Council? Two or three years living in the city with little public footprint outside a brief stint on the Parks and Recreation Commission. The one sitting council member to question this? Mark Muir.

As a troika of City Council members — Mayor Catherine Blakespear, Deputy Mayor Tony Kranz and Councilwoman Tasha Boerner Horvath — voted to appoint resident Joe Mosca out of 13 applicants to a vacant seat on the dais Jan. 11, Muir stood out as the one member willing to stand outside the majority in the name of community experience and continuity.
Click on over and read the whole thing.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Seaside Courier folds

Escondido Grapevine:
The monthly publication — which served coastal North County — did not print a December issue, and has no plans to print a January issue, according to T.K. Arnold, the paper’s lead contributing writer.

The publication’s website continues being updated periodically, Arnold said. The most recent online article was published on Dec. 28.

“The Courier has been closed down in terms of its publication since mid-December,” said Alice Jacobson, the newspaper’s owner and publisher.

Jacobson cited revenue problems and lack of advertising as the primary reasons that the paper has ceased print operations. Local businesses have to be particular with their advertising dollars, and may have found alternatives online and on social media, she added.

“Basically, Alice ran out of money,” Arnold said.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The fix is in! Council majority appoints carpetbagging L.A. political climber over numerous eminently qualified longtime locals

Meet your new appointed councilman Joe Mosca.

May this work out for the council schemers as well as the appointment of Mark Muir worked out for Jerome Stocks.

And they vote themselves a 45% pay and pension increase to boot. Notice how they do this immediately after an election, knowing that the voters will not remember by the time of the next election.

1/11/17 City Council meeting open thread

They're baaaaaack....

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Encinitas has $154 million in unfunded pension liabilities

... according to Stanford's California Pension Tracker:

Those are admittedly conservative estimates. CalPERS' widely acknowledged completely phony numbers are $38 million. The reality likely lies somewhere in between.

The average full-career retiree in Encinitas gets $98,000 per year for life and retires at a much younger age than private sector peers.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Gaspar highlights homelessness as top priority for county

10 News:
The new supervisor said addressing homelessness would be a top priority.

"To combat the rise of homelessness throughout the region, we have to build on a network of individuals committed to resolving this issue through collaboration, through advocacy and through the careful allocation and realignment of the resources," Gaspar said. "We have to define this goal before we ever enter the water. And we have to keep pushing, we have to keep swimming because we have to meet that goal."

She said she has discussed a partnership with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on solving the problem of homelessness. She conceded that it would be "a major challenge" to resolve the issue.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Union seeks to open outdoor dining

Legal notices:

CITY OF ENCINITAS PLANNING AND BUILDING DEPARTMENT LEGAL NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION PLACE OF MEETING: Council Chambers, Civic Center 505 South Vulcan Avenue Encinitas, CA 92024 [...] It is hereby given notice that a Public Hearing will be held on Thursday, the 19th day of January, 2017, at 6 p.m., by the Encinitas Planning Commission to discuss the following items: 1. PROJECT NAME: Union Kitchen and Tap CASE NUMBER: 15-230 MIN/DR/CDP FILING DATE: August 31, 2015 APPLICANT: Eric Leitstein LOCATION: 1108 South Coast Highway 101 (APN: 258-316-21) ZONING/OVERLAY: The subject property is located in the Downtown Encinitas Specific Plan (DESP) Commercial Mixed-1 (D-CM-1) zone and the Coastal Zone of the City of Encinitas. DESCRIPTION: Continued public hearing to consider a Minor Use Permit, Design Review Permit and Coastal Development Permit application to allow the construction of an enclosed outdoor dining patio area, parking and associated improvements for an existing restaurant. On-site consumption of beer, wine and distilled spirits with an existing Type 47 ABC license are proposed within the new outdoor dining area.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

16 applicants for open council seat

Your applicants are:
Tony Brandenburg
Stacie Davis
Mark Demos
Bruce Ehlers
Marla Elliott
Steele Fors
Wendy Harper
Terra Lawson-Remer
Daniel Marotta
William Morrison
Joe Mosca
Lisa Nava
Edward O'Connor
Gregory Post
Michael Schmitt
Steven Winters
Applications here.

We'd have to say Mosca and Ehlers are the front-runners: Mosca if the council wants to create a supermajority and boost a once-and-future rising Democratic Party star, Ehlers if the council wants to extend an olive branch to the majority of voters who voted for Prop A and against Measure T.  What do you think?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

No, Millenials don't want high-density development

For years, we've been told by developers and their politicians that Millenials are different than prior generations: that they will want high-density urban living rather than the traditional American suburban lifestyle.

The data say otherwise. Wall Street Journal:
Big cities may be getting all the attention, but the suburbs are holding their own in the battle for population and young earners.

That is the thrust of a study of population trends and housing set to be released Monday by the Urban Land Institute’s Terwilliger Center for Housing, a nonprofit real-estate research group.

Property developers and urban-policy experts have trumpeted the influx of young, affluent professionals into big central cities in recent years. The shift has transformed downtown areas, sparking a historic boom in luxury-apartment construction and retail development.


But research shows that suburbs are continuing to outstrip downtowns in overall population growth, diversity and even younger residents.

The suburban areas surrounding the 50 largest metropolitan areas make up 79% of the population of those areas but accounted for 91% of population growth over the past 15 years, according to the study. What’s more, three-quarters of people age 25 to 34 in these metro areas live in suburbs.
They're starting families later than earlier generations due to a number of factors including the Great Recession, student debt, and changing priorities. But once they settle down and have a family, they want the same thing prior generations did: a nice house in a family-friendly neighborhood with good schools, and a yard with space for the kids and a dog to run around.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Lake Fulvia claims tree

From the Inbox:
This huge stone pine tree went DOWN at 3 a.m. on NYE.  No one was hurt; it barely touched a car and missed the house next door. 

The City workers who came to deal with it said the root ball was very small for a tree this size.  They and neighbors guessed that was because it had no need to send roots out far in search of water.  Even one day's worth of rain generates 6"-15" of standing water.  It's pumped only when neighbors complain. 

The City refuses to fix the flooding problem and this time got off easy; had anyone been injured, it would not have been hard to find an attorney to take this case of negligence.  The City's been warned repeatedly over the years about this corner, nicknamed not so lovingly by residents "Lake Fulvia."

The property just west of where the tree is located is where the City approved 9 houses to go in on what is now nearly-raw land.  The City bizarrely claims that the extensive hardscape from the "Hymettus Estates'" 9 houses would somehow lessen flooding in the area.  Locals call the ill-conceived project "Hymettus Mistakes."

UPDATE:  From the Inbox:
Here's a photo taken on Dec. 16 before the tree fall. This is what the flood typically looks like before the City sends out the pumper truck. Large vehicles like to blast through the flood sending walls of water into my neighbors' yards.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Culture, Modern Times bringing tasting rooms to downtown

San Diego Reader:
"After an exceedingly long and exhaustive quest for the perfect location, we are absolutely thrilled to announce that we have located a suitably rad spot for a North County tasting room," the post reads. Specifically, the 3000-square-foot site will open on Pacific Coast Highway at the north end of Encinitas (470 S. Highway 101).

According to the announcement, the so-called Far West Lounge will feature 32 taps flowing from a U-shaped bar that will serve up to 150 patrons in a "luxurious mid-century tropical" space featuring booth seating and "a swanky indoor fire-pit." It will sell Modern Times cans, coffee beans, and merchandise, in addition to growler fills, and also serve as an additional pick-up destination for special releases ordered through the company's seasonal online sales. No specific timeline was given for the tasting room's opening, though CEO Jacob McKean expects it to be sometime in 2017.
Solana Beach brewery Culture is closer to opening a less ambitious facility near Biergarden.