Thursday, April 25, 2019

Here comes the density

LA Times:
High-profile housing legislation to allow mid-rise apartment construction near mass transit across California advanced in a state Senate committee Wednesday after two lawmakers reached an agreement that would limit its effect on smaller counties and along the coast, but eliminate zoning that allows for only single-family homes in much of the state.

Under changes to Senate Bill 50, communities in Los Angeles, San Francisco and 13 other counties with populations larger than 600,000 would have to allow four- to five-story apartment buildings near rail lines, and smaller apartments and townhomes in wealthy neighborhoods near job centers.
UPDATE: One amendment exempts coastal cities of less than 50,000 people from most of the bill's upzoning provisions. Encinitas' population is about 63,000.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

4/24/19 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Encinitas $100,000 pension club membership rises to 25; Mark Muir still king

NamePension AmountYear of Retirement
Mark Muir$191,4412011
Donald G Heiser$168,5932006
Joseph W Bunn$164,0132010
Jeffrey S Henry$159,0462013
Michael P Daigle$157,0362015
Talmadge F Tufts$136,3402005
Paul G Shields$127,3702017
Vincent-Peer Hubner$126,025Beneficiary
Darlene R Hill$117,7792009
Gary A Reeve$117,2652002
Robert J Lamarsh$116,7631992
Robert M Romero$115,5302009
David L Moore$110,3552007
Robert Voorhees$107,7832015
Richard S Phillips$107,3992014
Thomas E Curriden$106,2462013
Charles Essex$106,2362014
Darrin R Ward$105,6232014
Steve M Walsh$105,4862006
John C Gonzales$105,2692014
James R Kelly$104,9832007
Pete Avila$103,4742004
Gregory E Johnson$101,8522004
Michael W Tinch$100,5742013
Deborah N Cervone$100,4672012

Full list of Encinitas pensions here, via Transparent California. Our old friend Masih Maher is collecting $66,575 a year for life now after working just 22 years.

Encinitas' pensions remain severely underfunded despite skyrocketing annual contributions and all-time high stock markets. The problem has been exacerbated by recent council actions like the 2018 firefighter pension spike.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Quail Gardens to host totally non-Easter "Spring Egg Hunt" with totally non-Easter "Spring Bunny"

From the Inbox, one satirist's take:
Encinitas This Week

April 15-21

Spring Party with Bunny

Visits with our big, gentle bunny, real bunnies and small animals, as well as spring crafts and more await children ages 2-6. At 12:30 pm, our ever- popular parade through the garden occurs, along with a stuffed bunny hunt, with each child receiving one to take home!  The more aggressive children will each receive one of the small animals to kill and gut on the site, and a small beeswax treated paper bag to take home their kill, and a souvenir pocket knife.

Saturday, April 20, 10am-1pm. San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Drive. $15, $18. $25 (with knife) Info

Thursday, April 18, 2019

City caught hiding documents, maintains aggressive destruction policy; Blakespear refuses comment

Voice of San Diego:

In January, Donald McPherson, an Encinitas property owner and retiree, requested copies of communications between the Portofino development team and city officials. But according to the lawsuit he filed last week in San Diego County Superior Court, the city made two missteps. It produced records for a different hotel project, and the ones related to the Portofino inexplicably ended at May 2018.

City officials insisted that no further correspondence existed, but McPherson and his attorney, Felix Tinkov, who specializes in public records law, found that explanation odd. (Disclosure: Tinkov also represents Voice of San Diego in public records disputes.) The hotel designs had been reintroduced in September 2018 after an 18-month delay gave the owner more time to negotiate with his unhappy neighbors, according to the Coast News.

Those designs are going before the city’s planning commission Thursday and included in the hundreds of pages of documents for the meeting are communications dated late 2018 and early 2019 — which McPherson had requested but never received.

Tinkov told all this to a judge Monday. They agreed to talk privately outside the courtroom and report back in a few weeks.

Although it wasn’t their intention at the outset, McPherson and Tinkov are now taking aim at something much bigger than the Portofino. They’re targeting a policy in Encinitas that gives officials the authority to delete emails within 30 days, arguing that it obstructs the ability of regular folks to know what their government is doing.

“It seems to be the norm around here, but it’s wrong,” Tinkov said. “I told them, ‘You guys have been playing with fire for years.’”

Encinitas City Attorney Glenn Sabine and Mayor Catherine Blakespear both declined my requests for interviews.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

4/17/19 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

Against Streetscape

Swiped from a NextDoor post:
Why I’m Personally Against Streetscrape

 [...] (EVEN) MORE NEIGHBORHOOD TRAFFIC. By the City’s own reckoning, the roundabouts and lane deletion of Streetscrape would force 7,000 cars per day off Highway 101. Where will they go? Onto Neptune, Vulcan, Hymettus, Orpheus, and Saxony. The City staff says most of the disgruntled drivers leaving 101 will be pushed onto I-5. But if they originally chose 101, they probably dislike I-5 and would prefer a scenic route, hence driving through our neighborhoods. Former council member Boerner-Horvath promised “mitigation” for this new, neighborhood spillover traffic caused by Streetscrape. Mitigation is cityspeak for “put up a sign and pour more concrete.”

AESTHETICS. Few City staffers grew up here or live in Encinitas. Their Orange County aesthetic favors brand-new and “vibrant” (= “crowded”). They don’t understand old, historic, or calm. Why? The more people they can bring into Encinitas, the more tax money to pay their own salaries and pensions. Logical.

SCRAPE AND BUILD. When the City starts mentioning “tree canopy” and “plant palette,” I feel a shiver of fear. They want to cut down 31 trees on 101, but it’s OK because they will plant shiny, new, generic trees. (UPDATE: Oops, make that zero new trees east of 101.) The fiasco of the palm trees recently bulldozed for the “Rail Trail” in Cardiff shows that people form attachments to living trees -- our landmarks. The stately eucalyptus trees in Leucadia give us continuity with our past. So does the highway itself. The reason I call the plan “Streetscrape” is because of the City’s scorched-earth habit of building. I went to a workshop at the Library a few years ago and saw detailed mockups of the City’s plans for roundabouts on 101. They propose memorializing the historic features they raze with commemorative bas-reliefs on each roundabout. Seriously! That’s their notion of historic preservation.

MONEY. If and when the City goes through with this $30 million Streetscrape, they will have to promote even more development from here to eternity to pay the loan back. More lucrative bars, McMansions, tourism. Our council members believe their job is to run Encinitas like a business and generate ever more profit (growth = $$). I would rather be able to visit the beach without being crowded out by all the “vibrancy.”

THE REAL LEUCADIA. The City Council is all-in with turning historic Highway 101 into an outdoor mall of a 6-ring circus. What chaps my hide is that they claim it fits Leucadia’s community character. Look at the “whale” buildings cropping up on 101, viewed approvingly by our city planners, staff, and council. I find those behemoth buildings to be depressing and horrifying. Developers applaud roundabouts. Why? If they want to build a 5-story building on a roundabout, no traffic study is required. I see Leucadia 101’s community character as small buildings, tall trees, and a straight ribbon of highway.

If you have your own reasons for not wanting Streetscape, please join a group of residents fighting the plan. Contact:

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

4/10/19 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.

U-T letters: bicycle sharrows are a bad idea

U-T letters:
I have yet to see a bicyclist willing to accept the entire lane risk. Considering public transit, I shudder to think of a bus having to compete with a bicycle for the same space.

This wishful thinking by the city that a marking on the pavement is a cheap way to create a safe bicycle network could be a costly folly.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Son stabs father in Leucadia

Times of San Diego:
An argument at an Encinitas home took a violent turn when a man was stabbed by his own son, deputies said Saturday.

The dispute happened around 4:30 p.m. Friday at a home near the intersection of Saxony and Normandy roads in Leucadia, San Diego County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brett Garrett said.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Ecke matriarch dies

Coast News:
From helping to build a poinsettia plant empire to her many types of charity work, the late Elisabeth Joan “Jinx” Kenney Ecke, was a force to be reckoned with.

Ecke, a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, died peacefully on March 23 at the home of her daughter Lizbeth Ecke in Encinitas due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease, according to her family.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Former Olivenhain resident gets jail for Penn State hazing death

CBS News:
Twenty-one-year-olds Luke Visser and Michael Bonatucci were both sentenced to up to six months in jail. Twenty-year-old Joshua Kurczewski received up to nine months.

The judge also gave 21-year-old Joseph Sala up to 10 months of house arrest. All four men also received probation and will pay fines. Visser, Bonatucci and Sala were given community service.

The judge may later amend the three jail sentences to house arrest.
Visser lived in Olivenhain and attended La Costa Canyon High School.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Cardiff schools want to call a parking lot a "park" so they can take other park land

Seems legit.
The district needs the approval of both the state and National Park Service because of a 1993 federal grant agreement that requires the park remain in perpetuity unless the agencies endorse a boundary change.

That agreement requires the district to replace the lost park land with a corresponding amount of land.

School District officials have proposed redrawing the boundary to include the school’s parking lot, which would double in size in the new plan, as well as opening the school’s garden for community use.