Friday, April 30, 2021

Coast News op-ed: Blakespear shuns affordable housing in order to boost her developer campaign donors' profits

 Coast News:

Affordable housing is an ongoing issue in Encinitas. Required affordable housing percentages have recently been the focus of the Planning Commission, who voted to increase the percentage. If the percentage of affordable units per development increases, we reduce the total number of units needed for the 2021 housing cycle (see chart).

Currently, developers sprinkle a measly 15% affordable units into each density project. For every 100 housing units built, only 15 are affordable. At 15% we will need an additional 4,000 units to be built to achieve the state’s goal.

How is building 85% luxury homes and condos compassionate to our teachers, firefighters, and service workers who need housing now?

Mayor Blakespear claims 15% is the absolute max despite the fact that her own commissioned study concluded 20% was reasonable, when in fact the Goodson project (near Encinitas Boulevard and Rancho Santa Fe Road) is 20%. Developers do not pay for the increase in land value when sites are rezoned to R30 (30 units per acre), often from R1 or R3. This is a land value windfall, and in exchange they should be required to pay for more lower income housing. Other cities requiring increased affordability include Corte Madera, Los Gatos and Capitola. In Encinitas, for all the housing plan upzoning, we realize very few affordable units.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

City cleans up homeless camp after fatal overdose

Last week’s fatal overdose seems to have spurred the city into action in clearing out a homeless camp by the freeway south of Encinitas Boulevard that had been there for months.

It’s a shame someone has to die before the city does anything about the homeless. 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Planning commission fights back after "staff" tries to sandbag affordable housing proposal

Coast News:

Staff had originally recommended the item be continued off the calendar without a set date for re-noticing. Before Thursday’s meeting, staff issued a memo revising that recommendation that the item be continued to the planning commission meeting on May 20.

The commission instead agreed to continue the item to its next meeting on May 6.

At the Thursday meeting, Roy Sapa’u, assistant director for development services for the city of Encinitas, explained the reasoning for the requested continuance was due to issues with a lack of staff bandwidth and upcoming full commission agendas.

“Unfortunately the item is being continued, solely due to staff workload,” Sapa’u said. “On April 7 the city council considered the housing element and that was a priority for staff and we focused all of our resources on ensuring we completed that effort.”


Chair Bruce Ehlers responded with strong words for staff.

“We gotta get this straight, we’re the discretionary body,” Ehlers said. “We need to have that decision within our purview and if you need extra time you need to come back and ask us.”

Ehlers also pointed out some analysis and reviews he would have liked to have seen done by the consulting firm, Keyser Marston Associates, that the commission was previously told was not possible due to funding.

“It’s interesting that when we discussed having additional work done back during deliberation we ran into a brick wall but now the brick wall has softened apparently,” Ehlers said. “And that troubles me, that troubles me a lot.”

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Death on Requeza

According to social media posts, the young man died of a drug overdose on the trail near Rancho Coastal Humane Society.


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Body found at Cottonwood Creek

Encinitas Advocate:
Authorities on Thursday, April 1, were investigating the death of a person whose body was found a few blocks from Moonlight State Beach, a sheriff’s lieutenant said.

It was not immediately known how the person died, but homicide investigators responded “as a precaution” based on the public discovery of the body, sheriff’s Lt. Chris Lawrence said.
Another body was found in the same area in December 2018.