Residents must have say on General Plan

Del Mar and Encinitas officials are rewriting city zoning to promote high-density mixed-use development. If approved the changes could cede local control of zoning to state bureaucrats, increase traffic, destroy community character and reduce quality of life. Del Mar officials call it “revitalization.”

Encinitas officials call it the “General Plan Update.”

Residents call it scary.

Each year visitors come to Del Mar because of what it is, not what a city planner thinks it might be. There is only one Del Mar. People moved to Encinitas because of what it is, a small 2-story town, not what it isn’t, a high-density mixed-use corridor.

Residents might drive up the PCH to downtown Encinitas to see the effects of high-density mixed-use development on community character.  As visitors enter the town, passing the lumberyard, they will see old, “small town zoning” that promotes commercial development with small buildings and 30-40 percent lot coverage.

Further up the road is the Pacific Station building, which is the result of high-density, mixed-use zoning. Developers promote this as “Urban Beach Living.” Under the small town zoning, the 1.4-acre site allowed about 20,000-square-feet of commercial development. Today, 40,000-square-feet of commercial, 9,000-square-feet of office and 47 residential units have been packed on the same small lot. The building has tripled in density. The small town of Encinitas along the PCH will be replaced with high-density urban development found in Long Beach. Is Del Mar ready for “Urban Beach?”

The argument officials make, that building owners need mixed-use zoning to invest in their properties, isn’t true.  In Encinitas new businesses on the PCH are doing well because entrepreneurs are delivering quality services at competitive prices, not because of zoning.  This is the result of free market forces, not government intervention from SANDAG.

In Cardiff, businesses like Rimmel’s, Zenbu, Azarria boutique and the chic 20 Lounge have made Seaside Market Plaza the place to be because of what they have to offer, not how they are zoned.

If owners wanted to own mixed-use buildings they should have bought mixed-use buildings, not commercial property.  When property owners rely on city councils to “up-zone” against residents’ wishes, it looks like bailouts and crony capitalism.

For instance the Encinitas Taxpayers Association reports that Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks received some 70 percent of his election campaign contributions from the real estate industry. Of that, 60 percent of Stocks’ donors were from outside Encinitas.

In re-zoning the El Camino Real Corridor for high-density mixed-use, millions of dollars are at stake for the campaign contributors that backed Stocks, and thousands of residents’ quality of lives is at risk.  Encinitas residents have demanded a “red line copy” that clearly shows the proposed changes, but Mayor Stocks and the council have refused. Rather than make it easier for residents to participate, Stocks and the council have made it harder.

In Del Mar each resident will get the chance to vote on the proposed changes that will impact their lives. In Encinitas 60,000 people won’t have a vote.

Only five people have a vote. Who will Mayor Stocks and the council super-majority represent — residents or campaign contributors? The vile weed of cronyism must be avoided.

In order to protect quality of life and preserve community character Encinitas residents need to follow their Del Mar neighbors. Each resident should have a vote on the proposed changes to the Encinitas General Plan. It’s the only true way to ensure all stakeholders are heard.

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  1. Olivier says:

    Andrew hit it right on the head once again. The General Plan Update proposed re-zoning of El Camino Real and Encinitas Boulevard needs to be put to a public vote. With the upcoming general election, this is the perfect timing to put this initiative on the ballot. If the city planners are so convinced that conversion of commercial areas to mixed-used residential is what the community wants, they should validate it with a public vote. I’m willing to bet it would be a resounding vote of no confidence.
    Remember this is an election year, and the General Plan Update will be the the #1 issue in this campaign. Council members candidates that appear to support the plan should not get the public support. Do not be fooled by delaying tactics, and sudden position changes. Witness the 180 degree turnaround that Mayor Stocks did recently: In January 2011, during a council meeting, he was very pleased with the idea of mixed-used, high density zoning along El Camino Real, with patios and increased walk ability. Ten Months later he calls the draft of the GPU the “Ugly baby” of the Encinitas Planning Department. His latest rant indicates that the city council super majority is sensing that supporting the General Plan Update, as it stands now, is a loser for the upcoming election.
    What is driving the push to high-density mixed used residential in the General Plan Update? Bogus forecast from SANDAG and the State Department of Finance are the primary factors for the aggressive growth proposed for Encinitas.
    Between 2000 and 2010, the population of Encinitas grew by only 2.6% to a total population of 59,518 in 2010 according the 2010 US Census. Yet, The General Plan Update indicates a 15.2% growth between 2010 and 2020 and 6.7% from 2020 to 2030. Note that the numbers used are based on the 2007 numbers released by the State Department of Finance. No mention is made that since then a major recession has hit California, that the unemployment rate has since gone up to 12.5%, that there is now a net migration out of California and decreased birth rate due to the recession. SANDAG, MIG and the city planners did not have the honesty to include these recent trends in the forecast they use to drive zoning changes throughout the county and the City of Encinitas. This is why the draft of the General Plan is not a valid document and should be thrown out and restarted.

  2. Lynn Marr says:

    I concur that the current draft of the General Plan is not a valid document. It seems very obvious that WE ARE BEING DENIED THE REPEATEDLY REQUESTED RED-LINE VERSION. This is supposed to be a General Plan Update, NOT an entirely new General Plan. The General Plan is like our Constitution. It can be AMENDED, but if it is to be completely revised, THAT MUST REQUIRE A VOTE OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC, not simply a Council Super Majority.

    The super- majority obviously has been MANIPULATED, by cronyism apparent in the recent appointment of Mark Muir, despite repeatedly expressed wishes of public speakers at Council Meetings, leading up to his appointment, and despite the wishes of Maggie Houlihan, on her deathbed, that she endorsed Lisa Shaffer to replace her.

    I heard James Bond state at a Council Meeting, while he was still mayor, that we would get a red-lined version of the General Plan update. Why is Jerome Stocks not making sure that this minimum requirement is being fulfilled?

  3. Resident voter says:

    My examination says that 70% of the statistics provided by the Encinitas Taxpayers Association are completely invented, while 60% are falsified by people outside Encinitas

    • ETA Gal says:

      That’s not true! The Encinitas Taxpayer Ass would NEVER allow 30% of our stats to be correct !!
      We have an agenda, and truth is the first casualty!!!

  4. Real Encinitas says:

    The Council should put this on the Ballot and let the people decide. If they were vote in favor of it, Encinitas voters would remember.

  5. ETA Gal says:

    # precedes my responses to the falsehoods contained in this crappy piece.

    Del Mar and Encinitas officials are rewriting city zoning to promote high-density mixed-use development. If approved the changes could cede local control of zoning to state bureaucrats, increase traffic, destroy community character and reduce quality of life. Del Mar officials call it “revitalization.”
    # complete hyperbolic none sense. Nobody is proposing ceding local control to state bureaucrats, and nobody is proposing a destruction of community character or a reduction in quality of life. How tiresome this crap is!

    Encinitas officials call it the “General Plan Update.”

    Residents call it scary.
    #more crap.

    Each year visitors come to Del Mar because of what it is, not what a city planner thinks it might be. There is only one Del Mar.
    # what, there was no planning to create Del Mar? Just Silly.

    People moved to Encinitas because of what it is, a small 2-story town, not what it isn’t, a high-density mixed-use corridor.
    #This is wrong because actually, Encinitas has had mixed use buildings since the early 1900′s in downtown and Cardiff.

    Residents might drive up the PCH to downtown Encinitas to see the effects of high-density mixed-use development on community character.  As visitors enter the town, passing the lumberyard, they will see old, “small town zoning” that promotes commercial development with small buildings and 30-40 percent lot coverage.
    #Again an untruth. The majority of downtown Encinitas on the 101 is lot line to lot line development with no setback such as where the DEMA offices are.

    Further up the road is the Pacific Station building, which is the result of high-density, mixed-use zoning. Developers promote this as “Urban Beach Living.” Under the small town zoning, the 1.4-acre site allowed about 20,000-square-feet of commercial development. Today, 40,000-square-feet of commercial, 9,000-square-feet of office and 47 residential units have been packed on the same small lot. The building has tripled in density. The small town of Encinitas along the PCH will be replaced with high-density urban development found in Long Beach. Is Del Mar ready for “Urban Beach?”
    #Further scary attempt incorrect nonsense. Pacific Station was built with no zoning changes at all. It was built using existing zoning and most people think it is a good addition to downtown.

    The argument officials make, that building owners need mixed-use zoning to invest in their properties, isn’t true.  In Encinitas new businesses on the PCH are doing well because entrepreneurs are delivering quality services at competitive prices, not because of zoning.  This is the result of free market forces, not government intervention from SANDAG.
    # wrong, and an opinionated argument. Downtown has zoning. Entrepreneurs are working within said zoning.

    In Cardiff, businesses like Rimmel’s, Zenbu, Azarria boutique and the chic 20 Lounge have made Seaside Market Plaza the place to be because of what they have to offer, not how they are zoned.
    #see above.

    If owners wanted to own mixed-use buildings they should have bought mixed-use buildings, not commercial property.  When property owners rely on city councils to “up-zone” against residents’ wishes, it looks like bailouts and crony capitalism.
    #So all zoning is sacred and never to be updated? Really? so we’re fully invested and in love with 1950-1970 car-centric strip malls? Really? No smart growth for us! Really?

    For instance the Encinitas Taxpayers Association reports that Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks received some 70 percent of his election campaign contributions from the real estate industry. Of that, 60 percent of Stocks’ donors were from outside Encinitas.
    # an un-triangulated statement which is frankly not relevant to the conversation. Stocks is a regional and even statewide person. The fact that people other than locals support him means nothing.

    In re-zoning the El Camino Real Corridor for high-density mixed-use, millions of dollars are at stake for the campaign contributors that backed Stocks, and thousands of residents’ quality of lives is at risk. 
    # I don’t see the owners of the properties identified on El Camino Real on Stocks’ reporting forms. Please explain this incorrect assertion you’ve made, or show who they are if you can.

    Encinitas residents have demanded a “red line copy” that clearly shows the proposed changes, but Mayor Stocks and the council have refused.
    #When did Mayor Stocks refuse, I can’t find that. Please explain this incorrect assertion, and identify the residents making that request. I’m a resident and I’m not.

    Rather than make it easier for residents to participate, Stocks and the council have made it harder.
    #how exactly? Stocks and the Council added community workshops and yet another stakeholder working group. That tells me they’re committed to public outreach. Explain your perspective.

    In Del Mar each resident will get the chance to vote on the proposed changes that will impact their lives. In Encinitas 60,000 people won’t have a vote.
    # When was that decided, I can’t find that Council vote.

    Only five people have a vote. Who will Mayor Stocks and the council super-majority represent — residents or campaign contributors? The vile weed of cronyism must be avoided.
    # See above, this is hyperbolic crap.

    In order to protect quality of life and preserve community character Encinitas residents need to follow their Del Mar neighbors. Each resident should have a vote on the proposed changes to the Encinitas General Plan. It’s the only true way to ensure all stakeholders are heard.

    #An opinion the Encinitas City Council has yet to discuss. And by the way, the public voted against the current general plan, requiring the 1989 City Council to adopt it by Council vote.

  6. ETA Gal says:

    Why is the publisher allowing this garbage to be printed!

  7. Jerome expert says:

    ETA Gal = Jerome Stocks. Very obvious by his response style.
    Come clean Jerome… I mean ETA Gal

  8. Brett Farrow says:

    What Mr. Audet calls “2 story small town” I call suburban strip malls.

    Wanting 1 and 2 story commercial is perfectly viable but let’s just get the cars in the back and stores on the front with generous sidewalks.

    An emphasis on pedestrians and bikes will mean less cars and more parking with less traffic for those who do not live near goods and services.

    Just because you do not want to live in a town where you can walk to everything shouldn’t mean that nobody should get this opportunity.

  9. D says:

    Just don’t want a Walmart here – if I want to go there it’s just right up in Carlsbad. That’s CLOSE ENOUGH!

  10. D says:

    Just please don’t put in a Walmart here – if I want to go there, it’s CLOSE ENOUGH in Carlsbad.

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