By Susan Turney
|Measure U||Units per Acre||Buildable Acres||Total Units|
|Number shown residents||25||63||1,504|
|Number given developers||30||86||2,484|
Measure U is two-faced. One side is for residents and the other for developers. In a sleight of hand not divulged to residents, Measure U gave developers 65% more units above what voters were told. Measure U is not 1,504 units but instead 2,566.
Understanding the math is simple, with just two factors. One is the number of units per acre and the second the amount of land available for building on a parcel.
Units per acre is dictated at R30 (30 units per acre) by the department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). That is the first factor: 30 units per acre.
The second factor is the amount of land available to build on a parcel. This amount is reduced from “gross buildable” to “net buildable” after excluding unbuildable areas because of any number of issues (swampland, steep hills).
The Measure U face the city showed residents was 1,504 high-density units.
This was based on R25 – unacceptable under state law – and net buildable acreage. The face the city showed developers was based on R30 and gross buildable acreage.
Let’s use a couple of actual examples, the Seacoast Church and Baldwin & Sons properties. For Seacoast, residents were told the buildable acreage was 1.4 acres, but the developer was given 4.5 acres.
This results in 134 units for the builder versus 35 presented to residents. The Baldwin & Sons density bonus project off Quail Gardens Dr. proposes 485 units versus the 225 quoted to residents.
It gets even worse: the 1,504 plan shown residents assumes zero density bonus units even though most Measure U sites will use density bonus. Add another 35% for density bonus on top of 2,484 for a whopping 3,354 potential units. The Goodson project in Olivenhain, first out of the Measure U chute, turns 151 units promised residents into 283.
This is a preview of what to expect from this two-faced plan.
I had to piece together data from two city documents and exchange several emails with city staff to put this information together. Most residents will not make this effort and the City counts on that. All sitting Council members approved this two-faced plan. Encinitas is now committed legally to allowing the potential for double the units told to residents.
Now this Council has taken Proposition A to court, asking a judge to eliminate our Prop A right to vote on zoning increases for all future Housing Element Updates.
When the 2021 housing cycle numbers must be met, imagine how many units this Council will give developers once they remove our Prop A vote and get to wear only one face, the one shown developers.
This Council showed one face to residents and another to developers. Three of these Council members are asking for your vote in November. Which face will they show you to get your vote?
Susan Turney is a candidate for the District 2 seat on the Encinitas City Council