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Category Archive: ‘Local Flavor’

Home Water Recycling

Thanks daytrip!

Imagine a home that could recycle two-thirds of the water it uses. No need to imagine. New technology to do just that was recently approved for use in drought-parched California, and the company behind it claims it could be looking at a $15 billion business ahead.

“In five years time, every new home will have a water recycler in it,” said Ralph Petroff, chairman of Nexus eWater, the Australia-based company behind the technology.

The system, which lives under two manhole-like covers on the side of the home, pulls in soapy water from the house—that is shower, dishwasher, laundry and sink water, not toilet water—and then sends it into a cleaning system. What comes out, so-called “gray water,” is water that can be used for irrigation and for flushing toilets. The water cannot be used for washing or drinking.

California-based KB Home bought into the technology and just announced that it will be standard in over 50 homes in a new San Diego development. It is also demonstrating the system in model homes in Sacramento and Lancaster.

The cost is just under $10,000 per home to install, but Petroff said that price should go down as more builders buy in and the technology becomes more common. He sees it as having even more potential than solar panels.

“There is no alternative to water. That’s what Californians are discovering every day,” said Petroff.

Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Local Flavor, The Future, Thinking of Building?, Thinking of Buying? | 2 comments

Turf Rebates


The City of San Diego started a ‘grass replacement’ program last week:

City of San Diego customers can receive a rebate of up to $1.50 per square foot for residential sites that replace existing grass with water wise landscaping and converting their overhead sprinkler system with micro-irrigation. Preliminary site inspection and pre-approval is required to confirm your qualification. Do not start a landscape renovation project without the pre-approval if you wish to receive a rebate.

Others can get $2.00/sf or more in rebates from the MWD:

Turf grass is one of the most water-intensive plants in your landscape. Its high water use and frequent maintenance make it a time-consuming and expensive yard option. In fact, the average residential customer spends about 60% of their water on outdoor irrigation. By changing turf to a California Friendly™ yard of drought tolerant plants you can save water and money.

To help with turf removal projects, rebates are available for $2.00 or more per square foot of turf removed.  This increased turf removal rebate is being provided in response to Governor Edmund G Brown Jr.’s emergency drought declaration.

Before you begin removing any turf, you must apply for and receive project start approval.


Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in Local Flavor | 10 comments

Drought and Real Estate

Terry from Canada sent in this question:

I’m just wondering with the ongoing drought in California, do you see the possibility that if the drought continues and California really does run out of water will there have to be a mass migration out of the state in the future?

We have seen and heard about the desalination plant being built in Carlsbad that will add 50 million gallons of drinkable water per day, which is 7% of what the San Diego region uses now.

The cost is projected to be 20% to 25% higher than the current rate of water purchased from the MWD, so even if the drought reverses itself in the near future, the cost of water is going up.

Will that alone cause an exodus?  Probably not, but every little bit counts, and it could be the final straw for people on the edge.

The trend of our area being for affluent people will continue though.  How will they cope?

It’s not like there isn’t any water – there just isn’t any water here.

Folks who are on propane know how it works – private companies will provide the water, and make it convenient.  They will bring you the tank, hook it up for you, and then come back regularly to fill it for you.

12,500-gallon tank

The 12,500-gallon tanks like the one above cost about $10,000, and if a household can get by with 200 gallons per day they would only need to fill their tank every other month.  If you live in on a smaller lot, you can opt for a pint-size tank and get more deliveries.

If you had one of these big tanks, it would only cost you about $100 today to fill it – that’s why you don’t see them…yet.  But if the drought continues, having water delivered is a possibility.

How much would you pay for water? $500 per month?  $1,000 per month?  The county has already cut back usage by 30% in recent years, and more conservation is on the way.

But people will stay as long as they can bear it, so I doubt any mass exodus from the coastal regions will happen in the short term.

Drone view of the plant:

Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Local Flavor | 15 comments

Taste of Leucadia Today


The Leucadia 101 Main Street Association is proud to present the Taste of Leucadia, Food for Thought on April 2 from 5:30pm-8:30pm. Join the community in celebrating the culinary flavors and local libations that make our downtown Leucadia district so unique. The Taste of Leucadia, Food For Thought will highlight our local restaurants, retailers, craft brewers and local vintners. The town will come alive as we celebrate with food, music, and poetry.

Each ticket to the event is $20 in advance ($25 the day of) with Sip Stops (craft beer/wine tasting included) prices are $33 in advance ($40 the day of).

There will be 18 Leucadia Restaurants participating this year and those include:

Bull Taco, Captain Keno’s, HapiFish, Sugar Coffee & Tea, Fully Loaded Micro Juicery, Pannikin Coffee & Tea, Vigilucci’s, Trattoria Italiana, Priority Public House, Peace Pies, Pandora’s Pizza, Kotija Jr. Taco Shop, Taste and Sea Cakery, Solterra Winery & Kitchen, Coffee Coffee, Le Papagayo, Jupiter Cold Brew, and Fish 101 Restaurant.

Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 in Local Flavor | 2 comments

LPGA in Carlsbad


Check out the Kia Classic this week, and see Lydia Ko! The pro-am is tomorrow, and the tournament runs Thursday-Sunday.

The Kia Classic is next on the LPGA tournament schedule.  Anna Nordqvist will defend her 2014 championship on the Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, California against an exceptionally strong field of challengers.

Designed by Arnold Palmer, the Aviara is ranked among the top 100 resort golf courses in the country by Golf Digest.  The par-72 7,007 yard coastal California track is a favorite among Tour players.  The course is a visual delight, overlooking the Batiquitos Lagoon nature preserve and sculpted around rolling hillsides and with plenty of bunker and water challenges the track will also provide tests of players’ course management and shot placement skills.

LKLydia Ko is starting her 8th week at the top of the Rolex Rankings in a record-breaking ascent that has left all of us — her competitors, commentators and golf fans alike — astonished and in awe of her athletic talent and mental poise.  The 17-year old is coming into the Kia Classic with two 2015 victories to her credit.  There’s no doubt in my mind that there will be more before the season ends next November.

The Kia Classic is the final Tour event before the season’s first Major, the ANA Inspiration, and will be a dress rehearsal for a fierce battle that’s certain to unfold in the desert.  Ko will play her steady game of precision and control as will 2nd ranked Inbee Park.

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in Local Flavor | 0 comments

Super Pantry

2014-02-09 16.46.15

Read two articles – an excerpt from the first:

Fournier’s new home is about 3,840 square feet. Her superpantry is a perk that her previous home, also in Carlsbad, didn’t have.

In the old home, she didn’t even have a basic walk-in pantry. She kept her bulky Costco items and second refrigerator in the garage. As a result, most of the time, she could only fit one car instead of two in the garage.

“This way, we keep the garage neat and can fit two cars,” she said. The superpantry is a place for the family “to keep our mess organized.”

An excerpt from the second article:

The pantry is super-sizing.

No longer just for storing potato chips and soup cans, the traditional kitchen closet is becoming bigger, more luxe and more multifunctional. Architects, contractors and real-estate agents say upscale homeowners are asking for walk-in rooms that serve as workspaces for everything from food prep to gift wrapping to bill-paying.

These new “super pantries” are becoming more common as American kitchens have become more open, merging with living rooms and family rooms—with kitchen islands serving as the entertainment hub of the home. Now, some homeowners are moving the clutter and clatter of kitchen activities behind the scenes, where they are less visible to guests.

“An open floor plan is great. But not all aspects of the kitchen are great to look at all the time,” says Peter Pfeiffer of Austin-based Barley & Pfeiffer Architects.

A report by the National Association of Home Builders last year showed 85% of respondents put a walk-in kitchen pantry on their “most wanted list,” with 31% saying it was an essential/must have” and 54% said it was “desirable.”

super pantry


Posted by on Mar 1, 2015 in Ideas/Solutions, Local Flavor | 4 comments