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Category Archive: ‘Local Government’

Nordstrom Project Approved

caruso

From the UT:

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/aug/25/plan-for-carlsbad-strawberry-fields-plan-draws/

A costly, well-organized campaign to build a Nordstrom-anchored shopping, entertainment and open-space destination on the shore of a Carlsbad lagoon ended with the City Council’s unanimous approval late Tuesday night.

“This project is compatible with my vision and my values,” said Councilwoman Lorraine Wood before the vote. “A true leader makes a decision based on what they feel is right.”

Several hundred people attended the Carlsbad City Council meeting, where more than 130 residents spoke before the council voted to approve the Caruso Affiliated-backed citizen initiative without changes. The only other choices for the council were to call a special election or take 30 days more to study the plan.

“You have my word that we will surpass your wildest expectations,” Rick Caruso, founder and CEO of the company, told the council as he explained his Agua Hedionda South Shore Specific Plan, also called the 85/15 plan, and presented a short video.

Carlsbad is the third Southern California city this year to see a citizen-led initiative backed by private financing power its way around the municipal development review process. The Carson City Council unanimously approved an initiative in April to allow construction of a stadium to be shared by the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, and Inglewood approved a similar one in hopes of getting the St. Louis Rams.

Caruso’s initiative has been a polarizing issue for many in Carlsbad. Some speakers Tuesday said it would be wonderful, “a crown jewel for the community” and “an incredible gift,” while others said it would bring much more traffic and pollution, that the publicity campaign was deceptive because it emphasized open space and not the shopping center, and that many people were misled to sign the petition in support of the initiative.

The Los Angeles-based developer and his staff have spent more than three years in Carlsbad, meeting with residents and business owners and hosting bus trips to his shopping center The Grove in Los Angeles. Caruso built a strong following for the project, and many of those residents came out in support of it Tuesday night.

Read full article here:

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/aug/25/plan-for-carlsbad-strawberry-fields-plan-draws/

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Carlsbad, Jim's Take on the Market, Local Flavor, Local Government | 10 comments

National Housing Policy

Embedded image permalink

I saw these questions from Ed DeMarco on Twitter. My answers:

1. Have the M.I.D. apply towards primary residence only (not second homes), and lower from $1,000,000 to $500,000.  Those buying in hopes of a bigger write off will still buy a house, and take the partial benefit – and be in it for the appreciation and to raise a family (make wifey happy).

2.  Have the mortgage interest deduction be in effect for the first ten years of ownership only.  It would encourage borrowers to pay off mortgages in the ten years, and not refinance every year.

3.  Require that only the buyers can pay for mortgage insurance (sellers can pay in full now).

4.  Redirect the disadvantaged folks to subsidized rentals until they aren’t disadvantaged. Only stable, secure, affluent people should buy a house – it’s too late for the rest, unless they drive to the suburbs/outer edge of town.

5.  There are several loan programs available to help the disadvantaged already.  NACA is still around, helping buyers purchase with no down payment and no closing costs (H/T daytrip):

https://www.naca.com/naca/purchase/purchase.aspx

6.  Lower the capital-gains tax for 1-2 years to incentivize those reluctant-but-motivated possible sellers to unload a rental property or two.  Cut federal rate to 10% for the first year (currently 20%), and then back to 15% in the second year.  The crotchety old guys still won’t sell, so there won’t be a flood.  But more inventory = more sales while stabilizing prices.

7.  Keep Fannie/Freddie the way they are for now. If they can keep operating in the black, let’s allow the mortgage industry to enjoy the fluidity. I attended a seminar today on the new loan disclosures coming on October 3rd, and it is clear that Fannie/Freddie will be extremely strict on compliance. It doesn’t mean tougher credit, it means the mortgage industry needs to submit the cleanest loan packages ever – which is good for the taxpayers.

8.  The new compliance crunch will virtually eliminate mortgage brokers – wholesale lenders won’t want to take a chance on them. Yes, we still have room for you over here to be a realtor – there’s only 11,000 of us chasing 3,500 sales each month.

9.  Encourage a private jumbo-MBS market without subsidizing it.  Eventually, a private MBS marketplace could help shift the burden from Fannie/Freddie.

10. Run a tight ship.  We can handle it.

The powers-that-be have made some great moves to get us this far, now bow out gracefully and let free enterprise take care of the rest.

Posted by on Aug 20, 2015 in Bailout, Housing Tax Credit, Interest Rates/Loan Limits, Loan Mods, Local Government, Mortgage News, Mortgage Qualifying | 0 comments

Caruso and the City Council

 

85-15 plan

The developer of the 85/15 plan (that hopes to bring a Nordstrom-anchored shopping center to Carlsbad) is using a new angle to get project approval – read the VOSD story, click HERE for link.

An excerpt:

One of the country’s largest mall developers, Caruso Affiliated, is pushing through a plan for a shopping center near coastal wetlands in Carlsbad using a novel method that could allow it to bypass many of the state’s environmental protection rules.

A California Supreme Court decision last August ruled that if a project gets enough signatures to put it on the ballot, a city council can approve it without going to voters and without a California Environmental Quality Act review, the state’s landmark environmental law that sets mandates for big projects to disclose their environmental impacts and reduce as many of them as possible. Two proposed football stadiums in Inglewood and Carson used voter initiatives to leapfrog CEQA, and Caruso is trying to make it happen for the first time locally.

Caruso only needed to collect 15 percent of registered Carlsbad voters’ signatures to qualify the measure for a vote – it submitted twice the number of signatures they needed in early July – and now it only needs to lobby the City Council for the three votes necessary to pass the measure in the next Council meeting on Aug. 25.

Read full story HERE.

What will the Carlsbad City Council do?  They’re not saying publically, but opponents think there are conflicts:

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in Carlsbad, Jim's Take on the Market, Local Flavor, Local Government | 4 comments

85/15

85-15-Plan

There has been vocal opposition to the Nordstrom development proposed for Carlsbad, and it’s only right that people have a chance to review the project.  Here is your chance:

A group supporting a proposal to create a 26-acre development near Agua Hedionda Lagoon is inviting Carlsbad residents to learn more.

Open space tours will be held July 18, Aug. 1 and Aug. 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. so that attendees can learn more about the “85/15 Plan.”

Onsite transportation, food and drinks will be provided.

Tours start at the Carlsbad Strawberry Company parking lot, located at 1050 Cannon Road.  Interested attendees can sign up at  www.openspacetherightway.com/tours/.

85-15 plan

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Carlsbad, Local Flavor, Local Government | 6 comments

Good Neighbor Fence Act of 2013

2015-05-02 07.29.35

It is California law that neighbors share the cost of a new fence – hat tip DV:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billStatusClient.xhtml

Section 841

(a) Adjoining landowners shall share equally in the responsibility for maintaining the boundaries and monuments between them.

(b) (1) Adjoining landowners are presumed to share an equal benefit from any fence dividing their properties and, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties in a written agreement, shall be presumed to be equally responsible for the reasonable costs of construction, maintenance, or necessary replacement of the fence.

(2) Where a landowner intends to incur costs for a fence described in paragraph (1), the landowner shall give 30 days’ prior written notice to each affected adjoining landowner. The notice shall include notification of the presumption of equal responsibility for the reasonable costs of construction, maintenance, or necessary replacement of the fence. The notice shall include a description of the nature of the problem facing the shared fence, the proposed solution for addressing the problem, the estimated construction or maintenance costs involved to address the problem, the proposed cost sharing approach, and the proposed timeline for getting the problem addressed.

Posted by on May 2, 2015 in Local Government | 0 comments

One Paseo Approved

sdcc

The opposition has to be in shock:

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/San-Diego-City-Council-Considers-One-Paseo-Project-293662831.html

In front of a packed house, the San Diego City Council approved a controversial mixed-use project in Carmel Valley after hours of public comments.

The One Paseo Project includes the construction of stores and eateries, the expansion of a movie theater and the addition of more than 600 family apartments and a parking structure in Carmel Valley.

The San Diego Planning Commission approved the proposal for the $750 million, 1.4 million square-foot, mixed-use village slated for the corner of Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real. The panel agreed to the plan on the condition that developer Kilroy Realty agreed to make 11 changes to the master plan.

On Monday night, the San Diego City Council approved the plan 7-2, though they did say Kilroy must add 60 affordable housing units and a sychronized traffic system. Council President Sherri Lightner and Council President Pro Tem Marti Emerald were the dissenting votes.

Hundreds showed up Monday to hear the debate at council chambers — so many that Golden Hall had to be used as an overflow area. About 600 people signed up to speak on the issue, many wearing red shirts to show their opposition to One Paseo.

The Carmel Valley Planning Board voted against the current proposal but its members have said they support a smaller version of the plan.

Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in Carmel Valley, Local Flavor, Local Government | 22 comments

Encinitas Pacific View – One Idea

Encinitas school houseW.C. Varones has been covering the Pacific View fiasco, and the recent commitment by the City of Encinitas to pay $10 million for it (even though the school district only asked $9.5 million).

Here is his most recent post about the community activists who supported the city’s purchase, but wondered if the $10M price was what they had in mind:

http://encinitasundercover.blogspot.com/2014/04/did-750-people-really-want-city-council.html

For a town that just blew an estimated $80 million to acquire, finance, and build a park next to the freeway, this additional expenditure will strain the coffers.  But being a solutions kind of guy, I thought I’d outline an idea that could make everyone happy without losing $10 million of the taxpayers money:

Here is a comment from W.C.’s blog post that describes the history:

This entire fiasco goes back 20 years: the district trustees attended a seminar on how to turn ‘surplus’ district property into dollars. After identifying the sale of PV as their choice for district ”surplus’, the first thing they did was change the attendance boundaries to make it appear to laymen that the school attendance was plummeting. When Supt. Doug couldn’t close a deal, they retired him and went with Supt. Lane: they helped Lane out with a ‘developer’ consultant named Dee Snow whose husband, Bill Snow was on the Planning Commission: they also has Patrick Murphy and Peder Norby assigned to make a ‘deal’ happen: yes, Murphy and Norby were working for the City of Encinitas to help EUSD get around The Naylor Act and it was a reporter from the UT who had covered the Naylor Act being used in Del Mar who first brought the Naylor Act up in her news coverage.

Click here for full comment:

Read More

Posted by on Apr 23, 2014 in Bubbleinfo TV, Drone, Encinitas, Local Flavor, Local Government | 5 comments

Tax Changes and Move-Up Buyers

Here’s a good review of the recent Dave Camp tax proposal:

http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-harney-20140309,0,7914993.story#axzz2vWoDGLkZ

Under intense scrutiny will be the two-out-of-five-year rule – Congress will find it irresistible to tinker with so much tax-free money:

dave_campUnder Camp’s proposal, you’d need to own your house for five out of the preceding eight years to claim a tax-free exclusion and you could exercise this  privilege only once every five years. Capital gains exclusions for home sellers  with high incomes — $250,000 a year for singles and $500,000 a year for joint  filers — would be phased out altogether over a period of years.

If Camp’s idea of exercising this ‘privilege only once every five years’ does get approved, it should curtail the move-up market.

Here’s why:

1.  People get too comfortable.  After 2-3 years, it still feels like you just moved in and there isn’t as much attachment to the home.  After five years, real roots have been established.

2.  Kids have more friends in the neighborhood.  Kids grow up a lot in 5-6 years, and they don’t mind imposing their ideas upon you regarding a move.

3.  Remodeling will be a more-likely route.  If the two items above are bearing down on you, then just fixing the old house will be a happy compromise.

More of today’s homebuyers are already looking longer-term than any since the 2-out-of-5 rule was enacted in 1997 – let’s face it, the rah-rah days are over.  Changing the law will just be the final straw that will cause people to stay put.

Consider these changes when buying your next house – it may have to last you for a long time, and maybe forever!  Get good help!

Posted by on Mar 10, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market, Local Government, The Future | 14 comments

Proposed Tax Changes

From Forbes:

In an effort to simplify the nation’s unwieldy tax code, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) is socking it to homeowners.

income taxes and housingHis proposal as chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, The Tax Reform Act of 2014, hits first-time home buyers, jumbo mortgage seekers, homeowners who have ratcheted up big gains in their primary residence, and even homeowners who are aiming to green their homes by making them more energy efficient. Of course, the proposals aren’t law – yet— but here’s where his plan would hit home. The context is streamlined individual income tax rates and an outsized standard deduction. But if you’re a homebody, you’re likely going to be paying more in taxes.

Drastic limit to mortgage interest deduction. Today you can deduct mortgage interest on up to $1.1 million in debt ($1 million in acquisition indebtedness and $100,000 in home equity debt) on a principal and second residence, but under Camp’s tax reform proposal that is reined in big time.

The maximum amount of indebtedness on which you could take the mortgage interest deduction would be $875,000 in 2015, $750,000 in 2016, $625,000 in 2017 and $500,000 in 2018 and later. Interest paid on home equity indebtedness would not be deductible after 2014. Special rules apply in the case of refinancing as long as you aren’t taking out a bigger mortgage.

Tightening of exclusion of gain from sale of principal residence. Camp’s proposal tightens the rules for excluding gain from the sale of your home. Currently you can exclude $250,000 ($500,000 for a couple) of gain if you’ve owned and used the residence as your principal residence for at least two of the five years before you sell.

The proposal changes the rules so that it only applies if you’ve used the residence as your principal residence for at least five of the eight years prior to the sale. It also limits the exclusion so it only applies once during any 5-year-period (up from 2 years). And it phases out the exclusion by one dollar for every dollar a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income exceeds $250,000 ($500,000 for a couple).

Read full article here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2014/02/26/camp-tax-plan-hits-homeowners-real-estate-industry-hard/

Posted by on Feb 27, 2014 in Local Government, Market Conditions, Revolution | 7 comments