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Category Archive: ‘Local Government’

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 | 5 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

Bought And Paid For

realtorstuffingflyerboxThe California Association of Realtors’ political action committee  gave $500,000 to the state Democratic Party the day before the Democrat-dominated Franchise Tax Board effectively resolved a months-long legislative fight over the state’s tax treatment of short sales.

Tuesday’s donation, reported Wednesday evening, matches the $500,000 the Realtors gave state Democrats in May. The group also gave the party $168,000 earlier in the year and more than $1 million in 2012.

The 2013 contributions, by far the largest to the party in the current election cycle, will help Democratic attempts to keep their two-thirds legislative supermajorities in 2014.

Realtors spokeswoman Lotus Lou denied any connection between the two events. Wednesday’s legal opinion from the Franchise Tax Board stemmed from a September clarification on the issue by the IRS, she said.

“The two did not have any relation to each other,” Lou said.

In her legal opinion, Franchise Tax Board chief counsel Jozel Brunett cited the clarification by the IRS that forgiven debt after a home is sold for less than the amount owed on it should not be treated as taxable income.

“This is welcome news for Californians who have had to short sell their homes this year,” Board of Equalization member George Runner said in a statement. “We learned last month they wouldn’t face a federal tax penalty. We now know they won’t face a state tax hit either.”

Read More

Posted by on Dec 6, 2013 in Local Government, Short Sales, Short Selling | 10 comments

SB 30 Fails

From the California Association of Realtors:

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 3) – Thanks to partisan political gamesmanship by the Assembly Appropriations Committee, struggling homeowners who sold their homes in a short sale in the past eight months will be further penalized by being forced to pay state income taxes on money they never received, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

Senate Bill 30 conforms California tax law to federal tax law, which already says sellers can’t be taxed on forgiven mortgage debt. SB 30 failed to pass out of the Assembly Appropriations committee last Friday.  The vote on the bill was along party lines with Democrats voting “no” and Republicans voting “yes.”

“We are disappointed that California Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Pasadena) failed to show the leadership necessary to provide relief to distressed homeowners who are already in dire financial trouble,” said C.A.R. President Don Faught.  “These are real families in real financial need who may well be forced into bankruptcy by an unresponsive legislature.  To heap an unfair tax bill on top of the pain and emotional duress of losing a home is unconscionable.”

Under current state law, when a lender forgives mortgage debt in a short sale, the seller must pay state income tax on the amount of forgiven debt.  The previous California exemption lapsed at the end of 2012, so forgiven mortgage debt on short sales occurring in 2013 is considered taxable state income.  The federal government does not charge federal income tax, and neither should the state.

Unfortunately, Senate leadership, in an act of political gamesmanship, linked the enactment of SB 30 to a new tax measure in an effort to extort C.A.R.’s support for that tax measure.

Posted by on Sep 4, 2013 in Foreclosures, Local Government, Short Sales, Short Selling | 12 comments

Romneys’ New La Jolla House Appealed

Reprinted with permission from the SD Daily Transcript:

The California Coastal Commission will consider an appeal of a permit granting Mitt and Ann Romney the right to demolish their existing 3,900sf La Jolla house and build a more-than 11,000sf mansion on Sept. 11.

The Romney plans at 311 Dunemere Drive call for a two-story over basement home with an attached four-car garage, hardscape, and retaining walls, with an existing pool, spa, and seawall to remain on a 17,860sf beachfront lot.  The Romneys acquired the existing home for $12 million in 2008.

The new plans would add an elevator for the Romneys’ automobiles and about 3,600sf of basement area, and would roughly double the main living area of the home.

Read the story of the former neighbor from across the street appealing the unanimously-approved permit even though he sold his 4,141sf house for $3,560,000 in 2012 and moved to Monterey (click on link below):

Romney’s La Jolla house draws appeal from former neighbor

https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

Posted by on Aug 28, 2013 in La Jolla, Local Flavor, Local Government | 2 comments