The lowering of the train tracks in Carlsbad has been discussed for years, and it looks like it’s going to happen. The number of trains is expected to DOUBLE to 100 PER DAY!
The Carlsbad City Council received an update from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) on a future project to potentially lower the railroad tracks in Carlsbad’s downtown railroad corridor.
In anticipation of train traffic doubling through Carlsbad by 2035, a second set of train tracks will need to be built alongside the existing tracks. The city is exploring the alternative of lowering the future double tracks beneath the existing street elevations through the Village and Barrio areas in Northern Carlsbad.
The City of Carlsbad, SANDAG and North County Transit District completed a study in 2017, determining that lowering the railroad tracks in a trench, beneath the existing street elevations, is technically feasible and has economic benefit. Two alternatives are now under evaluation: short trench and long trench alternatives.
Both alternatives would lower the double railroad tracks beginning from the Buena Vista Lagoon in the City of Oceanside, require replacement of the Carlsbad Boulevard overcrossing with a new bridge spanning the tracks and replace the railroad bridge across Buena Vista Lagoon.
The short trench alternative, which spans 6,000 feet, would construct vehicle overpasses at Grand Avenue, Carlsbad Village Drive, and Oak Avenue, with pedestrian overpasses at Beech Avenue/Carlsbad Village Station and Chestnut Avenue.
The long trench alternative spans 8,400 feet to include vehicle overpasses at Grand Avenue, Carlsbad Village Drive, Oak Avenue, Chestnut Avenue and Tamarack Avenue, with a pedestrian overpass at Beech Avenue/Carlsbad Village Station.
Lowering the railroad tracks below street level is reported to have a variety of benefits, including:
Improved roadway circulation: Eliminates the need to stop at crossing gates multiple times a day, improving traffic circulation for drivers, public safety and first responders
Increased car and pedestrian safety: Creates a positive barrier separating cars and pedestrians from crossing the tracks
Decreased environmental impacts: Reduces noise impacts from train horns and eliminates the need for crossing bells
Positive economic impacts: Considers the value of lives, time saved, walkability and railroad operations
SANDAG is currently preparing an analysis study on the two options for lowering the railroad tracks in a trench. A draft report is estimated to be completed in fall 2019, at which point public input will be sought on the short trench and long trench alternatives.
Rob Dawg mentioned the rent-control initiative that will be on the ballot in 2020.
It will be a scaled-down version of the one that got voted down last time:
Amid mounting pressure for lawmakers to protect renters from the steepest of increases in a hot rental market, this initiative is a scaled-back version of Prop. 10. The proposed ballot measure would not give cities carte blanche to impose sweeping rent control rules. New construction would not be impacted.
“We tried to address the concerns we heard during the last campaign,” says Weinstein, “A lot of politicians wanted to see reform instead of repeal of the Costa Hawkins rules.”
The measure would also allow cities to impose rent control on single-family homes if the landlord owns three or more homes, which exempts mom-and-pop landlords. Plus, the measure would allow for limited vacancy control, which is currently prohibited. When a tenant moves out of a rent-controlled apartment, cities and counties could limit rent increases for the next tenant, as long as they allow the landlord to raise the rent at least 15 percent over three years.
The new measure faces many hurdles on its road to the ballot box. Rent control opponents, including real estate interest groups, who describe the legislation as a retread of the old initiative, raised a whopping $76 million to defeat Prop. 10.
“Prop 10 2.0 would drive down property values and prompt an exodus from the rental housing market,” Tom Bannon, chief executive officer of the California Apartment Association said in a release. “California needs sensible housing policies that protect tenants and encourage the building of affordable homes for working families. This measure makes the crisis worse.”
Supporters of Prop. 10 raised only $26 million, the bulk of which came from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. But Weinstein remains resolute.
The California Association of Realtors will also put forth the change to Prop 60/90 that would allow seniors to take their old tax basis with them to their new home, regardless of whether they paid more or less for it, or which county it’s in. The removing of commercial properties from Prop 13 protection will be on the ballot too, and maybe all bundled up together?
I doubt any of them will change home values in the short-term, but what an Election Day!
They should identify the locations so homebuyers are aware:
Sober living homes have become a contentious issue with residents in the neighborhoods where they have developed. As a result, the City Council formally approved an ad hoc committee to address them during its July 23 meeting.
Thousands of sober living homes have popped up throughout the state, mostly in Southern California from Los Angeles to Orange and San Diego counties.
Serving on the committee will be council members Keith Blackburn and Barbara Hamilton.
“It would be to address the issue of sober living homes, to engage community stakeholders, listen to and discuss their concerns and recommendations regarding sober living homes and to recommend potential state and local regulatory and legislative strategies for the City Council to pursue,” said Jason Haber, assistant to the city manager.
The new flood map goes into effect in December, and it shows the ‘base flood elevation’ being six feet higher than it was on the previous map. This article is about the city council meeting on Monday, where no action was taken but notes that the Coastal Commission is preparing their recommended changes to Del Mar’s Local Coastal Plan:
Ongoing dialogue between the city and commission administrators has provoked fears among beach-area homeowners that the state body could impose onerous requirements in response to sea-level rise.
Of major concern is that the city adopted a sea-level rise adaptation plan that outlines various measures to cope with the rising sea. The plan, however, rejects the concept of “managed retreat,” in which property owners would have to relocate their homes and buildings to higher ground to avoid flooding.
City officials determined managed retreat is impractical for Del Mar, the county’s smallest city. The city analysis concluded there would be nowhere for buildings to be relocated and it would destroy property values in the millions and even tens of millions of dollars. The median home value in Del Mar is about $2.5 million, according to online sources, but beach front homes run much higher.
In contrast, Del Mar’s adaptation plan calls for measures such as sand replenishment and management, flood control measures such as dredging, and ongoing monitoring and analysis of the effects of the rising sea level.
A number of residents filed letters with the city before Monday’s meeting and many in attendance wore stickers with red “say no” bars over the term “trigger points.”
The sticker and comments were intended to express opposition to any commission attempt to establish thresholds that, when reached, would trigger required “managed retreat” responses by the city.
Also, city officials oppose the commission’s definition of existing development as structures that were built in the coastal zone before the commission’s establishment in 1977.
“Please listen to Del Mar residents. Say no to trigger points, say no to new definitions of existing development and say no to the California Coastal Commission,” urged Jerry Jacobs, president of the Del Mar Beach Preservation Coalition.
Shouldn’t Matt Hall sell his downtown properties or resign as mayor so the regular political process can be conducted?
There will be no moratorium on development in the Village and Barrio.
The City Council decided to not move forward with the proposal brought forward by Councilwoman Barbara Hamilton during its June 25 meeting after receiving feedback from city staff and discussion regarding a lack of standing to make such a move.
Cities can adopt interim, urgency ordinances prohibiting uses in conflict with a general plan, specific plan or a zoning proposal. However, a four-fifths vote is needed, along with a finding of a current and immediate threat to public health, safety or welfare.
But since Mayor Matt Hall was recused due to financial interests in the Village and Barrio, a majority vote would have been required for a moratorium.
However, Hamilton, who represents District 1, which covers the Village and Barrio, received approval to bring back five items for further discussion for the council workshop on July 9 and approval for a portion of the Village and Barrio Master Plan on Aug. 20.
Those issues include housing and parking in-lieu fees, historical preservation, permitted uses and “decision-maker definition.” The council also passed a decorative lighting study in the Village, 4-0 (Hall was recused).
Hamilton said she her goal was to take a step back from the construction and ongoing redevelopment to assess the area’s needs on a larger scale. Specifically, affordability was a big topic of discussion as the council attempts to incorporate more affordable housing in those neighborhoods.
“As development continues, and we continue to offer housing in-lieu and parking in-lieu, both of these fees haven’t been reviewed in years,” Hamilton said. “These don’t seem to incentivize affordable housing or mobility solutions for the community. The end goal is to take advantage of the authority that we have as council to restrict the use of housing in-lieu and parking in-lieu.”
A majority of speakers, meanwhile, railed against the proposed moratorium saying it would only increase rents and negatively affect businesses.
Michael McSweeney, senior public policy advisor for the San Diego Building Industry Association, did not hold back against the proposed moratorium.
“This is something unprecedented,” he said. “In the middle of a housing crisis, we want to talk about stopping. That’s the equivalent, in my mind, if there’s a wildfire we’ll talk about water rationing.”
He, along with others, also questioned where the danger to public health safety was to call for a discussion about a moratorium, which must have been proven to enact an urgency ordinance of 45 days.
Brendan Foote, who does adaptive reuse, said the council is missing one point regarding affordable housing, the cost of land. A starting point of $200,000, for example, to purchase the land, plus thousands of dollars for city fees and then construction costs make affordable units unattainable.
“I love and respect the charm of Carlsbad Village and don’t see it going anywhere,” Foote said. “We want to see positive change. We need to get a little more creative and look at this dwelling units per acre.”
Hamilton then pivoted away from the moratorium and asked for her other concerns be prioritized before the council.
Councilwoman Cori Schumacher said it was not prudent for a moratorium, as it is up to the council how to apply the tools at their disposal for development. Also, the council does not have final authority over projects in the Barrio under the new master plan.
The Planning Commission has final say, but the council will consider taking over final approval when the master plan returns on Aug. 20.
The history of housing discrimination is getting a lot of attention these days, and rightfully so. If you, or someone you know, wants to contribute, KPBS is looking for stories:
KPBS is doing an investigation into the legacy of “redlining” in San Diego.
This is the historic practice of excluding minorities from certain neighborhoods through regulations on mortgages, leases and home purchases. We’re looking into the impact this practice has had on the economic prosperity of different neighborhoods in San Diego.
Some families in San Diego may have benefitted from this history, through no fault of their own. Others may have been hurt by it.
If you or your family has any connection to this history, or if you know someone who does, please reply to this email or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org “Redlining” in the subject line.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and becoming a trusted KPBS source!
There was actually a red zone in La Jolla around the Taco Stand on Pearl!
The market sure has been good to Ernie – hope he never has trouble paying the bills:
County Assessor Ernest Dronenburg announced Thursday that the county’s 2019 assessed value of taxable property is almost $575 billion, a nearly 6% increase over last year.
It’s the fifth consecutive year the assessment roll has increased by 5% or more, according to Dronenburg, who also serves as county Clerk and Recorder. The increase is likely due to improvements in the housing market, business property values and the economy in general, he said.
“Increases to the business roll are strong indicators that business owners are optimistic about the local economy and are making capital investments in property, plant and equipment,” Dronenburg said. “This year, 85% of San Diego’s taxpayers are protected by Proposition 13’s provisions, which limits their property increase to only 2%.”
According to Dronenburg, the net assessed value roll is $551.9 billion after deducting various property tax exemptions. About 1% of the net assessment roll, $5.51 billion, will be used to fund public facilities and services like schools, law enforcement departments and parks.
The assessment roll is composed of more than one million parcels of land, more than 50,000 businesses, 13,000-plus boats and nearly 2,000 airplanes and other aircraft.
Residents will be able to view the assessed value of their property assets on July 1 by visiting the Assessor/Recorder/Clerk’s website, sdarcc.com, or by calling Dronenburg’s office at 619-236-3771. In addition to assessed values, residents also have access to applications for property tax exemption.
Today, Google is one of the Bay Area’s largest employers. Across the region, one issue stands out as particularly urgent and complex: housing. The lack of new supply, combined with the rising cost of living, has resulted in a severe shortage of affordable housing options for long-time middle and low income residents. As Google grows throughout the Bay Area—whether it’s in our home town of Mountain View, in San Francisco, or in our future developments in San Jose and Sunnyvale—we’ve invested in developing housing that meets the needs of these communities. But there’s more to do.
Today we’re announcing an additional $1 billion investment in housing across the Bay Area.
First, over the next 10 years, we’ll repurpose at least $750 million of Google’s land, most of which is currently zoned for office or commercial space, as residential housing. This will enable us to support the development of at least 15,000 new homes at all income levels in the Bay Area, including housing options for middle and low-income families. (By way of comparison, 3,000 total homes were built in the South Bay in 2018). We hope this plays a role in addressing the chronic shortage of affordable housing options for long-time middle and low income residents.
Second, we’ll establish a $250 million investment fund so that we can provide incentives to enable developers to build at least 5,000 affordable housing units across the market.
In addition to the increased supply of affordable housing these investments will help create, we will give $50 million in grants through Google.org to nonprofits focused on the issues of homelessness and displacement. This builds on the $18 million in grants we’ve given to help address homelessness over the last five years, including $3 million we gave to the newly openedSF Navigation Center and $1.5 million toaffordable housing for low income veterans and households in Mountain View.
Google started in the SF Bay Area, and we know our responsibility to help starts at home: we’re making a $1B investment to enable the development of 20K new homes in the region at all income levels, including affordable housing options in the next 10 years https://t.co/vVEYOFIUm5
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