Monthly Archives: July 2014

General Plan Update meeting for Planning Commissioners 7/22/14

I attended the Tuesday pre meeting of the Planning Commission where the planning staff updated the Planning Commission on the General Plan project.  For those who went to the GPAC meeting a few weeks ago it was a summary of that meeting.  The presentation had to do with the “vision” part with little more detail.

There was a lot of discussion on the “Vision” whether to take a long view or a short view and how much detail should be included. The goal of the “Vision” statement is that it would be broad enough to not be changed were as the Elements could and mostly would be amended in the future.

I was impressed by the questioning of the head of the planning department by some of the planning commissioners. Erick Peterson asked the question I would have asked, why the city needs 16 Elements when the State only requires 7.   An Element is report 20-108 pages long that deals in details of Infrastructure, Traffic, Housing, Historical etc. Erick requested the planning director to come back with reasons why we need each of the optional elements, could they be combined and if we dropped any would we be fined by the State if we did not comply.  This is an excellent way to get rid of bureaucracy and red tape and save some money.

Others Commissioners also asked why they only surveyed 600 people. A lot of ideas were thrown about on how to get more people involved, flyers etc.  One idea I’ve had would be to have the planning department send or post their surveys and meeting dates on this forum and other forums.  The five HB forums I just looked at have a total of 16,610 Members.

My own take on the way the city is going about this is its making more of a production out of the project than it needs to be. If you look at a lot of the Elements much of the information is statistics and charts. You could probably cut and paste  a lot of information from the existing Elements to the new Elements.

I’ll be following the process to its competition and will be examining each Element to  what  has changed and added.  This is true whether or not I’m elected to the Council in 2014.  At this point I see no reason why we need to spend $2 million dollars for a consultant to help our planning department, but I remain open minded until it done.

Clem Dominguez

Positions on HB Issues

Poseidon: I would not approve of the plant being build simply because Poseidon has never completed a plant that stayed on line for very long. Since they are building one in Carlsbad we have the perfect opportunity to see how it goes. What’s the true cost of the water and what’s the real damage to the environment and the neighborhood. Poseidon also has not complied with the proper permits. Desalination has been around for years. While the plant in Carlsbad is being build I think the city should investigate other companies and other more modern desalination technologies.

Fixing sidewalks – We need an urgent priority to create an immediate program to systematically fix our sidewalks, Sidewalks are uprooted by trees, alleyways in the older sections are falling apart. We shouldn’t have to wait until you hire one more consultant or build one more building or give  a raise to employees, we want it done now.  Fixing sidewalks would also go a long way it preventing lawsuits, sec there saving money.

Density– Reduce the density at Bella Terra- Edinger corridor and the Downtown Specific plan back to 2010 levels. Grandfather in current building started and completed, not in planning stage.. Might need to have new specific plans done. . I’ve seen enough.

DowntownIf additional police patrols are the only answer to controlling downtown then Bars must pick up the tab. We get the same 1% sales tax from all business. Many shopping centers like the ones on Beach and Adams or Walmarts brings the city many tax dollars and are rarely a police or neighborhood problem. We have to provide more services than a normal business we need to have them pay. New Business lic by category or surtax on alcohol.

Ban on Bags – Should only have banned plastic bags in all stores, regardless of size. Need to modify ordinance to allow stores to sell paper bags for free or charge , up to them. If I cannot get a majority to agree with me I will put forth an agenda item to put the question on the ballot.

Sports Complex – Like to investigate why our Little League can’t use that for free. We spend 18 Million dollars to build this thing and our children should benefit. The city treats the Sports Complex and the downtown like they are a event management company. Need to review recreation available for our kids.

Senior center – Since the city has now won the law suit it looks like the Senior Center will be build. I would hope that we soon see detail plans and more importantly a real Budget.

Pensions– Police and all employees need to contribute more. Stop hiring more policemen just to control the late night crowds downtown. Solve the cause of the problems rather than just try to contain them.

Parking permits Downtown If the parking permit program is  implemented I think all the numbered streets would have to sign off on it. The people I’ve talked to that live in that area do not feel there is enough transparency as to what the status is the parking permit program.  If the people on 6th-9th. approve it then the late night partiers will just park on 10th and above.  In order to free up some parking so the late night crowd does not park on the residents streets I would like to see the parking lot opposite Zack’s be  available for the downtown employees.

Term Limits – Two years and you’re out. I know the argument against this, “We should be able to vote for who we want”. You can’t do that now because the incumbent as an advantage that is rarely overcome.  Recycled Council persons just wear thin after to much use, much like recycled bags. They don’t have solutions to the problems because in many cases they created the problem. Downtown is best example of that. The Council planned on a family oriented downtown. That never happened so why trust them now.

Revenue Source – We need to find a different type of revenue for the city, Instead of always relying on tourism.