There’s been a lot of discussion over the past month on the value of the state’s density bonus law in general, and how it’s been implemented in Encinitas in particular.

In March, Maya Srikrishnan delved into the city’s attempts to circumvent the law, which allows developers to exceed local zoning restrictions, including density, if they agree to set aside some units for low-income residents.

Residents responded, saying that in practice, the law lets developers sell many more market-rate units, while providing relatively few affordable ones.

Now, Stephen Russell, executive director of the San Diego Housing Federation, writes that the law is working, and is just one important tool to lay the foundation of a more affordable housing market.

“Critics of density bonus use the false argument that because production under the program has failed to solve the affordability problem in its entirety, the program must not work. Yet, it is intended to only be one of many sources of affordable housing. In the absence of redevelopment agency funds and the depletion of voter-approved financing, we need this program,” Russell writes.

Think of the Children

Contract negotiations are under way in Rancho Santa Fe between the Faculty Association and the Rancho Santa Fe School District.

Like most negotiations, there’s been a back-and-forth over compensation and benefits. Some teachers allege, however, that a district policy that allows the children of teachers who live outside the district to attend school there is being used to put pressure on the union, by putting the continued enrollment of those kids at risk.

Board Policy 4111 was adopted in 2006, and allows the superintendent to enroll 15 students whose parents are full-time employees of the school district. The policy included a sunset clause, and was last amended in 2013 to have the policy expire on June 30, 2016, which coincides with the end of the current contract with the Faculty Association.

“The policy is triennially connected to the negotiations process, ‘creating a false deadline that hastens negotiations and encourages compliance over interest,’” one teacher told the Rancho Santa Fe Review.

Biding His Time?

In Encinitas, former candidate for the 76th Assembly District Phil Graham registered his intent to run for City Council.

At least three seats are up for grabs, and Graham will be running against incumbents Mark Muir and Tony Kranz, and Planning Commissioner Tasha Boerner Horvath. (A fourth could be vacated by Catherine Blakespear, if she’s elected mayor.)

Graham ended his Assembly run when Assemblyman Rocky Chavez abandoned his U.S. Senate bid and decided to run for re-election. As of the last filing with the state, Graham had $220,000 remaining in his campaign’s committee.

During his Assembly bid, Graham had to appeal to more conservative voters in Oceanside, Carlsbad and Vista.

At one candidates forum, he suggested the state should kill the California Environmental Quality Act.

The coming months will show whether statements like that resonate with Encinitas voters, who tend to be supportive of environmental protections.

Also in the News

The San Diego Association of Governments and the California Coastal Commission aren’t cool with Encinitas’ request to put the Coastal Rail Trail along Coast Highway. (The Coast News)

A preliminary hearing was held to decide if an Escondido Union School District Trustee will face felony charges for misrepresenting his residence to get elected. Yep, it’s the same one who was recently cleared of a restraining order that was filed by the superintendent and other district employees. (Union-Tribune)

 The San Dieguito Union High School District lost two administrators, including its superintendent, to other districts in the state. (The Coast News)

 Oceanside added six firefighter-paramedics to the Fire Department, after the city lost 10 positions when funds from a federal grant ran out. (Seaside Courier)

Carlsbad has banned the sale of puppies from “puppy mills.” (Union-Tribune)

Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar outraised Dave Roberts and Sam Abed in the latest filing period. The three are vying for the District 3 County Supervisor seat that Roberts currently holds. (Seaside Courier)

 Tri-City earned top marks for patient safety. (Seaside Courier)

Ruarri Serpa is a freelance writer in Oceanside. Email him at and find him on Twitter at @RuarriS.

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1 Comment

  1. They need to improve the water quality and provide housing solutions for homeless persons and those who have experienced the devistating fires of California.

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