Encinitas planning commission nixes Cardiff 8

Development on former flower grower's site seems to pack in too much

The western portion of the property borders I-5.
  • The western portion of the property borders I-5.

The developer of the former Maldonado Farm, next to I-5, has run into a bit of a snag. The City of Encinitas’ planning commission doesn’t like their plan for eight homes on the 1.25-acre parcel.

The commission denied the project, known as Cardiff 8, at their March 17 meeting. The developer has appealed that decision to the city council and will be heard at their May 11 meeting.

At issue appears to be the size of the homes vs. the size of property, which is zoned R-7 and allows up to seven homes to be built. An extra home is allowed under the state-mandated low-income-housing density bonus.

The developer has taken the opportunity to squeeze in an additional home, even though the extra “low income” home will have to be sold at way under market value.

One of the planning commission’s concerns was that four of the units would have only 10-foot driveways; the average length of a passenger vehicle is around 15 feet.

Additionally, there were concerns about public safety, as in fire-truck access, and “a variety of inconsistencies with the city’s design standards,” said Sapaú.

Of potential concern to future buyers might be the lot's proximity to I-5, which borders the western portion of the property. In 2014, Caltrans reported a traffic volume of 229,000 vehicles per day. Northbound’s Monday-through-Friday afternoon-commute traffic is always slow-and-go in the afternoon, averaging 35–50 MPH. On Saturdays, southbound I-5 is bumper-to-bumper through Camp Pendleton until Del Mar.

The developer has taken into account the property setbacks that Caltrans may require for its 27-mile North Coast Corridor project, said Sapaú. The widening of I-5 will add eight additional lanes by 2030, from La Jolla Village Drive to Oceanside’s Harbor Drive.

A March 2014 Reader story noted that Maldonado Farm’s owners thought they had a long-term deal to purchase the property from the original owner, but then the parcel was sold to an out-of-town developer.

At the time, the farm’s owner, Fred Maldonado, said, “It’s a shame when all of us long-term, local families are forced out. These developers come in and they’ll be the ones to make all the money.”

(revised 4/25 12:05 p.m.)

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