Assemblyman Ward Uses Emotion Not Logic for his Response

| September 6, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Lisa Sinclair

The fact that Assemblymember Ward relies so heavily on emotion to justify his vote for SB 9 and SB 10 should raise a red flag—especially since his statement doesn’t align facts with reality. What Senator Atkins authored and what Assemblymember Ward voted for will destroy single-family neighborhoods and do nothing to provide affordable housing for low-income San Diegans. 

Assemblymember Ward claims that SB 9 allows only one more additional unit than is currently permissible (under California’s ADU law). However, in order to build those four housing units, the property must first be split into two lots, with a minimum lot size requirement of only 1200 square feet each. (With the average single-family lot being more than 5000 square feet, SB 9 would apply to almost any existing single-family parcel in San Diego.) Once the lot is split into two smaller lots and two houses are built on each lot, City and State ADU laws allow additional units on each lot in the form of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

SB 9 does not prohibit cities such as San Diego from allowing ADUs on split properties. The bottom line is that more units can be added to each lot in the form of ADUs. These units can be as high as three stories with no side- and rear-yard setbacks—even in high-risk fire hazard severity zones. And this is all now allowed in your single-family neighborhood.

This type of lot-splitting is not designed for homeowners, considering that the mortgage must be paid off before one can qualify. Also, the existing home would be torn down for lot reconfiguration, forcing temporary relocation.

SB 9 and SB 10 “build” upon San Diego’s neighborhood-killing 2020 ADU ordinance. What this means is that no neighborhood will be spared. While San Diego’s ADU ordinance makes working-class neighborhoods targets for developers due to the return on investment of “unlimited” ADUs on a single-family lot, SB 9 makes more expensive communities such as La Jolla, Mission Hills, or Point Loma the newest targets—especially since there are no affordability mandates in SB 9 or SB 10. Imagine the density and rents on these luxury housing units that Assemblymember Ward claims will solve San Diego’s overcrowding and the affordable housing crisis. 

Make no mistake, these bills are designed in such a way to encourage the strip-mining of single-family neighborhoods by developers.

Like the Huffman 6-, 8-, or 12-pack apartments built in the 1960s-1980s, these “upzoning” bills will turn single-family neighborhoods into a mishmash of high-density rental complexes owned by outside investors. San Diego’s single-family housing inventory will be greatly diminished by design, resulting in higher home prices and lost opportunities for future San Diegans to gain generational land wealth.

Lisa Sinclair, resident of San Diego, has been instrumental in working with neighbors currently being negatively impacted by San Diego’s ADU ordinance.To learn more, visit

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