Elected Officials Are Facing Serious Push Back From Their Constituents

| March 6, 2023 | 0 Comments

We have a major dilemma on our hands. As taxpaying members of the City of San Diego and State of California, it should be obvious that the people currently in office have closed their eyes and ears to their constituents.  

Here in San Diego, many of us are faced with the reality that our elected officials are doing everything they can to stop home ownership and create a culture that promotes landlord-controlled rents and living standards.  

In the issue, on page 3, Nico Calavita, professor emeritus in the Graduate Program in City Planning at SDSU, speaks directly to the fact that Sustainable Development Areas (SDAs) are a bad deal for San Diego, and will likely make it impossible for future generations to own property or homes in urban San Diego, especially minority communities that previously had affordable housing.  

Recent research shows that in the past few years, speculators — big and small all over the country — have bought properties in lower-income, usually minority, neighborhoods, because they were cheap. They rent or leave them vacant and wait for the neighborhood to change and for prices to go up — or redevelop them. 

With only minimal affordability and length of affordability requirements, this expansion is likely to lead to gentrification, displacement, and higher housing costs in these relatively affordable neighborhoods.

Add to that, the City of San Diego’s Planning Department was conducting its third public workshop on Housing Action Package 2.0. (This took place the night the Presidio Sentinel went to press.)

The key element of this package is the implementation of SB 10, what some refer to as it “Huffman 2.0”, after the previous massive infill sprawl initiative of the 1970s.

According to Geoff Hueter, chair of Neighbors for a Better San Diego, “Then, as now, random building of apartments in residential neighborhoods reinforces suburban patterns of automobile usage and undermines what little chance San Diego has of creating a viable transit network focused around mixed-use, dense transportation corridors.

“Further, locating housing a mile away from future transit stops does nothing to improve transit access for residents who need it the most.

“Housing programs might be ‘sustainable’ for the building industry, but they reduce housing and economic opportunities for the rest of San Diegans.”

As San Diegans continue to push back against Mayor Todd Gloria’s effort to vastly increase housing density in our older, single-family neighborhoods, he offers no provision for desperately needed parks, libraries, schools, street and sidewalk repairs and upgrades, and other basic infrastructure. 

As part of his so-called “Housing Action Plan 2.0” package of “reforms,” Mayor Gloria is now attempting to implement a state policy (SB10) that encourages developers and outside, for-profit investors to buy up single-family homes in residential zones and replace them with up to 10 units of rental housing.  But the mayor has not offered a credible, comprehensive plan or funding mechanism to provide adequate infrastructure to the handle this huge increase in density. In fact, the city of San Diego now has a $5.3 Billion infrastructure deficit, which continues to increase daily.

To “appear” interested in hearing from residents of San Diego, the mayor was holding a workshop for community input.  However, at the time of the newspaper going to press, city staff stopped taking reservations for people to attend the meeting.  Obviously, there is an intent to restrict and limit who attends. 

This really isn’t an attempt for open discussion and dialogue on these issues.  It’s only a “smoke and mirrors” guise that’s become common nature at City Hall. 

In other words, “Let’s fool the people into believing that we actually care what they think.”

For everyone who has been dealing with the mayor’s density driven agenda, let’s not mince words, this is a scraping of single-family neighborhoods for profit and at the expense of homeowners, future homeowners, and renters, with NO environmental impact eeports, NO public review, NO parking, and NO common sense.

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Category: feature, Government, Housing, Local News, Politics

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