What we learned this week

Photo courtesy of Studio E Architects

A memo had to be circulated all over NIMBYland, laying out a handbook to push back legislation to create more housing and shut down specific housing projects.

See if you can spot the theme.

A public relations team on Friday sent out a recap of a protest outside Senator Toni Atkins’ office by supporters opposing SB 10, a bill drafted by Senator Scott Weiner that would allow local governments to give the green light to more dense zoning in neighborhoods close to public transport.

“Although the bill is billed as a housing bill, it does nothing to provide affordable housing or housing for the homeless,” the public relations team wrote. They made the point with quotes from individual stakeholders, like this one: “The bill does not allocate any funding for affordable housing, nor does it require cities and counties to build housing. affordable.

When Courthouse News covered an earlier hearing on the bill, a reporter noted this objection: “Bill Brand, Mayor of Redondo Beach, argued that SB 10 would not create more affordable housing, but would instead lead to a proliferation of luxury housing because of the developer incentives. “

That a bill intended to stimulate housing development is inappropriate because it does not specifically require affordable housing is also an argument exercised against SB 9, a bill drafted by Atkins that would allow duplexes and quads on single-family lots.

Last month, the vice mayor of Pleasanton pleaded against SB 9 because it “does not require or provide affordable housing and allows single-family lots to be divided into two and four or more houses to replace an existing house.”

It sounded a lot like the case that Solana Beach mayor Lesa Heebner presented to me against SB 9, when she said that the fact that she “had no affordability requirement” was wrong. ‘one of the reasons she opposed the measure.

The idea that we should reject housing proposals because they do not require the construction of affordable housing extends to individual projects as well.

When my colleague Kayla Jimenez asked the Oceanside mayoral candidates about the controversial North River Farms plan, at least two said they objected specifically because it did not include enough affordable housing.

“I think that has been our problem is that we are focusing on unaffordable housing right now. Builders will make a lot of money from projects that a person living here trying to work here really can’t afford, ”one candidate told him.

It was a similar story for some opponents of Newland Sierra’s development near Escondido, who analyzed whether the developer’s promises to include affordable units were really applicable. Yet it was clear that these same adversaries did not want whatever built there – not to mention affordable housing.

Saying that development stimulus bills or individual projects should be rejected because they do not come with affordable housing mandates is a bit like saying a plan to buy every household from a household. Peloton would not improve people’s health because it does not have a warrant. eat broccoli. Both are based on the false premise that there is only one particular way to solve the problem in question.

But creating more housing – even unsubsidized housing reserved for low-income households – is widely seen as a crucial step in alleviating the housing crisis.

“Market-priced homes built now will add to a community’s lower-cost housing stock in the future as these new homes age and become more affordable.” analysis by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office noted.

Andrew Keatts explained in detail how the lack of housing construction in San Diego has contributed to its affordability crisis.

There are many reasons to reject individual housing bills or development proposals, just as it is possible to have legitimate concerns about whether a project includes enough affordable housing.

And yet it is also true that many direct NIMBYs have learned to mask their objections in more socially acceptable concerns to achieve the result they want: no new housing near them.

What VOSD Learned This Week

Yet another odd aspect of the Housing Commission’s purchase of a hotel in Mission Valley: The valuation was backdated before the pandemic decimated the tourism industry.

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You may have seen gruesome photos of the ocean on fire following an underwater gas leak in Mexico. Here in San Diego, two possible oil spills were reported on the same day last month. MacKenzie Elmer looked at how authorities are investigating these spills.

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One of the main elements of Measure B, passed by an overwhelming majority of voters in November, was to provide the city’s independent police watchdog group with independent legal advice from the city’s prosecutor, who also represents the city’s prosecutors. police officers. So, lawyers wonder why is the city attorney the one who drafts the law?

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School districts have pivoted in several ways to help students struggling with the pandemic. The latest: San Diego County’s two largest districts have relaxed graduation requirements.

What i read

Line of the week

“Who is this cynical, shiny goat rodeo supposed to be for?” – A tough but fair assessment of the new reboot of “Gossip Girl”.

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