San Diego Unified is pushing Innovations Academy out of its space in Scripps Ranch and dropping $20 million in bond money on a new facility for the school. It plans to lease the Scripps Ranch space to a developer who will build apartments. The move that makes good on the school board’s commitment to generate revenue off district property. But to Scripps Ranch residents, the decision is illogical: Why push out a charter school just to spend $20 million building a new one?

A slate of November ballot measures would give local residents in cities across the state the power to veto or stop development projects. Meanwhile, Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to wrestle some control over building decisions away from locals. The conflict between cities and the state has ramped up in recent years, and it’s coming to a head.

San Diego County has been ground zero for legal fights over where charter schools can open satellite campuses, or so-called resource centers. Both school districts and charter schools argue the other is driven by profit instead of what’s best for kids. The conversation is so loaded that it’s easy to lose sight of the actual legal point in dispute. So let’s unpack it.