Two environmental attorneys are gearing up to force coastal cities’ hands in making way for new housing. Attorneys Marco Gonzalez and Cory Briggs have said they’re planning to file lawsuits against Encinitas and Del Mar over land use issues that have ended up on the ballot in both cities this November.
In this week’s San Diego Explained, NBC 7 San Diego’s Monica Dean and Voice of San Diego’s Maya Srikrishnan explain a controversial measure in Encinitas.
A good approach to measuring the “expensiveness” of San Diego housing is to compare home prices with local rents and incomes, which together encompass the most important drivers of home prices. This shows homes to be unusually pricey right now, though nowhere near levels reached during the bubble.
Assaults. Robberies. Vandalism. Drugs. Electrical outages and fires. Sewer back-ups that result in human waste flowing onto the lawn. Mold. Rats. Roaches. That’s how current and former tenants, code enforcement documents, the Oceanside Police Department and the city attorney’s office describe life at 415 Grant St.
San Diego leaders often point to city and regional plans to build more housing. In practice, we know the gap between what is needed and what is actually being built is in fact widening.
Residential hotels, also referred to as single-room occupancy hotels, or SROs, are often the housing of last resort for low-wage workers and folks on fixed incomes. As of October 2015, there were 3,872 single-room occupancy units within the city, down significantly from the 8,950 units counted in a 2003 survey.
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.
Encinitas has placed itself in a tough legal position. Local voters could reject the city’s plan to accommodate new housing – a plan required by state law. Encinitas is the only city in the county, and one of a few in the state, without a legal housing plan.
One of Ed Harris’ first acts as a city councilman in 2014 was to stage a protest against a city plan to add density near a planned trolley stop in Bay Park. Now, Harris is running for mayor and talking up the need to build new housing near transit – just what the proposal he opposed intended to do. In an interview, he said he’s changed his perspective.
Many of the homeless San Diegans we see every day are not newcomers who arrived here recently for the nice weather. They are our older, disabled, English-learning, fixed-income adults and veterans who thought they had secure, affordable housing – until they received a letter from a developer, telling them they no longer do.