I live in Temecula, but my work is mostly in San Diego. The technical border of San Diego County is just a few miles south from my doorstep, but the practical border is many miles from where I sleep every night. There are almost 500,000 people in this little area of southwest Riverside County, and quite a few of them work in San Diego County most days, like I do.
I live in Temecula because this was where I could afford. Lots of other people live here for the same reason. More keep moving here every day.
When I hear people get upset about sprawl in San Diego County, it’s like I hear them say the world is flat. It’s like they don’t know that carbon emissions are freely flowing along Interstate 15. It’s like they think if they keep people from building between Deer Springs Road and Rainbow Canyon, they won’t be impacted by traffic or global warming or environmental degradation or whatever else worries them.
Where do you think San Diego should draw the line? Should we barricade Interstate 15 and make it a tollway to force workers to try to pay steep prices to live in San Diego County instead of beyond?
The only real solution to sprawl and the environmental problems it creates is changing state, city and county policies to aggressively combat California’s affordable housing crisis so more people can afford to live where they work. While there is some progress from a few of our elected officials, we need a lot more.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is making a solid effort. The city’s new plan for a comprehensive approach to solving San Diego’s affordable housing crisis is a good start. Allowing developments that follow a region’s community and general plan to move forward without a lot of additional hurdles is good. It seems ridiculous that we have active community planning groups and outdated community plans that require developers to go in one by one for community input and approval on every single development. It’s one of the reasons I haven’t bothered to develop in the city of San Diego for the 10 years that I’ve had my own development company. It’s excruciating to be held responsible and accountable for a community’s grievances with existing urban conditions that a developer didn’t contribute to in any way. It causes community planning groups to look toward developers to solve long-term urban planning problems that have been years in the making.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Having developers drive housing policy is having foxes guard henhouses. Putting the blame on locals already living in nice neighborhoods is also disingenuous, like we're somehow "bad" because we're just trying to preserve our quality of life.
Yes please! Lets ask our leaders to... "streamline the permitting process, especially for developers building affordable housing." Those of us who live in the communities that Ms. Hitzke refers to in San Diego certainly don't need our cars, nor do we need any input on our community through local planning groups. We will happily hand over the keys to the all knowing and wise developers like Ms. Hitzke herself! Because after all... "All that is being asked is that they do their jobs while they have the power to do it". It is so sad if developers can't make their enormous profits - oops I mean do their jobs!
The free market chestnut that increasing supply will result in decreasing the price, does not apply much to the housing market. Land is finite and given the choice, developers will almost always build housing for the upper middle class and wealthy, given the larger profits. The demand for that type of housing is enormous. Additionally, the cost of building housing is linked to the cost of building supplies on the world market. Building in China, Dubai or wherever will drive up the cost of housing in the U.S. Given these factors, it is impossible for developers to build new homes that cost $300,000 or less, or build new 2 bedroom apartments that rent for $1,000 per month or les without government subsidies. Cutting government fees and regulations and increasing project densities (realizing that there is also an environmental benefit in the latter) will only marginally impact the cost of housing to the consumer.
So much of the affordability crisis can be attributes to politics. Removing government imposed obstacles to development ought to stimulate more construction. Government should encourage developers to build new homes instead of flipping old ones.
The vacant lots available to build on are to the east and north of SD, trouble is the government neglects to expand the freeways, which leads to daunting commutes to and from those areas. Improved transportation infrastructure ought to relieve housing pressure in the city of SD.
I liked the piece until the author expressed support for Atkin's affordable housing bill, new taxes and fees make life more expensive not more affordable.
Would you support replacing the property tax with a land value tax? Might as well eliminate the sales tax also.
It's always encouraging to see younger people doing some critical thinking about the problems of the city, but that old argument about transportation has never gained enough traction to change much of anything. Ms Hitzke says "If I lived in San Diego, I’m sure I could get away with not owning a car." I don't doubt that Ms. Hitzke, but if you had a couple of small kids and bags of groceries, you might need that car after all. And bicycles are certainly not the answer. The problem is that people who want only mass transit think everybody lives just as they do. Not true. Nor is it true when it comes to attending night time concerts, plays and other events. We will long need our cars so let's try something new - let's try to figure out how to make all this work together. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.
See if you can convince your employer to build a new office facility where you live. If as many of your fellow workers live there as you indicate, it might make sense to move your employer than to move all the workers.