Reading Voice of San Diego’s recent article on housing in Encinitas, one is left with the distinct impression that local developers are doing their best to push through affordable housing, but Encinitas City Council members and residents are fighting every step of the way.
Quoting a representative of a local housing advocacy group about the importance of the density bonus law, the article claims that both City Council members and residents want to make the law impossible to use in Encinitas.
But the reality is not nearly so stark.
It is, of course, hard to quarrel with the premise of affordable housing. In a state and a county where housing costs consume a substantial portion of a household’s income, affordability is an important factor. But blaming the high cost of housing on residents who advocate for protections of their community and the environment is like blaming the customers who insist on a clean supermarket for the high cost of food – sure, there’s a relationship, but there are several other economic factors at play.