- Voice of San Diego - https://www.voiceofsandiego.org -

Community Character Concerns Are Rooted in Density, Not Race

A residential street in the Kensington neighborhood. / Photo by Sam Hodgson

Al Abdallah’s attempt to link current Kensington, Talmadge and El Cerrito residents with these neighborhoods’ developers [1] and their motivations a century ago is shallow at best. The communities’ issue is how much density existing neighborhoods can absorb with literally no infrastructure upgrades.

Abdallah asked, “why are we selectively protecting the character of only certain communities?” This is simply misinformation. We are fighting to protect the character of all San Diego single-family neighborhoods. That term comes directly from San Diego’s residential single unit zoning code, which says (emphasis added) the “purpose of the RS zones is to provide appropriate regulations for the development of single dwelling unitsand which promote neighborhood quality, character, and livability.”

I oppose SB 9, which is just another bill written for developers who will profit by selling expensive homes, possibly four or more per lot, making the property out of reach for most people. It has no requirement to offer deeded-affordable housing and is too costly for homeowners to build. It could increase current density six- to eight-fold, according to the advocacy group Livable California [2].

By contrast, I support state law facilitating the construction of granny flats that could triple density in single-family neighborhoods, a level I believe existing neighborhoods might absorb without major infrastructure investments.

Danna Givot is a resident of El Cerrito.