Editor: The other day the Widder Curry caught up with Sarah Boot, candidate for the District 2 City Council seat and explored two issues that mean a lot in southern OB and that area of Point Loma where the Widder lives. See our earlier interview with Boot last month here.
By Judi Curry
For those of us living along the Sunset Cliffs corridor, I have a question for you. When was the last time you were able to leave your home and go directly to the Highway 8 on-ramp without being detoured around Ocean Beach? Yesterday it took me over 10 minutes to get to the freeway because of the streets that were blocked off – again – and detour signs were everywhere.
When I came home from my excursion to El Cajon, the detour signs were gone but the roads from Newport to Santa Cruz were so bumpy I thought my car would end up with flat tires. That, plus the steel plates all over the road only tell me that today will be the same way, and probably for weeks to come.
What about the streets in OB?
I discussed this problem with Sarah Boot, the 32 year old that will make a difference in San Diego politics. So what does she suggest for the roads of District 2?
As Boot has researched the problem, she found that many other cities – and countries, for that matter – utilize software systems wherein streets are numbered and prioritized as to work that needs to be done. All of the different departments work together in completing these projects so that a project is completed before the next one is demolished. The contractors work together instead of each one doing his own thing, and the residents in the area can look at a map on-line and know when their street – or route – is going to be under construction so they can plan an alternate way of leaving their house.
The effort is based on “coordination” – which is a more efficient way and healthier way for the residents to survive. The conflict between departments would be eliminated and the projects completed in a much more timely manner than is currently done now.
The Bay Park proposed height change
The Bay Park proposed height change has many of those neighbors riled up. Bay Park is part of District 2; is not designated as a “Coastal” area which means it does not have the same protection that coastal cities have. In fact, the City Council can change the height restriction without any input from the constituents of the area; and they can make the change themselves at a regular City Council Meeting.
Sarah is opposed to changing the height limitations. Can you imagine what it would be like to drive down Morena Blvd. to find 60’ high condominiums wall to wall as far as you can see? Sure, the trolley will be a nice addition, as will a few small restaurants in the area, but 60 foot condo’s. Are we going to turn that area into another Miami Beach?
A Voice of San Diego article suggested that one of Sarah’s opponents – Lori Zapf – was “wishy-washy”(my words) on her views of this change. At a meeting held January 24, Zapf said that the plan was good idea. She said that
“ . . . we have a trolley that will go along Morena Blvd., but up until now we haven’t had planning there. We need to look at a plan with more height and density and less parking than we see there today.”
However, at the April 16th candidate forum in Pacific Beach, Boot said that:
“ . . . Zapf was in favor of the plan, points to her comments to the apartment association on January 24th.”
Zapf responded by saying,
“ Yeah, I did say that . . . And the reason is, SANDAG projects we’re going to have a huge influx of population in the next few decades. So there are areas in our city where we’re going to have to look at raising some of the height limits, additional density and less parking. Because why are we doing all this transit, if we’re all just going to all just have two cars and still require two parking spaces for everything? It just doesn’t make any sense.”
So, m question to you, the reader, is this: Does Lori Zapf have an opinion on this made by her, or is she parroting what others are telling her to say?
It’s like standing with one hand in hot water and the other hand in icy water, and the brain does not know how to react. I, for one, do not really know where she stands, but I have this dreadful feeling that I may be thrown under the bus if I vote for her.
Sarah has spent the last year getting out into the community; knocking on doors; addressing community groups. She is keeping track of the issues that are of concern for the residents of District 2. She is ready to start getting things done; she is ready to start neighborhood projects to benefit the District. She is ready to help small business merchants eliminate some of the conflicting messages coming their way when applying for permits; she is ready to be supportive and not divisive.
It is no secret that I support Sarah; it’s time for the “little people” to get a fair deal. I think Sarah is the one that will be able to do that for us.