‘Save Famosa Canyon’ Sues Housing Commission for Any Plans for Development

by on May 9, 2022 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

Famosa Canyon is back in the news – that section of open land with bike trails just off upper Voltaire Street.

It’s in the news because the group, “Save Famosa Canyon,” is taking the San Diego Housing Commission – who owns the land – to court. The group is trying to get the Housing Commission to release documents it has about potential plans for the land and it filed a lawsuit on April 28.

Save Famosa Canyon organizers claim 2,081 members and since 2018 the organization has been fighting to preserve the environmentally sensitive area. They say it contains a wetland and eucalyptus trees for a monarch butterfly habitat. Locals — and avid Rag readers — have been observing this see-saw battle going on for some time.

Attorney Everett DeLano represents Save Famosa Canyon and warns that the case is all about the public records act. If the Housing Commission has entered into some king of agreement with a particular developer, his clients as taxpayers need to know exactly what is happening.

“The housing commission for some reason, even though we sent a public records request in early February, we sent it on February 3, they are refusing to present many documents, over 6,000 documents. I certainly think it’s not consistent with their legal obligations,” said DeLano.

According to CBS8:

DeLano listed in a petition for writ of mandate, a letter from April 4, 2022 from the housing commission that stated, “the Housing Authority authorized negotiations over a potential 78-unit affordable housing project on the property.”

Another letter from the housing commission says regarding the group’s request for “correspondence and notes, memos, and emails,” SDHC objects to your request as overly broad, burdensome, and oppressive. A preliminary search has identified more than 6,150 electronic communications files since December 11, 2020, that include keywords from your requests. A public records request that “compels the production of a huge volume of material may be objectionable as unduly burdensome.”

“We requested documents from the City of San Diego, and the city did produce the documents, but unfortunately, the housing commission refused to produce many documents. They did provide links to certain documents that were available on their website, but other than that, they largely refused to produce anything,” DeLano said. …

The San Diego Housing Commission said in a statement, “It does not comment on pending litigation, in deference to the Court.” As a court date is expected to be set in a month, the group is hopeful nothing will happen to their neighborhood canyon.


Bridge Housing Corp. Selected by City Council to Build in Controversial Famosa Canyon

On Tuesday, July 13, 2021, the San Diego City Council authorized the San Diego Housing Commission to build up to 78 affordable housing units on the 5-acre parcel in Famosa Canyon. The council entered into an agreement with Bridge Housing Corporation to design housing units at the southeast corner of Famosa and Nimitz boulevards.

The decision appears to resolve the controversies over the site, one of the last open spaces in Point Loma and used by kids on bikes for generations. Many in the community have fought this development for years, at the grassroots level and at the local planning board level. But it appears to no avail.

Opponents of the development have been characterized as “NIMBYs” and even “racist” by its advocates, who view any opposition of developing the site as opposition to affordable housing. Never mind the environment, the lack of open areas in that part of Point Loma, and the availability of affordable housing within fractions of a mile away. For more


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Octavian May 9, 2022 at 1:01 pm

Let’s prevent affordable homes from being built so our kids can ride their dirt bikes!

This is what pisses people off about so called NIMBYS. They claim to be in favor of affordable housing but often find arbitrary reasons to oppose it. Might as well be consistent and say you don’t want development near where you live, rather than this double talk BS that most of us see right through


Geoff Page May 9, 2022 at 2:01 pm

Having done a few Public Record Requests, I have to agree that the one they put in that involved so many documents was a bit onerous. That sounded a lot more like a discovery request from an attorney than a PRR.


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