Neighborhood Groups Unite to Oppose San Diego’s Over-development Policies – 6 Rallies Planned for Sat., May 6

by on May 2, 2023 · 43 comments

in San Diego

Groups from across San Diego are uniting in opposition to San Diego’s reckless high-density housing initiatives and are planning 6 neighborhood rallies this Saturday, May 6.

Residents throughout San Diego are uniting in solidarity on Saturday to peacefully protest San Diego’s irresponsible overdevelopment policies. Neither the Mayor nor the City Council are respecting the development policy concerns of their constituents, so residents are taking to the streets to make their voices heard.

What these groups oppose:

• Mayor Gloria’s intention to implement SB 10
• Unrealistically dense Community Plan Updates
• Density beyond a reasonable walking distance from transit
• San Diego’s “Bonus” ADU Program
• Ignoring the need for supportive infrastructure that keeps pace with density
• Destruction of our urban canopy
• Shifting San Diegans from future homeowners to lifelong renters

What these groups support:

• Responsible planning
• Growth balanced with infrastructure
• Dense development on transit corridors where appropriate
• Ample parks and open spaces
• Preservation of our urban canopy
• Truly affordable housing policies
• Opportunities for home ownership
• Redevelopment of underused commercial and industrial properties
• Preservation of single-family neighborhoods for future generations

Multiple rallies are planned throughout the day:

University City: 10 a.m. to Noon
Facebook Page “University City Rally”
Location: Genesee Avenue & Governor Drive
For questions, email:

Clairemont: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Facebook Page “Clairemont Homies”
Location: Balboa Avenue & Clairemont Drive
For questions, email:

Bankers Hill/Hillcrest: Noon to 2:00 p.m.
Location: University Avenue & Normal Street, under the big flag
For questions, email:

North Park: Noon to 2:00 p.m.
Location: University Avenue & 30th Street
For questions, email:

Normal Heights: Noon to 2:00 p.m.
Location: 35th Street & Adams Avenue
Facebook: “Normal Heights for Smart Growth”
For questions, email:

College Area: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
(including El Cerrito, Rolando, Talmadge, Kensington, City Heights, and all Southeast San Diego neighborhoods)
Location: El Cajon Boulevard & College Avenue
For questions, email:

Rally organizers encourage all San Diegans to join in one or more of the day’s scheduled events.

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

LBruce May 2, 2023 at 3:43 pm

This is our chance to show the mayor and council just how passionately opposed we are to their radical densification of San Diego’s neighborhoods that are not realistically near transit. If we do not stop them now, according to SB 10, the council’s vote in favor of SB 10 CANNOT BE UNDONE, No other city has adopted SB 10; they’re too smart. Not our elected officials, however. Protest on May 6!


Phil May 2, 2023 at 5:06 pm

That’s right! Let’s make sure that our elected officials know we want to make homelessness worse, increase inequality and tell our grandkids to go find their own damn place to live!


sandiegomateo May 2, 2023 at 11:54 pm

The Pro-Corporate Monopolization of Housing and Build to Rent Housing Policies implemented by the Politico-Corporate Real Estate Complex spearheaded by Todd Gloria, has legislatively accelerated homelessness some 4000% over the last 20 years and is precisely why your grand-kids have to go find their own place to live.


LBruce May 2, 2023 at 5:13 pm

Oh please. There is no affordability component to any of the Mayor’s proposals so thinking infill sprawl is going to “solve homelessness” is wishful – and needlessly destructive – thinking. Support subsidized social housing for those who need it; don’t destroy San Diego neighborhoods.


Phil May 3, 2023 at 7:54 am

Yes, let’s support social housing but also more homes in general. And if you think more homes won’t solve homelessness, perhaps you should read this book –


Paul Webb May 3, 2023 at 9:30 am

I find it very interesting that all the articles I found about Greg Colburn talke about his work at the University of Washington, but only briefly touch on his 17 years of experience in the private sector. It turns out that his prior experience appears to be with investment groups, private equity firms and Goldman Sachs. Now, I’m not saying that this means he cannot do good research and write books or articles that highlight problems in how we address homelessness, but it sure seems like he has an undisclosed and un-discussed bias toward private sector, profit generating housing solutions.

Phil, more housing is probably good, but the private sector is NOT building the type of housing that is so badly needed – housing large enough for families that are at the lowest levels of income.


Phil May 3, 2023 at 9:55 am

Paul I think you should read the book before judging one of the co-authors intent.

Additionally, more housing IS good. Just look at the basic math over the last 20 years from this VoSD article

“In 2000, San Diego was a decade or so removed from the cutbacks in the defense industry that devastated the economy. San Diego County had 1,312,800 jobs.

A home is where a job sleeps at night and housing prices were in the very beginning of what would become a dizzying rally upward. San Diego was expensive but nothing like today. You could buy a nice home in need of some work near Sunset Cliffs for $250,000 – the equivalent of $440,000 now.

There were 1,040,149 housing units in the county.

Twenty years later, in January 2020, the region had 220,000 more jobs than in 2000. In that same 20 years, the population of San Diego grew by more than 529,000 people.

As for homes? Only 175,980 new homes had been constructed in those two decades.”

Seems like “not building homes” is how we got here.


Paul Webb May 3, 2023 at 10:23 am

I notice that you did not address what I said – that I believe that the authors have a bias that is not addressed or disclosed. And at no point did I say that we shouldn’t build more homes. I merely said that we are not building the right kind of homes, as evidenced by the segment of the population that is most under served, those earning 50% or less of the median income. I’m guessing that those in that group are the most likely to become newly homeless.

Phil, I haven’t read the book, but I have read a number of articles about the authors and their position that we need more homes. I’m not disagreeing with that premise. It is obvious that we have a housing shortage.

What I am saying is that the private sector has not and will not provide the housing we need. During the time period of 2000 to 2020, what was built was primarily single family homes on large tracts of undeveloped land. What we should have been building during that period is communities of various housing types and at a number of price levels, which could have served the needs of our communities – not just the affluent. We have done a very poor job of planning and guiding development, which has led us to the problems we are experiencing today.

Oh, and we shouldn’t have allowed the thousands of SRO hotels to be replaced with expensive condos, but that’s another argument.


Chris May 3, 2023 at 10:35 am

No one denies we need more homes, but dense housing advocates never answer the question, what about the abundance of multi family units that have gone up and are having trouble attracting new residents due to the price? Especially in the uptown area. There is not a single person in the city that is unaware of this, yet so many yammer on as if they truly don’t. I’ll never understand that. Housing prices do not follow “economics 101”.


Phil May 3, 2023 at 10:51 am

Paul I didn’t address it because I don’t know what the point of it would be if you haven’t read the book. Do you believe his bias impacted his findings?

As for all the housing you said we should have built, I agree we should have! But 86% of San Diego was zoned single family (with some communities downzoing, like PB) so what else was supposed to be built? And isn’t that exactly the kind of housing these groups are fighting? They don’t want ANY new homes in their communities.

And I agree, closing SROs was bad!

Chris, the vacancy rate as of November was 2.9% (up from 1.25% in June). From the comments you’ve made previously you seem to believe that these numbers are a lie, I have no way of proving that negative.


Paul Webb May 3, 2023 at 3:04 pm

Phil, no, I haven’t read the whole book, but I have read many articles, including articles written by the authors of the book, that promote their thesis. I believe that I understand the gist of it, which, simply stated, is that housing will solve homelessness. I simply do not believe it. And, yes, I believe that his background working for venture capital groups and Goldman Sachs shows, at least, his willingness to work with and for the forces that have led us to the problem we have today.

I absolutely agree with you that part of the problem historically been the over application of single family zoning over much of our city and county. If you read my post, I blame the planning process, WHICH HAS PRIMARILY BEEN DRIVEN BY DEVELOPMENT AND FINANCE FORCES (


Geoff Page May 8, 2023 at 2:10 pm

VOSD points out we have only built 175,000 homes for an additional 529,000 people. The national average of people per household is 3.13. Divide 529,000 by 3.13 and you get 169,000 houses. Seems like we are keeping up and are even ahead of the game.


Paul Webb May 3, 2023 at 3:09 pm

Didn’t mean to interrupt my replay, but something happened. I started to say “sorry for shouting” but I wanted to get my point across.

Where we are now is that we have used up most of the vacant land to build primarily single family homes (as you point out). So, the solution has to be ruin older single family neighborhoods, like mine, to make up for the housing shortage that was foisted off on us by the developers and our civic leaders. Forgive me if I do not agree that this is a good or appropriate approach.


LBruce May 3, 2023 at 4:13 pm

Well said, Paul: “ruin older single family neighborhoods, like mine, to make up for the housing shortage that was foisted off on us by the developers and our civic leaders. Forgive me if I do not agree that this is a good or appropriate approach.” It’s a terrible approach and totally unnecessary if the goal is to place people close enough to genuine transit that they will use it. It’s a none-too-thinly-veiled giveaway to developers.


Phil May 3, 2023 at 5:21 pm

Did both of you build your homes by hand? Or did someone build it for you? If so, why is your development good but all other development bad?

Also the idea that loud homeowners yelling “don’t build that near me” didn’t have an impact on land use decisions by elected officials is extremely funny. NIMBYism is a major reason we stopped building the housing we needed!

Anyway, I’m very glad you both got yours, tough break for everyone else not born at the right time. They can screw off and go live in Hemet or Boise.


Vern May 3, 2023 at 7:10 pm

Just like Scientology, the whole point of Yimbyism is “to advance the human condition.”

Well, if “by advancing the human condition,” you really mean “serving the interests of the Urban Growth Machine and developer profits,” then you have a point.

In fact, Yimbyism was outed over 40 years ago, before it was even called “Yimbyism,” as one can read in an article in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers by Richard A. Walker and Michael K. Heiman

The tenets of Yimbyism include: forced densification within urban areas; the eradication of single-family neighborhoods; the deregulation of land-use, including the weakening and/or elimination of environmental protections; the elimination of local, community-based decision-making; and an increase in developer and corporate profits. (OK, you probably won’t find that last article of faith in the public-facing prospectus of Yimby propagandists, but you will find it at the center of the Yimby version of the Holy of Holies).


Phil May 3, 2023 at 7:57 pm

Vern I did a little Google search on Mr. John Mirisch, who is an ABSOLUTE loon, and I gotta ask do you also agree with his belief in worldwide population control?

Again, as you look down on folks (usually young people) who want the same opportunities as you had to buy a home, I would ask that you talk to a renter you’re not related to and come to see that maybe – just maybe – you’re the bad guys and not the heroes of this story (despite what your fellow OB Rag commenters would tell you).


Vern May 4, 2023 at 12:33 pm

Hard/smart work, focus and being frugal will get you into the home of your dreams, Phil.
I did it, my siblings did it, my parents did it, my extended family did it, my friends have done it, and, great news… Phil can, too!
Leave the YIMBY propaganda and voodoo economics in the nearest waste can, and focus, Phil! Focus!


Chris May 5, 2023 at 1:27 am

As much as I don’t agree with Phil, what you said is not entirely true and you yourself don’t really belive that it is.


Vern May 5, 2023 at 10:48 am

No on SB10!


Chris May 5, 2023 at 11:26 am

I didn’t say yes on SB10.


Kat May 5, 2023 at 9:36 pm

Hard/smart work, focus and being frugal will get you into the home of your dreams? That is an amazingly tone deaf statement.


Vern May 6, 2023 at 1:36 pm

No on SB10!


kh May 3, 2023 at 11:45 pm

What’s wrong with Hemet and Boise? Many people choose to live there, and more within their means than here.

Or are you the type to walk into a steakhouse and demand they feed you for $5.99?


Phil May 4, 2023 at 7:42 am

Nah kh, I’m the type that’s sick of the people who raised the prices on everyone else at the steakhouse (but still eat for $5.99 because they were there when it opened) telling their kids, grandkids and people who don’t make a ton of money they should just eat somewhere else.

Also where should the people who work at this restaurant live kh? Shouldn’t we build an abundance of homes so that they too can eat where they work and not in Hemet?


Frank Gormlie May 4, 2023 at 11:04 am

Phil, it appears everyone in this comment discussion favors more affordable housing. At this point (and I hate this phrase) you’re just beating a dead horse.

This phrase is very confusing: “It’s an allusion to the reality that people who were lucky enough to buy into San Diego when prices were affordable are doing everything they can to deny other people that same opportunity.” I can’t figure out what you’re saying, unless you’re claiming people who bought here earlier are trying to prevent others from buying. Dunno.

But buying a home is only one choice. Renting is another. 70% of the residents in OB, for instance, rent. Many in the Midway also rent.

And you’re fortunate to even think about buying a place.


Frank Gormlie May 4, 2023 at 11:05 am

In fact, most San Diegans rent. 266,453 or 52% of the households in San Diego are renter-occupied while 242,894 or 48% are owner-occupied.


Vern May 4, 2023 at 6:21 pm

“… I’m the type that’s sick of the people who raised the prices on everyone else at the steakhouse…” Phil the Entitled 05.23


Chris May 4, 2023 at 8:15 am

I’d love to know where there’s a steakhouse I can eat at for the same price as when it opened because I went there in that time frame.


Phil May 4, 2023 at 9:45 am

It’s an allusion to the reality that people who were lucky enough to buy into San Diego when prices were affordable are doing everything they can to deny other people that same opportunity Chris.

Also it’s called Prop 13!


Chris May 4, 2023 at 10:08 am

I’m aware of that Phil.
As to prop 13, yes it screwed younger generation in the years that came later, but no one had a crystal ball. My parents voted for it (my mom is not 94) and her parents voted for it. Despite the damage it caused, there were some understandable reasons why people did vote for it back in 1978.


Chris May 4, 2023 at 10:13 am

Meant to say my mom IS 94.


Phil May 4, 2023 at 10:35 am

Glad your mom benefitted from it! And if you inherit her house, you’ll benefit from it too!

As for “no one has a crystal ball”:

“PLACES a disproportionate and unfair tax burden on anyone purchasing a home after July 1st, 1978”

That’s from the voter guide to that election as a reason to vote against Prop 13. Everyone knew what they were doing and it’s a HUGE reason we’re here right now.

It’s on page 57 of this PDF by the way (along with all the other things that obviously and inevitably happened because of it’s passage –


Chris May 4, 2023 at 11:49 am

You really like to make assumptions. She has not been a home owner since the mid 80s. She is now living in an assisted living facility my sister and I are paying for. When she passes, we are not inheriting anything. But hey, you’re so busy being wrapped up in how you got screwed to consider that. I’m a renter too BTW and at 61 I will be one for the rest of my life.
You can quote “PLACES a disproportionate and unfair tax burden on anyone purchasing a home after July 1st, 1978” from the voter guide all you want but that doesn’t change the fact there were understandable reasons why people supported it at the time, and it goes beyond “I got mine so f***K everyone else”. A significant # of home owners at the time were at the point where taxes got so high they may not have been able pay them along with their mortgages. Was it selfish to vote for 13?Maybe, but I still think understandable. I was in high school so I can’t say what I would have done if I were an adult home owner.
Anway, none of this changes the fact that an implosion of dense housing will make things more affordable for more people. No one, including yourself truly believe that.


Paul Webb May 4, 2023 at 12:14 pm


I was a renter when Prop 13 was on the ballot, and I opposed it then. I’m a homeowner now, and if it were on the ballot I would vote to repeal it. It clearly benefits me as a homeowner as it reduced my tax burden. I’m not fond of paying taxes, but Prop 13 is clearly unfair to anyone who purchases a home now, as opposed to anyone who has purchased a home in the past and retains ownership.

The main supporters of Prop 13 at the time were businesses and seniors. Part of the Prop 13 propaganda was that seniors were being forced out of their homes by onerous property taxes. This ignores the fact that, although there are certainly impoverished seniors, seniors are among the wealthiest of cohorts in our society as a whole.

That being said, using Prop 13 as a factor in justifying increased densities is a red herring.


Chris May 4, 2023 at 12:53 pm

And also Phil, when I said it’s understandable (for the time), that doesn’t mean I now support it.


Gregory May May 6, 2023 at 8:33 am

Protests make a big commotion, and in the end protesting DOES NOTHING. They will continue to build what they want and where they want.


Linda May 6, 2023 at 10:13 am

Start with getting rid of illegal STRVS
My community was thrown under the bus and destroyed.
We do live in District 2 with such great leadership that will sell you out to the highest bidder. It happened to me in Mission Beach.
Good Luck


Ian May 6, 2023 at 12:57 pm

If we build high density housing there will be more affordable places to live. But the reasons people live here – green spaces, reasonable commute, accessible beaches and public spaces – will be destroyed. It will become an urban sprawl like Los Angeles. Whats the point in affordable housing if you live in an overdeveloped dump?

Why arent they proposing high density in Beverly Hills or La Jolla? Its not a mystery. Renter or owner, no one except developers wants to destroy communities and culture to bring in more people.

We cannot make housing affordable here without destroying the place in the process. The unfortunate reality is that the population keeps growing and people want to live by the beach. We can either maintain the culture and have high prices or make it a dump. Or eliminate cars and streets and make a old school european style city (never gonna happen).


Chris May 8, 2023 at 9:14 am

“If we build high density housing there will be more affordable places to live.”
That’s the thing. It’s no guarantee that it will. As it is there are units in the city struggling to draw in residents due to the high cost. That being said, if high density really WERE to make living here more affordable then there would be justification for it. Too many people are getting priced out so taking the steps necessary to stop that should absolutely take priority over home values and whatever the things are that drew people to SD in the first place. As for people who’ve lived here their whole lives, same thing. But as I said before, and implosion of dense housing does not mean anything will change price wise.


Paul Webb May 8, 2023 at 9:24 am

I agree with everything you are saying except the premise that building more housing will bring prices down. I’ve lived in San Diego since 1974, and there is a heck of a lot more housing now than then. With the exception of the periodic housing bubble collapses (e.g. late eighties, 2000, 3008-2010), the cost of housing has never consistently declined, and I sincerely doubt that it ever will.

I recently researched the origin of the phrase “trickle down”, which is the basis of basically all of US housing policy. The earliest citation I could find was attributed to Will Rogers. For those of you who don’t know of him, he was a trick roper and comedian/satirist who often commented on social and political issues. He said, of Herbert Hoover’s economic plans, “The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow’s hands.”

A wise man.


Paul Webb May 8, 2023 at 9:29 am

Oh, and by the way, there is a really interesting article on the architect of much of San Diego’s housing and transportation policy, Colin Parent, CEO of Circulate San Diego.

It seems that Parent, a La Mesa city council member, has received a number of “behests” from various individuals and organizations, which were all directed to one charity, Circulate San Diego, which pays him a six figure salary. So he collects money for his “charity” and ends up drawing a handsome salary. He contends this is legal, but it sure doesn’t pass the smell test.


David May 7, 2023 at 11:52 am

In response to several numbers that were thrown around.

I bought my house in Sunset Cliffs in 2000. The cheapest house in the neighborhood. We were living in OB, there was no house for $220k. I have no idea where that number came from.

In referring the problem, there is a County and other cities who need to help address: the topic is if the city of San Diego should implement. Why should we city inhabitants suffer if the rest of the county has no such initiative?

Regarding some numbers that were presented. We are talking about the city not the county while the county (not the city) when the huge bump in numbers are thrown around by population growth. Many of cities received this population bump, such as Chula Vista, Escondido, etc.

I’ve glanced at the book. I’ve dealt with appropriate use of statistics for my professional life. This is always the most difficult aspect. The basic issue I have is the authors have conducted an observational study. Observational stats have several compounding issues that may lead to spurious results. These kind of results are always difficult to use as predictive. The best results are when you compare/ match groups that have similar characteristics such as wealth, educational make up, population, square miles etc. in order to find underlying reasons. Trying to assess New York City versus Charlotte sounds like a statistical nightmare.


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