Champion the ‘STOP SB 10’ Volunteers

by on June 26, 2023 · 97 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Colleen O’Connor

Often overlooked, under-appreciated and ignored, volunteers in political dustups are what make democracy “great again.”

The fight over implementation of the State Senate bill, SB10, is one such fight pitting long-time residents, neighborhood defenders, and most San Diegans against their Mayor and City Council probably depends on volunteer advocates.

Champion them.

Saturday shopping at Jensen’s in Point Loma was a case in point.  Not only were there small puppies on site from the Animal Shelter, and other advocates, but most importantly this summer, were women volunteers sitting at a table under the shade, collecting names and passing out flyers on the STOP SB10 initiative.

How to summarize the strong opposition (by the people of San Diego) to massive infill neighborhood developments allowed under SB10 and the equally strong and incomprehensible defense of these mega LegoLand-type projects already destroying neighborhoods (the Mayor and Council)?

Mission Hills corner was a one story corner flower shop. Now a PINK high rise…

Let’s try a popular book title to explain the “lost” residents, Strangers in a Strange Land.  Here the sci-fi lead character is from Mars and dumped on earth.  Like so many locals who have witnessed the high-rise density in once walkable, safe, and human scale neighborhoods, this character struggles mightily to understand the unrecognizable new world.

What was there before this monstrosity was built?  Before the neighborhoods became ugly. Before the parks and swimming pools disappeared. Before bike lanes and roundabouts devoured parking and street access.  Before golf courses and schoolyards became “sites” for development.  Before restaurants and hotels close for good.  Fiddler’s Green in Point Loma just shut down as have many older establishments in Ocean Beach.

Think what might have been instead of the Midway Development, Mission Valley/hotel circle high-rises, the SpaWars building in process, and the former Midway Post Office now ugly rental units.  Then there is Park Blvd, North Park—minus the parks!

Drive by.  See for yourself. What ever happened to the City Architect?

Better still, for those of us on Earth One (with memories of “Camelot by the Bay,” try the title lyrics from Frankie Vallie & the Four Seasons, “Let’s Hang on to What We’ve Got.”

Seriously, we cannot undo the damage already upon us, but we can stop more of it from becoming uglier.   Hence, the need to STOP SB 10.

For information on this herculean attempt to stop unsightly and unnecessary high-rise development and infill projects in San Diego’s older neighborhoods (which basically eliminates single family residential zoning laws), you can access one of the best political websites in the country with a simple scan and “one-click” email to the Mayor and Council.

North Park area and Park Blvd — Bike lanes, several high rises and loss of parking lots

Seriously, how easy. Visit Get a yard sign (in huge demand).  Defeat the Council and the Mayor.  Contribute or volunteer—just like the women volunteers in front of the store.

It matters.  You matter. Your home, your city, your efforts matter.

San Diego is the #1 test case.  The guinea pig, if you will, to become an example the rest of the state must follow.  Stop SB10 while we can.

Let’s not be “Strangers in a Strange Land,” rather “Let’s Hang On To What We’ve Got.”

Be a champion.   Volunteer.






{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris June 26, 2023 at 10:27 am

I gotta ask,it is possible to be pro bike lane (even resulting in reduced parking) and still be against pro high rise development?


chris schultz June 26, 2023 at 12:11 pm

Sure, there’s a jelly bean color for that. Black licorice. You see, when you add multi-unit infill rental housing that provides no additional parking and then take away parking spaces to advocate for bike lanes, it’s a funky taste that only the mayor and his council seems to like.


Chris June 26, 2023 at 2:23 pm

I have no idea what the black licorice jelly bean reference means, but the fact is there are MANY people who are pro bike infrastructure/transit (even at the expense of parking) who don’t support the complete up zoning of residential neighborhoods. That fact seems to get lost in all this YIMBY vs. NIMBY feud.


Paul Webb June 28, 2023 at 10:34 am

I think he means that it’s the jelly bean no one wants.


Greg June 27, 2023 at 10:26 am

Undoubtedly! Just because I don’t support supply-side trickle-down economics in the housing market doesn’t mean I can’t support non-personal auto infrastructure.


Chris June 26, 2023 at 10:30 am

I mean it’s not like everyone is completely one side or the other.


Tom June 26, 2023 at 8:56 pm

I agree with you Chris. These issues are not linked. SB 10 is wrong for so many reasons that your position on bike lanes, parking, the color pink or just about anything else is irrelevant. This ordinance will obliterate local control over local zoning and it is essentially irreversible . That alone is enough reason for us to rise up against it.


2thePoint June 26, 2023 at 2:23 pm

Colleen I notice that a lot of this article is bound up in the idea that you think all these new buildings are ugly and therefore shouldn’t be built. Now obviously I have no idea what your house looks like but what would your reaction have been if, during the planning stages of your home being put up, someone said “it’s ugly and shouldn’t be built”? How much weight would you have put towards that comment?

Also, why are these homes “unnecessary”?

Is your home “unnecessary”?


Chris June 26, 2023 at 2:32 pm

Beauty/ugly is in the eye of the beholder as the saying goes, but a valid question is why are so many convinced that the explosion of high density housing will actually result in overall affordability? That’s never been the case anywhere at any time. I question if the people who make that claim actually belive that themselves.


2thePoint June 26, 2023 at 2:43 pm

Chris, I hope you’re sitting down for this because new homes do in fact make a positive impact in our community!

“This suggests that new construction reduces demand and loosens the housing market in low and middle-income areas, even in the short run.”

Also you’re right! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we shouldn’t use something so subjective as what individuals consider “ugly” to stop new homes from being built.


DiegoK June 26, 2023 at 3:38 pm

There is nothing wrong with new construction but there needs to be balance. If someone wants to put an ADU in their backyard, that’s fine but there should be a 16′ height limit with ample set back so we can skip the beauty in the eye of the beholder conversation.

What this Mayor and Council has done is put ADUs on steroids where now these properties are owned by investors who don’t care about the impact their units are having on a neighborhood. It is sad to see homes with 8 = 10 trash cans out in the front yard 7/24 because the property owner couldn’t be bothered to create somewhere out of sight to keep them or the tenants can’t be bothered to take them in. This notion of building affordable housing sounds good but what has been put in place is profitable housing.

As for the writer’s call to vote the Mayor and Council reps out of office, there first needs to be viable candidates to oppose them.


Will June 29, 2023 at 11:41 am

I agree that there are excesses and should be limits, but single-family zoning has obviously contributed to housing scarcity. Use the Get It Done app to get the lazy trash bin offenders.


chris schultz June 29, 2023 at 12:07 pm

single-family zoning has obviously contributed to housing scarcity

Strange. From 10 years ago, the state population has grown about 1 million net. And the last two years has declined a half million. And single family zoning is the culprit for scarcity?


chris schultz June 29, 2023 at 12:17 pm

Housing permits, maybe I’m missing something.


Will June 29, 2023 at 4:28 pm

I wonder what the trends are for people hoarding property. Real estate has had such a good return and can serve as a form of reliable passive income. No doubt this contributes as well as these investors follow market rates. STVRs also help this unfortunate trend.


chris schultz June 29, 2023 at 5:51 pm

A Bezos backed company has made over 100 million in single family home acquisitions alone.


Sadie June 30, 2023 at 1:32 pm

Remember ‘The Projects’ of NY?


Paul Webb June 26, 2023 at 4:20 pm

2, this is just a rationalization for solving the housing problem through trickle down. Trickle down is what got us here, so it’s unlikely to provide solution.

I also note the author of the article states “While I cannot directly observe either when chains end or where a household would
have lived if a new building was never constructed…”


2thePoint June 26, 2023 at 4:37 pm

Paul we’re just going to fundamentally disagree on whether more housing is good or not so I won’t even get into it, all I’ll say is that “it’s ugly” is not a valid reason to block new housing, which is the biggest point I’m trying to make here.


Paul Webb June 27, 2023 at 9:44 am

2, I never said more housing is always bad. What I have consistently said is that the housing that we are constructing is not the housing we need. The greatest need (according to the Housing Commission) is in the population with income less than 30% of the median income in San Diego. The second largest need is in the population earning between 30% and 50% of the median. We are not building housing that these people, families, etc., can afford.

My comment was directed at the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research paper for which you provided a link. The gist of the paper is that when we build more housing, eventually it will be occupied by lower income people. This has been the dominant strategy for housing production for decades, and, yes, it will ultimately “trickle down” to the lower income popIulation, this is the strategy that has resulted in the crisis that we are experiencing today, and it does NOT work given the widening disparities in income we are experiencing today.

In many ways, what we are experiencing isn’t so much a housing crisis as an income crisis.


Sadie June 30, 2023 at 1:35 pm

If they wanted to build ‘affordable housing’, they’d start with affordable property. IMHO Midway will be rental income, STVR’s and the out of town builder & Todd will be the ones profiting.


chris schultz June 26, 2023 at 6:35 pm

Building homes for owners would be great. Not homes to be bought by investors and turned into rentals. The city with their ADU rules change a single family property by development to an investment property. Fees for infrastructure, police, fire, have been eliminated. No parking required. Rentals at market rate. No ownership. Changing the market supply changes affordability by impacting supply with less inventory. Dead commercial areas should be the target to build real homes. Mission Valley Frys has been dead for years and near existing shopping. More could have been done at the stadium site instead of the sweetheart deal with SDSU.


Keith July 3, 2023 at 10:04 am

2thePoint …. So you’re basically saying that someone who’s paying $2000 per month will gladly move up to a $3000 per month unit, thus opening up the lower cost unit.

Go ahead and show me someone who does this, and I’ll show you someone who’ll be working at Walmart when they’re 75.


Chris June 26, 2023 at 3:09 pm

That doesn’t really change my perception. It doesn’t answer the question as to why there are so many units family units (be they rentals or condos) are having trouble attracting new residents due to the cost. You can post all the statistics there are about vacancies in SD the fact is, more people are leaving that coming in (tho really that’s statewide).


2thePoint June 26, 2023 at 3:27 pm

Chris I’ve seen you post this comment a lot about how there are all these units that are having trouble attracting new residents and yet, and I mean this as nicely as possible, you have never provided evidence of that fact (and in fact you say that the evidence showing that’s not true, i.e. our vacancy rate which sits at 3.5 percent to start June) outside of what seems to be a gut feeling of yours.

I’ve provided you with a study showing that new homes are good for relieving the downward pressure on our market, can you show me your evidence that there’s some silent epidemic of units that aren’t being leased up? Otherwise I feel like we should stop engaging on this because it’s difficult to reason with someone who looks at statistics and facts and says – without anything other than anecdotal evidence – “no, you’re wrong”.


Chris June 26, 2023 at 3:44 pm

I don’t have a link to post but I can tell you from living in an area where much of these units are located, they are mostly (tho not saying all) are less than 50 percent occupied. And they’ve been sitting that way since several years before the pandemic. If the “official” vacancy rate is 3.5 then that’s an improvement. I remember people claiming 1.5 and later 2.8 (or 2.9).

If an explosion of high density housing were to really achieve the goal it’s proponents claim I’d be all for it. I personally have no issue with dense living (I did 20 years in the Navy, most of it sea duty). But I just don’t think it will pan out that way. If anything, prices will keep the average middle to lower income person out of the market and any property managers/owners will just use individual units for STVR purposes.


Tom June 26, 2023 at 9:10 pm

“why are so many convinced that the explosion of high density housing will actually result in overall affordability? That’s never been the case anywhere at any time.”

This is a great point and I’ve been trying to understand it for over a year now. I’ve brought this up in community planning groups and online forums and you can hear crickets. People think that because they heard the phrase “supply and demand” that they understand what drives housing prices. The data is clear though. Higher density increases housing prices and reduces home ownership. Everywhere.


Chris June 27, 2023 at 11:09 am

I question if all these people who make that claim really believe it themselves.


natalie June 29, 2023 at 11:38 am

they’re probably silent because it’s been widely agreed upon by the VAST MAJORITY OF HOUSING RESEARCHERS.


Chris June 26, 2023 at 5:05 pm

“Fiddler’s Green in Point Loma just shut down as have many older establishments in Ocean Beach.”

I was just by there this past weekend and tonight I saw people in there. When did it close? I know they’d been struggling for awhile so perhaps their closure have nothing to do with anything other than a decline in customers? I know their owner has been having health issues and according to some friends who know him personally, he was looking to retire anyway.
And what parks in Northpark have closed? That’s news to me.


Chris June 26, 2023 at 5:06 pm

Meant to say thought, not tonight.


Chris June 26, 2023 at 6:05 pm

While I don’t think the proliferation of high density housing will have any positive impact as far as driving rents down, I think “ugly” rentals is a better use the land where the Midway post office stood than an ugly empty unused post office building that had been unused for years and years by this point.


Chris June 26, 2023 at 7:35 pm

OK I found out some info about the closing of Fiddler’s. It was shut down by the Health Department due to rats. I don’t have a link but I do have a photo of the notice which I unfortunately am unable to post. I can email it if anyone wants to see it. Sooo, Fiddler’s closing has nothing to do with anything related to housing development. Sad either way.


LBruce June 26, 2023 at 10:28 pm

Fun fact: The YIMBY Democrats, an astroturf (fake grassroots) organization stocked with people who work for big business, government and the development industry, who are in “strong support of SB 10,” confirmed to their membership in their call to action documents for the recent Planning Commission hearing that they don’t actually support affordable housing as part of the Mayor’s implementation of SB 10.

They state, “The YIMBY Democrats of San Diego County respectfully request that the City both remove the affordability requirement and High Resource requirement for SB 10 implementation. The current proposed regulations would require developments with 5+ units to have one home affordable to very low, low, or moderate income households, an additional home affordable to very low or low income households in High or Highest Resource areas, at least two homes have three or more bedrooms, and at least one home must have two or more bedrooms. As advocates for more homes, it can be more difficult to build in High Resource areas, which most of the City of San Diego falls under. Additionally, the affordability requirement disincentivizes development on these small land parcels, we encourage the removal of the affordability requirement.”

Unreal, no? At least they’re honest: SB 10 has NOTHING to do with affordable housing.


Frank Gormlie June 27, 2023 at 10:02 am

Wow! LBruce. Thank you for yet another illumination of the astroturf groups influencing our electeds.


kh June 27, 2023 at 2:37 pm

What is the “moderate income” threshold? 120% AMI? Can I build a 150sf micro unit and charge 30% of a person’s income of $100K? That hardly sounds restrictive to me. But surely the developer would not just do the bare minimum required to get the bonus… nobody ever does that.


Tom June 30, 2023 at 1:16 am

Ditto for Circulate San Diego. They have spoken on multiple occasions against affordable housing requirements at the University Community Plan Update Subcommittee meetings. Hmmm? What does that tell you about their true motivation? They are clearly a facade for developers, somehow managing to funnel developer donations through their tax sheltered status as a 501c3 organization.


Tate June 30, 2023 at 11:23 am

Could you link where you found this quote?


Gravitas June 27, 2023 at 6:30 am

Liz Cheney nails it: “What we’ve done in our politics is create a situation where we’re electing idiots.”
— Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), quoted by CNN.


FrankF June 28, 2023 at 7:58 am

Wyoming voters obviously smelled an idiot and cast Liz out of office!!


chris schultz June 28, 2023 at 9:05 am

yeah, it’s too bad the banana republic gangs up on people to force their way through whether it’s Liz or SB10.


Gravitas June 28, 2023 at 9:12 am

Let’s keep it local. Recall the Mayor. AND fix the streets, clean Balboa Park, repair all of the city first!


Vern June 28, 2023 at 10:55 am



Will June 29, 2023 at 11:56 am

And get reliable mass-transit so the streets aren’t overused by automobiles and requiring near-constant expensive repairs!


Vern July 12, 2023 at 4:43 pm

Until of course the streets aren’t overused by mass-transit, requiring near-constant expensive repairs and hyper-inflated ridership costs!
Wait… What?


Chris June 28, 2023 at 10:02 am

This is an interesting article from 2018 and in a way shows both sides share some blame, no matter who is right and wrong. And it drives home the point I’ve made in past Rag articles that there IS some deep generational divide among those of us who lean left.


chris schultz June 29, 2023 at 7:33 am

Quality of life for different sets of people. And back to the dog chasing tail of planning vs inadequate zoning changes thru SB10. Several multi-unit rental complexes have been and are being built in the Mission Gorge and Hwy 8 area. Near transit. Not a mile away. Having the state and or city rewrite the rules for anything goes is not responsible for anyone. Anything goes was back in the 1980’s and 1990’s when land was available. North Park back then was take out a house and plug in a multi-unit rental. Did that work? Plenty of parking? It’s near bus stops. Been there, done that.

Aside from that, you started with bike lanes, and then transitioned to affordability, and then you believe there are rentals available while saying ” I don’t think the proliferation of high density housing will have any positive impact as far as driving rents down”. If that is the case, what is the point of SB10?


Chris June 29, 2023 at 8:27 am

I don’t mean this as an attack. I’m just not sure what your point is about shifting from bike lanes to affordability to available rental units. They are all relevant issues are they not?
As to your question about the point of SB10, is assume for elected politicians who support it the see it as a career boost and for developers they see $$ even if there are not masses of people clamoring to move in?


chris schultz June 29, 2023 at 9:05 am

If it looks personal, I don’t mean it that way. I’m putting out points.


Chris June 29, 2023 at 9:36 am

No worries.


chris schultz June 29, 2023 at 9:02 am

Sorry to belabor but articles like the one you provide try to show two sides but yet fail. The perception is one side doesn’t care about the other side because they got theirs.

I don’t want SB10. I don’t want multi-unit rentals next door to me with parking issues. I moved away from that. I worked for that. I don’t agree with Gloria’s policies pushing that in my yard. At the same time, I have grown children, in their 20’s, and understand challenges they face. Two years ago, we assisted one to lock into a condo with a down payment. My youngest, I say, live here and save your money because of the conditions. So the perception that we don’t understand, we got ours, we don’t deal with it, etc is not correct.

I’ve been in construction all my life. Construction all ways says build anything no matter what, where, how, and will support that candidate. Construction is also infrastructure. So why you fast track construction housing and eliminate fees I find shortsighted and objectionable.


Chris June 29, 2023 at 10:05 am

I never said I support SB10. I support bike infrastructure and improved transit but I never said I support upzoning single family neighborhoods. More than anything else I don’t support the upzoning simply because it will not achieve the result so many of it’s supporters seem to think it will (kinda like the belief that widening freeways will reduce congestion). If it would result in that I’d be fully supportive of it despite drastic changes to neighborhoods, but again it won’t. You and I (I think) agree on that that part.

I disagree with you the article fails to show both sides. And the perception from one doesn’t care about the other is the very point of the article. It didn’t say it’s an accurate perception but is a perception none the less.


chris schultz June 29, 2023 at 11:10 am

Correct about your non support of SB10. But yet identify with the article.

My words about the article were, “try to show two sides but yet fail”. My words were meant in the context of limited perspective not representative to everyone. It’s a very multi-layered issue. To me, it’s poor journalism just trying to focus on a particular aspect. So for you to promote it as “And it drives home the point I’ve made in past Rag articles that there IS some deep generational divide among those of us who lean left”. I’m looking to point where the article fails to address or consider to say no, there’s many different confluences to each and every one of us, and subjects are not totally absolute in an article like that, let alone each of us, and don’t feel all others are oblivious or unsympathetic.

I appreciate the time to clarify thoughts and meaning and hope I have to you.


Natalie June 29, 2023 at 11:32 am

I’m confused about the Mission Hills photograph. SB10 targets single-family residential zoned properties. The caption itself states that this corner property (likely on a busy intersection in a commercial district) was a commercial property (flower shop). Perhaps the flower shop, or some other tenant, can still exist in the ground-floor? Why would housing on top of it on a busy commercial district be detrimental if it’s not in a height-restricted (i.e. coastal) area?


natalie June 29, 2023 at 11:43 am

There’s a careful development review process of every single development in the City of San Diego, and every development in every American city. Many people are paid to carefully review these proposals against community plans and neighbor input. Just because there is a legislation making inroads to more housing development, doesn’t mean your sweet single-family home is going to be shadowed by a 30′ high rise tomorrow.

I think I speak for most Millenials when I say that we are tired of Boomer-era homeowners in this City making it difficult to build housing. We want more concentrated housing near transit, less car traffic, more multi-modal options, and maybe, just maybe the possibility of owning our own property one day – fully free and capable to take advantage of a wide range of options from a starter home in Pt. Loma to a condo in North Park. And just for good measure, because this is the OB rag, there are very strict height requirements in OB so please study the facts before scaring your neighbors that we’re going to be infiltrated by high rises. Thank you.


Diegok June 29, 2023 at 5:12 pm

Careful review process? The City? Please

It’s ironic that what you say you want is also what many homeowners/boomers want. But homeowners have been around long enough to see how investors and developers first created urban sprawl and are now circling back trying to up zone large portions of the city. Elected officials are all in because they get campaign donations and the City gets a nice boost of property tax revenue.

We might even agree that most new housing and development should be along transit corridors and in business areas like Kearny Mesa, Sorrento Valley… which will get people out of their cars being so close to their job.

Instead the City has opted to support rental housing spread out throughout the City that does little to increase the use of public transportation. The mayor and city council certainly haven’t promoted home ownership with their policies. When the City up zones an area land values in most cases go up.

As a side note, I will be curious to see how many units will be for purchase at the Qualcomm stadium site. I’m guessing most, if not all, will be apartments and more corporate housing. Another missed opportunity

With time, you will see special interests know how to play both the left and the right side of the aisle; and know how to message to multiple to constituencies to achieve their business interest.

Unfortunately, the mayor and city council are not listening to residents about what they want their City to look like and people are not happy.


Mat Wahlstrom June 29, 2023 at 9:29 pm



Paul Webb June 30, 2023 at 11:03 am



Sadie July 1, 2023 at 4:09 pm

Double AMEN!


Lee July 1, 2023 at 1:54 pm

Natalie, I’m not a Boomer (Gen x) and I have been an affordable housing advocate for a long time. Please understand that the end goal of the corporate elites is to make sure you NEVER get to own your own home. The future we are headed for is a rich class of corporate landlords with huge portfolios, which are used as tax havens. A third of all homes are now bought by corporate investors which then become permanent rentals, making privately ownable homes even scarcer and more expensive. This is part of the plan! It’s not a conspiracy theory–it’s already happening. These corporate investors do not contribute to infrastructure, thus weakening schools, roads, libraries, and other services. I am sickened that millennials and gen z have been set up to be a permanent rental class and I will fight this will my every breath. My partner and I rented for almost thirty years before we managed to buy a home by the skin of our teeth. You deserve to be able to have the option to own a home. Please, please understand that SB10 is part of the corporate agenda that will make homeownership even less likely for you. I say this as someone who 100 percent supports traditional “Granny flats” which require the homeowner lives on site (thus not corporate), pays taxes on their property (supporting the community) and has to adhere to existing environmental and safety regulations (no clear cutting shade trees, no flammable deathtraps, etc).


Saidy July 1, 2023 at 2:25 pm

I’m a boomer too & I hear what you’re saying. I saw that I’d have to work hard & save to be able to stay in the area where I grew up & lived. Sacrifices had to be made. The parties had to stop. I clipped coupons, discount shopped, and for awhile ate the same thing for dinner nightly. We rarely hired workers, but did the heavy lifting ourselves. We bought a dump of a home and slowly fixed it up, as many of our friends did.
Maybe you made different choices and wish you didn’t?


Lee July 2, 2023 at 4:33 pm

Saidy, it seems your comment was directed at me but I’m not sure I follow what you’re saying. As I said, I’m NOT a Boomer. My parents (Boomers) were able to buy their first house when they were in their early 20s on just my father’s modest income. As Gen x I had to work much, much harder and for over twice as long in order to buy a house with my partner. We did not “party” and we cook our own food. Housing, education, everything costs SO much more relative to income than it did pre-Reagan and it’s steadily getting worse. Surely you’re not suggesting that Millennials and Gen Z just need to “clip coupons” and they too can buy a 700,000 starter home with their minimum wage job and gig work side hustle while paying off their 100k+ student loans?


Sadie July 3, 2023 at 1:46 pm

What I’m saying is that sacrifices had to be made. Our interest rates were much higher than they are today, so rates on our loans were roughly 20%. For us, 35 years ago, we started small with our home purchase , in a not so great neighborhood & worked our way back to where we wanted to be. I realize that big investors are buying up our property and taking opportunity away from others & that needs to stop until we house our own. Why did Todd give such a HUGE opportunity to an out of town investor instead of giving it to builders here? He doesn’t want any of us to profit. He wants tax dollars from these high priced condo’s & STVR’s. (And kick backs, along with political support) Why aren’t we building courtyard apartments with parking, charging stations, gardens…. Things WE can use. We’ll have even more people to add to the home buying frenzy, making it even more impossible for San Diegans to find a suitable home they can afford.


Lee July 4, 2023 at 12:34 am

Ah, okay. I think we’re basically on the same page. I see no one benefitting from taking away single family homes and giving those lots to tax dodging investors except the tax dodging investors.


Zack July 1, 2023 at 3:01 pm


I relate to what you wrote here so much. My parents bought a beautiful home in North PB in 1995 for $300k. There is no way I could find anything remotely close to that today. I don’t see a way around this except to increase our housing supply, which will inevitably mean more density.

Unfortunately it’s looking like my wife and I (both of us are SD natives) will move away in the next few years to buy a home and raise a family


Tate June 30, 2023 at 12:03 pm

I would consider myself a YIMBY who lives in San Diego despite not being affiliated with any group here. The way I see it, housing prices are increasing, and the number of units built is not keeping up with the demand. To me, more housing just makes sense. Another topic I see discussed on the Rag often is bike lanes, and I support those too.

But I understand the concerns that I read on here – why should a neighborhood that was once zoned for single family homes now be zoned for any kind of apartment? This might just bring along changes that people in the community did not want. I understand that.

And then there are the concerns that something like SB10 only benefits the developers who can afford to buy up land and sell or lease luxury housing to the people who can afford it. I understand that too, and this one is especially concerning to me – we don’t want to make housing affordability even worse.

Let’s say SB10 is going to cause all the issues that people are concerned about – what’s the solution to housing affordability that you all want to see then?

The way I see it, the restrictions in place that make it difficult to make new housing are exactly what make new housing more expensive. That is, since there are many restrictions regarding how and where housing can be built, it is expensive to build, so housing is sold or leased at a high price. If we can reduce the hurdles to making new housing and increase the amount of housing available, then we have done something to address both cost and demand. SB10 seems to fit in this category.

To tie in bike lanes, I think we also have to consider options that are alternatives to cars as density increases (which, like it or not, has already happened). Bikes are a smaller alternative, and there are people who ride them (whether you think it’s a lot of people or not). People should have safe infrastructure whether they are traveling by car, bike, or foot. Furthermore, I think the city should be doing more to push mass transit than anything. Buses in dedicated lanes and trains can move people very quickly, and it takes up much less space than a car. Not to mention, if done right, it can be very affordable. More people on transit, means less people looking for parking and less cars on the road.

I’m not saying any of this to rile people up. I really appreciate the Rag and read it almost daily. I just want to put a different view out there, and I want to understand more about the “other side’s” arguments. I hope we can all agree that housing affordability is a major issue in California. If we can, then we are one step closer to agreeing on how to solve it.


DiegoK June 30, 2023 at 2:09 pm

Hi Tate,

You bring up valid points and concerns. What makes the discussion difficult is that what is affordable housing for one person is expensive to another.

I think the harsh reality is that San Diego will always be considered an expensive place to live because of it location to the ocean and great weather. Much is said about the exodus from San Francisco but I’m sure most people would still consider it an expensive place to live, and that goes for other major cities around the country.

People who say we can build our way to cheaper housing are being disingenuous. They never say if we build 10,000 more units rents will go down a specific percentage.

What I don’t hear from our elected leaders is what do we want San Diego to look like in five, ten and 20 years. It’s usually, we want a one percent sales tax increase without providing a clear vision and timeline on how the money will be spent. After years of paying a transportation tax, we are still waiting for the trolley to go to the airport, which should have been done years ago.

From my perspective the City and the state should be using their land holdings to build more “affordable housing” since the cost of land is essentially covered (housing above libraries, DMV offices, fire stations and other vacant land). Instead we get the 101 Ash scam and other poor real estate decisions.

The other thing government can do is continue to raise the minimum wage. I’m guessing it should be closer to $18 – $20 an hour. Improved mass transit would allow people to get out from under owning and maintaining a car. Unfortunately, our current mayor and city council do not seem up to the task.


Tate July 12, 2023 at 7:29 pm

Hey Diego, thanks for the response. I agree with you on frustrations re transportation, thats a major concern for me as well. But I do think building enough units to keep up with demand is something that will have an impact on the market. Just by looking and number of units built over the past decades it is clear that San Diego is not keeping up with demand, and prices have increased dramatically. There is plenty of demand for condos, townhouses, smaller lots, etc. – and removing boundaries from that housing to get developed in San Diego will start to address that demand. SB10 helps with that.
Your ideas for housing on public land, higher minimum wage, and better transit are all good ones too. I especially wish transit was prioritized more heavily.


chris schultz June 30, 2023 at 2:50 pm

You should look at my links in my previous comments to California population and California housing permits.


natalie July 12, 2023 at 6:57 pm

it’s hard to read comments like these that make blanket inaccurate statements like SB10 will redone single-family for “any kind of apartment”. that’s just patently untrue (max 10 du/ac) which means yes there will be some small duplexes and maybe townhomes built but in OB im sure it will just look like one maybe two ADUs in a single-family backyard. also, zoning doesn’t beget development.


natalie July 12, 2023 at 7:00 pm

sorry max 10 du/parcel. i think it’s unrealistic that this will have a major impact in transit poor areas like the OB hills, and there is a cap.


Tate July 12, 2023 at 7:15 pm

hey natalie, you’re correct that sb10 does not allow for single-family homes to be changed into “any kind of apartment”, I didn’t mean that – I mean’t that I understood people’s concern that something like that could happen. But I’m completely with you on the impact of sb10, it’s likely not going to be major impacts, and even 10 unit apartments are not bad. to be clear, I agree with you and most of your comments, and am in favor of sb10


Sadie June 30, 2023 at 1:39 pm
Sadie July 1, 2023 at 4:47 pm

I believe we need more housing, but I don’t believe that is what Todd is doing. Affordable housing is not possible on the nose expensive property in the city. Those will end up as STVR’s or rentals and they’ll be so expensive that most will not be able to afford. I saw no charging units in the plans. A young family with no parking is something I can not fathom. How do you get your children to the doctor, to and from school, team practices, Brownies, Cub Scouts… it’s hard enough with a car. How will a person down on their luck go to job interviews, go to work? Our city is in debt & can not even fill potholes. The transit idea is a very long way away. Our beaches are taken care of by your locals & I think they’ve been great stewards. Do you want that gone? Do you want the beaches to be so crowded that San Diegans can’t even go there?

Nice affordable homes could be built a little further away, near transit. Land is less expensive so more effort could be put into nicer housing, with parking, charging stations & amenities.

I totally agree we need more affordable housing. I think we all could think of a better plan that allows our families and friends to stay in San Diego, while at the same time preserving our beaches.


Zack July 3, 2023 at 1:55 pm


When you say a little further away, how far away do you mean?

Should we prioritize new housing developments out in Santee or Alpine, or perhaps Jamul, rather than building more dense housing in already existing urban areas?

Insurance rates are increasing in fire-prone areas so I can’t see as many housing developers wanting to build out there


Vern July 11, 2023 at 6:19 am

Santee is a tremendous option as a major transit center has been part of the suburb for years.

“Santee Town Center station is a station on the Green Line of the San Diego Trolley, in the San Diego suburb of Santee, California. The station currently serves as the Green Line’s northeastern terminus and serves as a major park and ride station. It is located inside a shopping center on the northeast quadrant of the intersection of Mission Gorge Road and Cuyamaca Street.”


Zack July 11, 2023 at 9:31 am


Downtown Santee definitely has potential and I am all for building housing there. That doesn’t mean that housing shouldn’t also be built in places like OB and Hillcrest.

I think it’s best to loosen arbitrary restrictions so people can build more of what they want, including ADUs


Vern July 11, 2023 at 11:30 am

Still, No on SB10.
SB10 drives land prices up by creating increased revenue potential for developers and investors, leading to higher rents and home prices. SB10 has nothing to do with what’s really needed – affordable housing (which existed all over SD until, of course, STVRs, and investor stockpiling of property).


Sadie July 11, 2023 at 12:04 pm

Totally agree! This has NOTHING to create affordable housing. Midway is a builder give-a-way, of our property to an out of town builder. This will ruin SD. Having builders put in several story, homes in a family neighborhood will change the character of our beaches, coastal, and inland properties. You won’t benefit from that. You won’t be able to enjoy beaches, and no doubt parking there will be expensive. With no parking at your condo… you may need to pay for that too. If everyone goes electric the sidewalks will look like spaghetti with extension cords for chargers.


natalie July 11, 2023 at 1:14 pm

wait.. the home depot, petco, and pechanga arena/kobe swap meet lot is a “family neighborhood”? huh. interesting.


Paul Krueger July 2, 2023 at 10:50 am

Thx very much, Colleen, for your comments and shout-out to Neighbors For A Better San Diego, and to Frank for publishing your commentary.


Gravitas July 10, 2023 at 5:29 pm

Pink high rise in photo now officially dubbed “Pepto Bismol” building!


Zack July 12, 2023 at 8:41 am


It is not a family neighborhood at all and shows why some of the comments here are disingenuous. Millennials like you and I are pretty screwed as long as people keep thinking this way


Vern July 12, 2023 at 3:54 pm

“… Housing costs remain well above pre-pandemic levels thanks to the substantial increases over the last few years,” Daniel McCue, senior research associate at the Joint Center, said in a 2023 report.

Why? In large part due to the growth of so-called “luxury” buildings that have replaced less expensive options. In the last two decades, the share of construction for high-priced apartments — known as Class A — grew faster than more affordable ones. In fact, over half (51%) of 2022 rental construction projects were luxury apartments, according to Moody’s Analytics data. Also, only 34% of the market consisted of high-cost rental units back in 2000; that number was 51% in Q1 2023…”


Zack July 12, 2023 at 4:18 pm

The midway rising project has a large percentage of affordable homes…..much larger than there would be if nothing at all is done.

What would make you guys on this website happy? You claim to want affordable housing but then shoot down anything that includes affordable housing due to concerns about community character. It doesn’t seem like you’re willing to compromise on much and this is why it leads people to conclude you’re engaging in bad faith


Vern July 12, 2023 at 4:33 pm

Facts are facts, Zack. No one is shooting down anything but misguided efforts like SB10 and the “care packages” that are likely on the heels of it’s failure.
Think outside the constraints.


Sadie July 13, 2023 at 7:07 am

Nobody said Home Depot, Petco, etc was Family a Neighborhood. But there are Family neighborhoods in the Midway district-lots of them. Please read SB10 on the Neighbors for a Better San Diego web page. They explain things very clearly. Google it if that is more of your cup of tea.
The Midway plan is a separate issue. The property near the beach is expensive. Nobody can tell the community how much the ‘Affordable Housing’ there will cost. Not even a ballpark figure. That’s a bit suspicious. I believe it will not be affordable to most. I believe those will turn into STVR’s-which are one reason SN Diego has lost so many long term rentals & even homes to purchase.


Zack July 13, 2023 at 8:20 am


I went to high school near the midway district. There aren’t many family neighborhoods there except military housing and over by liberty station.

Also what makes you think all the new housing will be turned into STVRs? Can you prove that? Is that even the most attractive place for Staves given the airplane noise?


natalie July 13, 2023 at 9:10 am

I’m an urban planner by profession so I know quite a bit about displacement, affordable housing, coastal development, and local/state legislation like SB10. I’ve rode the bus with Senator Wiener while he was running for election in San Francisco as I lived for several years in his district; I trust his work, research, team and intentions. I don’t need to Google SB10 because I can read the legislation word for word rather than whatever inaccurate propoaganda the NIMBY organization “Neighbors for a Better San Diego” has on their site. I’m not convinced that the Midway district doesn’t need a serious facelift and I’m not concerned that SB10 is going to ruin OB/Pt Loma single-family neighborhoods. If San Diegans are concerned about short term rentals & AirBnBs (rightfully so) they should take a page from San Francisco and crack down on them with stricter permit requirements and maximum units per neighborhood thresholds to avoid displacement. Thank you


natalie July 13, 2023 at 9:09 am

I’m an urban planner by profession so I know quite a bit about displacement, affordable housing, coastal development, and local/state legislation like SB10. I’ve rode the bus with Senator Wiener while he was running for election in San Francisco as I lived for several years in his district; I trust his work, research, team and intentions. I don’t need to Google SB10 because I can read the legislation word for word rather than whatever inaccurate propoaganda the NIMBY organization “Neighbors for a Better San Diego” has on their site. I’m not convinced that the Midway district doesn’t need a serious facelift and I’m not concerned that SB10 is going to ruin OB/Pt Loma single-family neighborhoods. If San Diegans are concerned about short term rentals & AirBnBs (rightfully so) they should take a page from San Francisco and crack down on them with stricter permit requirements and maximum units per neighborhood thresholds to avoid displacement. Thank you.


sealintheSelkirks July 13, 2023 at 10:14 am

So you’re not convinced about “whatever inaccurate propaganda” that disputes the propaganda the wealthy developers are flooding the city with is valid because…what? You don’t like it since you are an ‘urban planner?’

Look around at the cities of the US. Urban planners don’t have a very good track record judging by the results I see. Every city is in shambles.

Have you ever been ‘displaced?’ What a calm word for an utter calamity sitting surrounded by a pile of your belongings with no where to go due to rapacious greed. Can you even imagine it? I truly hope you get the chance to experience that one of these days. You might gain some much needed insight.



natalie July 13, 2023 at 11:40 am

“every city in shambles” is not due to poor planning but due to a historic lack of good planning & redlining against marginalized groups, plus many other complex factors, one of which I will mention here since it’s very clear to see in OB. Those are the folks on the streets and in many cases, let’s just use OB, San Diego as an example, end up there due to mental health conditions like PTSD, untreated with sustainable methods like psychedelic medicine because those are considered “dangerous” while actual dangerous drugs like fetanyl and opiates are widespread and distance people further and further from reality, community support, their loved ones, and consistent healthcare. I’m pretty positive it’s not because of good housing policy or long-range planning that put them there. tell me I’m wrong :)


sealintheSelkirks July 13, 2023 at 12:41 pm

Nope, not going to tell you you’re wrong because all of those factors are part of the equation, no doubt about it. And I already mention sociopathic greed of the wealthy on the ‘Campbell’s chief of staff’ thread.

Reagan started a lot of this when he dumped damaged people onto the street with no resources which was a force multiplier. As you said, lots of complex factors at play here and some are centuries long.

And it is absolutely amazing what ‘shrooms and other ‘stupidly illegal’ substances are doing with people dealing with trauma. The Oregon border is close here and Oregon legalized mushrooms… And I am fortunate to be gifted a box of homemade fungi chocolates now and then that are picked in the Mt. Shasta area by a former Kenpo student from the late 90s/2000s. I find micro-dosing in meditation clears a lot of fog away, opens mental pathways that allow me to see ways around my own. I think everybody has trauma of one form or another as childhood in a rapacious Capitalist war state like the US can’t help but cause such problems that are buried deep inside our subconsciousness.

Sure would like to see a massive change but someone I doubt much will happen because this society was not designed to do that. Most societies aren’t and historically the only way drastic change is implemented is after some kind of major collapse and years of awfulness for most everyone…



natalie July 13, 2023 at 1:50 pm

completely agree on all points


Jack van den Akker July 13, 2023 at 10:20 pm

I own property in O.B. and North Park. What’s going on in North Park and O.B. and all over S.D. and the country breaks my heart. I’m 82 yrs. old native. What is going on: the City is eliminating parking (bike lanes, no parking requirements for new construction)) all over S.D. to force people out of cars and into mass transit, we have NO respectable mass transit. An
exclusive Bus lane on El Cajon blvd. and removal of a car lane on Park Blvd.. parking will become very difficult if not impossible. I am definitely not riding a bike, what an over reach and waste of parking spaces for a very small group. I think maybe we need a skate board lane also.
I don’t like things crammed down my throat. I believe this is brought on by the State and the City goes along so they did not have to do it. It’s a National movement pushed and FUNDED i believe by the Federal Government to move to Mass Transit over time. I’m against SB10 i bought into a SFR neighborhood because that was where i wanted to live, i paid for the privilege when i paid a higher price for the house. That is my 2Cents worth.


Sadie July 14, 2023 at 8:34 am

Jack, I agree with you 100%! We should have the freedom to live how we choose. As a native we bought a home about 40 years ago and slowly made improvements within the cities codes & lows. This kept neighborhood character. We like the character.
If I took out a loan to buy a car, I’d be pretty upset if the car company stopped making all parts for that car the following year, because you aren’t getting what you paid for
The lack of parking is a game changer for me. I’m ADA & need to be able to park, as do the elderly. I have one regular appointment off of University Ave where parking was removed to add a rock garden in the median area. I never know if I’ll actually be able to make the appointment until I get there. Meanwhile the double long bus spewing exhaust goes by & is empty. These decisions aren’t well thought out and negatively affect so many.


Gravitas July 15, 2023 at 11:22 am

Bravo to the NO on SB~10 volunteers. Over 1600 NO on SB10 signs distributed!


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