Hundreds Rally in Mission Valley Against Senate Bill 10 and Other Controversial Housing Policies

by on July 30, 2023 · 26 comments

in San Diego

Hundreds rallied in Mission Valley on Saturday, July 29, in opposition to Senate Bill 10 and other housing policies of Mayor Gloria and the City Council.

Organized by the group San Diegans for Responsible Growth, up to 350 residents from neighborhoods across San Diego stood along Friar’s Road just outside the northeast section of Fashion Valley most holding signs that disparaged SB10. (The U-T reported “more than 100,” but clearly there were many more than that — but at least they covered the event on page A-2.)

The group, Neighbors for a Better San Diego, was also out in force. (They have a mailing list of 4500 and have been gearing up for the fight against SB-10.) The rally was from 11 am to 1 pm and people were still arriving at noon. At least half a dozen residents from Ocean Beach joined the rally. Besides the U-T, the Presidio Sentinel and CBS8 covered the protest, along with the OB Rag of course.

“Hey hey, ho ho, SB 10 has got to go!” Talmadge resident Paul Krueger yelled through a bullhorn.

The only politicians that showed were Tommy Hough, who recently ran against Kent Lee for city council, and Amy R, a far-right, anti-vaxxer who appeared with a handful of supports, who’s running for the vacant County Supervisor seat. Neither of the Democratic Party candidates for that seat showed.

As an aside, if Democrat Monica Montgomery Steppe doesn’t step up and publicly oppose Senate Bill 10, she’s leaving the field wide open for the far right.

The controversial housing package will go before the city’s Planning Commission for the second time Thursday, August 3. The first time, commissioners decided they needed more time to evaluate the proposal.

San Diegans for Responsible Growth — a group uniting residents from various neighborhoods, especially those dominated by single-family homes — has been organizing rallies across San Diego in recent months against the city’s plan.

Bonnie Kutch, a University City resident and lead rally organizer told the U-T:

“We’re concerned residents who love their city, who don’t want to see it ruined. And what we are asking for very simply is a more sustainable, community-driven approach to adding affordable housing.”

Pacific Beach resident Brita Lindstrom told the U-T reporter that SB-10 is like taking a sledgehammer to neighborhoods. Uptown resident Patty Ducey-Brooks was quoted as saying:

“We’re facing a real serious problem of destroying our neighborhoods, one community at a time.”

She told the U-T reporter that she’s never seen people angrier, which is why she says they are coming together now to “ask our elected officials to consider the consequences of their actions. Our problem is they don’t want to listen.”

According to the U-T:

However, critics say SB 10 doesn’t solve the affordable housing problem like officials are touting, nor is it needed.

In 2020, SANDAG determined that the city would need to create 108,036 new homes by 2029 to meet the state’s demand.

Neighbors for a Better San Diego said that under the city’s current zoning regulations, it already has the capacity for nearly 175,000 new homes, a number they say will soon increase once the city completes pending community plan updates.

The group, which has also been organizing in opposition to SB 10, says current zoning already overshoots by an estimated 19 times the region’s needs, so changes would needlessly alter the feel of neighborhoods.

“This is not the San Diego we know and love,” Kutch said.

Planning commissioners have also expressed concern about the package, particularly with how SB 10 would be implemented. Chair Bill Hofman called the legislation “fatally flawed.”

If it is approved by the Planning Commission, the plan will go before the City Council for final approval.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

LBruce July 30, 2023 at 3:02 pm

The Planning Commission do-over on SB 10 is Thursday, August 3rd at 9 AM and the Agenda has been posted.

It’s time to make your opinion known!

BEFORE THURSDAY: Use the PUBLIC COMMENT WEBFORM to get your opinion into the Planning Commission record no later than 7 am on Thursday, August 3rd.

To use the public comment webform:
• To go to the WEBFORM click here:
• Choose the meeting date: August 3rd, 2023
• Check “Agenda Comment,” then add: “Item 2 – HAP 2.0”
• Check: “In Opposition to Item”
• Check box if you would like to speak on the item during public testimony
• Type your comment (200 words or less) in the comment box —You can copy and paste our TALKING POINT(S) below if you wish.

THURSDAY, AUG 3rd Show up via Zoom OR in person at 9 AM

To attend by Zoom:

To attend in person:
City Administration Building
202 C Street, 12th Floor
San Diego, California 92101

PLEASE NOTE: If you plan to cede (yield) time to another speaker, you must attend the meeting in person.

Feel free to use one or more of the talking points below, along with any of your own personal thoughts. The Housing Action Package includes many other land use changes, so please start your statement with: Remove SB 10

Talking Points
In response to the criticisms from the Planning Commission at the June meeting, the Planning Department has proposed different options to reduce the area exposed to SB 10, but they have not addressed SB 10’s fundamental flaws:

• THERE’S NO TURNING BACK! If SB 10 is implemented on a parcel in San Diego, IT CAN NEVER BE UNDONE.

• It would be irresponsible to implement SB 10 — it’s not needed. NFABSD calculates that San Diego has the allowed capacity to build over 2 million new homes, 19 times our projected housing need.

• No other city in California has implemented SB 10. San Diego shouldn’t be the first to try this unproven, unnecessary, and irreversible elimination of single-family zoning.

• San Diego’s SB 10 implementation ignores accepted design practices for “Missing Middle” housing.

San Diego’s SB 10 implementation allows buildings in residential neighborhoods that are:
• THREE TIMES the lot size
• Up to 14 units
• With minimal setbacks
• Up to 40 feet high
• Exceeds the density of most of San Diego’s apartment zones
• Development allowed to fill almost the entire lot

• No onsite parking requirements for the majority of eligible lots under the pretense that residents who live a mile away from ineffective transit won’t need cars.

• Drives up home prices by creating increased revenue potential for developers and investors, leading to higher rents and home prices.

• No requirements for homeownership (units can remain apartments forever).

• THERE’S NO TURNING BACK! — This is so important we listed it twice. If SB 10 is implemented on a parcel in San Diego, IT CAN NEVER BE UNDONE. EVER. It’s written into the State bill itself. It would be reckless and irresponsible of City leaders to implement SB 10 in San Diego.

Please share this email with someone you know in San Diego.
Neighbors For A Better San Diego is a local non-profit group of San Diego neighbors, community leaders, and advocates formed to protect & preserve single-family neighborhoods from overdevelopment. We need you!


2thePoint July 30, 2023 at 9:08 pm

How are there “clearly” more than 350 people Frank? None of the articles you’ve quoted suggest anything more than 100 to 150 people and not in a single video or image does it look like there are more than 50 to 75. Do you have a picture to verify that number?

Also what happened to the “as many of 800 or more protestors” you said were coming?

And how do you feel that the only current candidate who sees value in aligning with your cause, Amy Reichart, is in your own words “a far-right, anti-vaxxer”?

This event proved what we’ve all long known – roughly 150 very loud people are very good at getting on the news (and yelling in these comment sections) but not very good at growing a movement that includes anyone but the same rotating cast of older white homeowners. You can tell me I’m wrong all you want, but I think this sums things up nicely –


Frank Gormlie July 31, 2023 at 9:56 am

I was there. The U-T always downplays protest numbers. And you are entirely wrong if you want to play the numbers game. On May 6, 500-600 people came out in half a dozen neighborhoods in protest of SB10.


Frank Gormlie July 31, 2023 at 9:59 am

And I’m not certain what “articles” you’re referring to other than the U-T. Here’s the Presidio Sentinel: “A concerned and enthusiastic crowd of several hundred San Diego residents gathered along Friars Road near the east end of Fashion Valley on Saturday, July 29, to protest the possible implementation of SB 10 during an upcoming vote of the San Diego Planning Commission….”


2thePoint July 31, 2023 at 10:32 am

Does CBS 8 downplay the numbers game? “More than 150 people were protesting San Diego’s high-density housing initiatives; particularly the city’s consideration of Senate Bill 10.”

Also just very weird that there are never any video/photographic evidence of the hundreds of people, just the same 50 to 75 folks who are always there. Did you have any photos that show that many people protesting Frank?


Tessa July 31, 2023 at 5:04 am

As a long term renter, far from wealthy, I also say NO to SB 10. We already have too much density.
The other crucial battle is the loophole, filled short term rental pilicy. Disaster. Come on City Council…fix it! Otherwise, many like me who live in, and love, OB, will have nowhere to live.


DiegoK July 31, 2023 at 8:40 am

It was a two hour event and people were cycling in and out. But to your point about numbers, the fact that people came out on a Saturday morning with signs to an area that had limited parking to make their voices heard is impressive. I have a yet to see one person out on the street supporting SB 10, so that must mean no one supports it.


2thePoint July 31, 2023 at 10:35 am

“an area that had limited parking” I mean had to be pedantic here but you’re literally protesting in front of a mall with hundreds and hundreds of parking spaces. Limited parking isn’t the problem here. The problem is that outside of the same 75 people (and I mean this by the way. Look at the May protests, the Measure B protests, the Measure C protests, it’s all the same people!) no one cares.

This is a city of 1.4M people. 150 people complaining about something should not get this level of attention because there’s clearly no constituency for it outside of Nextdoor and the comment section of the OB Rag.

Go talk to a renter under 40 and see if they agree with your beliefs, I bet you would find their response pretty illuminating!


Vern July 31, 2023 at 11:09 am

You didn’t go, so you don’t know. Just more yimby trickle-down yammering.
I chatted with a couple of late-twenty-somethings (from HB & attending UCSD no less) who are well aware that SB10 will, at the very least, increase rental prices, not to mention put a strain on resources and infrastructure.


DiegoK July 31, 2023 at 1:18 pm

2thePoint – Explain how SB10 will help renters. Or are you someone who believes that widening freeways reduces traffic?


Allen July 31, 2023 at 1:44 pm

I’m done arguing with folks in this comment section.


Frank Gormlie July 31, 2023 at 2:29 pm

So, you’re accusing us of playing numbers, but you’ve come on this site under 3 different names/emails now (2thepoint, Tonya Spellman and now Allen Sands). Where’s your transparency?


Chris July 31, 2023 at 3:36 pm

You’ll be back lol.


Frank Gormlie August 1, 2023 at 7:59 am

“Allen” violated our comments policy so won’t be back I bet. He or she used 3 different names and email addresses to troll our post about the rally.


Chris July 31, 2023 at 2:29 pm

Regardless of how many or how few (and the age/race demographic) of the protesters were in attendance, should SB10 pass I think you’ll find out it will it will not bring the rents to a more affordable that you (seemingly) think it will. Guess we’ll all find out.


Deb Porter July 31, 2023 at 11:06 am

Just to set the record straight: (1) I was there at the demonstration, and there were far more than 100 people protesting. (2) The promotors were very specific that we were NOT to park in the shopping center parking lot, and that there would be guards making sure that we didn’t, so I think people DID think that parking would be an issue.
3) I was with a group of 4 people from OB, so I think that there were many more than `½ dozen from OB.


Vern July 31, 2023 at 11:36 am

Correct, Deb. There were folks, young and old, on both sides of Friars Road (at Ulrich and Fashion Valley Mall) and extending to multiple intersections. It was good to see San Diegans rallying against more misguided legislation.
No SB10!


Sadie July 31, 2023 at 5:33 pm

I agree that the parking issue made it difficult for some people. The older or physically challenged, knew parking would be enforced in Fashion Valley. 2thePoint seems to be angry that so many turned out for this. I see one person questioning the turnout numbers, and several more clearly against SB10. SBb10 will ruin San Diego, and since it is irreversible, the damage will be catastrophic.


Vern July 31, 2023 at 7:30 pm

Sadie, you’re correct and it was awesome that so many carpooled to the rally!
No SB10!


Frank Gormlie August 1, 2023 at 7:58 am

I met one couple where I stood along Friars Rd that had taken a bus along 70th St to the Mission Valley trolley, and then took that to the event. It had taken 1 1/2 hours for the one-way trip and they weren’t impressed with SD’s mass transit.


Tonya Spellman July 31, 2023 at 11:32 am

Great to see.


Allen July 31, 2023 at 12:01 pm

Where can I find more info on SB 10?


Frank Gormlie July 31, 2023 at 2:31 pm
unwashedwalmartthonG July 31, 2023 at 9:06 pm

I saw about 50 of you as I cruised up Ulric honking my horn & waving. Had to
work Saturday, so thank you to all who showed up.


David Stjohn August 1, 2023 at 9:31 am

Once again we heard from one of the shills for Todd Gloria/Jen Campbell/etc.

I would only point out that there is NO real evidence that cost of housing/rent will decrease due to SB 10. As has been pointed out ad nauseam , there is NO provision for affordable housing. Why isn’t a separate planning initiative that sets affordable housing? Why is SB 10 the answer for housing? No shill has answered that, instead (as we know in debate circles) attack your opponent on other points rather than the issue (such as on ageism, size of a crowd, etc).

If you believe that developers are going to show their deep concern for lowering rents/ creating affordable housing, rather than building more multimillion dollar apartments (maybe even wiping out housing in lower middle class neighborhoods as land would be cheaper there, then selling to out of town investors for more SVTRs!), I have some ocean front property in Iowa I would like to sell you!

San Diego has seen these promises before. If this idea is so wonderful, put it on a ballot. See how many people agree once they see the details!

By the way, as was pointed out, Tommy Hough was there, who ran as city council candidate and a Democrat pedigree, and is an environmental activist!


Sadie August 1, 2023 at 10:29 am

Our city council is giving the best parts of San Diego away, to developers, who will support their next campaign. They aren’t focusing on low income housing where they’d get more bang for their buck! The locations are in areas where the land is expensive and that makes the goal unattainable. Any of us can see that! Then when they’ve ruined beaches, the valley, removed parks & parking. Nobody will want to come here. Todd Gloria will leave behind a trail of concrete and boxes, congestion, smog… I’m still waiting for the new trees they are replacing, after tearing them down at Cancer Survivor’s Park. . Our freeways look like TJ in the 60’s. They were beautiful before he took office. Bill Waltons idea to build a mass shelter for the homeless is a good idea, but Todd listens & answers to nobody.
No taxation without representation! With Jen & Todd we have no representation. Maybe we need to get our money back! We could do a better job.


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