Everyone’s Invited to Showdown Over SB10 at San Diego Planning Commission — Thursday, August 3

by on August 1, 2023 · 9 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Here’s How to Make Your Opinion Known

The San Diego Planning Commission is reviewing Senate Bill 10 for the second time on 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: https://sandiego.zoomgov.com/j/1612210047

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. The group Neighbors for a Better San Diego 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.

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!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris August 1, 2023 at 2:25 pm

There’s gonna be a showdown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6aUQKCbWJg


Frank Gormlie August 1, 2023 at 2:37 pm

… uh, thanks Chris, you music dog! Never heard of them.


Chris August 1, 2023 at 3:00 pm

The New York Dolls?


Chris August 1, 2023 at 3:03 pm

They were IMO the best rock and roll band of the first half of the 70s.


Lisa August 2, 2023 at 12:53 pm

I have read the San Diego’s Housing Action Package and SB 10 and I found no mention in either to CA Streets and Highway Code 5160 or San Diego’s Sidewalk Maintenance Policy 200-12. If the City passes SB 10 as is, this new law will significantly increase the legal responsibilities and ramifications for homeowners in single-family residential neighborhoods due to daily increased foot and roller traffic on public sidewalks.

Code 5610:

“The owners of lots or portions of lots fronting on any portion of a public street or place when that street or place is improved or if and when the area between the property line of the adjacent property and the street line is maintained as a parking or a parking strip, shall maintain any sidewalk in such condition that the sidewalk will not endanger persons or property and maintain it in a condition which will not interfere with the public convenience.

SD Sidewalk Maintenance Policy


1. Most San Diego homeowners probably have no idea that they are legally responsible for normal wear and tear maintenance of the public sidewalk that is located in front of their house.

2. Homeowners who bought homes in single-family zoned neighborhoods who are aware of the San Diego’s sidewalk policy did not buy their home with the expectation that the sidewalk in front of their house would be used by potentially hundreds of daily pedestrians because their neighborhood was rezoned for high density housing.

3. SB 10 will significantly alter the way in which single-family neighborhood sidewalks have been traditionally used by pedestrians. The old daily pedestrian sidewalk pattern in terms of the low numbers of people who use the sidewalks will be replaced by a new pedestrian pattern that will involve a greater number of daily pedestrians using the sidewalks to access public transportation and for leisure and exercise activities.

4. If SB 10 passes, a greater number of pedestrians and wheelchair users will routinely use the public sidewalks under all kinds of weather and environmental conditions. Under SD’s current sidewalk maintenance law, homeowners in a newly rezoned high density neighborhoods will be legally responsible for maintaining safe and usable public sidewalks for potentially hundreds of people instead of the traditionally low number of people that has been their neighborhood’s historical norm. It is unreasonable for the City to expect single family homeowners to legally absorb this increased sidewalk responsibility and potential liability.

5. Under San Diego’s current sidewalk maintenance policy it does not explicitly say that a homeowner is liable for sidewalk injuries but it also does not explicitly say that homeowner is not. CA case law has said that if a city government wants to make a homeowner liable for public sidewalk injuries it has the authority to establish an ordinance that explicitly states so.

The issue of sidewalk liability is particularly concerning in light of SB 10 and given the fact that the City of San Diego appears to be contemplating an ordinance that will make homeowners liable for public sidewalk injuries, according to a June 25, 2023 article: “Facing 37,000 sidewalk repairs and millions in injury payouts S.D. wants property owners to assume liability” in the La Jolla Light.

Before the City Council votes on SB 10, they need to debate and come to agreement on whether or not San Diego’s Sidewalk Maintenance Policy remains as status quo or if it should repealed and replaced by a law that absolves all homeowners of any responsibility to routinely maintain a publicly owned sidewalk in a safe and usable manner. This does mean that a homeowner is not responsible for sidewalk damages that they directly and negligently cause to happen.

The citizens of San Diego, particularly homeowners, have a right to know if the City Council is concretely planning on introducing a sidewalk ordinance that would make homeowners liable for public sidewalk injuries before voting on SB 10.

For all the reasons stated above, would it be wrong for the City Council to pass SB 10 and then sometime later introduce a law that would make all homeowners liable for public sidewalk injuries?


Frank Gormlie August 2, 2023 at 1:13 pm

Hi Lisa, may we repost your comment?


Lisa August 2, 2023 at 3:34 pm

Yes feel free to with one edit please.

I meant to write “ This does NOT mean that a homeowner would not be not responsible for sidewalk damages that they directly or negligently cause to happen.”



Frank Gormlie August 3, 2023 at 3:31 pm

The planning commission voted 9 to 0 to recommend that the city Council adopt the housing action package 2.0 without SB 10.

The mayors office, and the planning department department agreed to hold a series of public workshops in which they try to come up with a way to implement the missing middle housing without using SB 10.

So bottom line is, I say it was a victory because the Planning Commission agreed to recommend to the City Council that it remove the SB 10 provisions from the housing action plan.


Frank Gormlie August 3, 2023 at 3:34 pm

NBC7 adds:

“The possibility of SB 10 coming into play in San Diego, has not completely faded: Members expressed concern about the irreversibility of moving forward with it, though, and a motion was made by the commission to workshop SB 10 to find out its potential consequences for San Diego.

The motion, however, is just a recommendation — the city council can still decide it wants to move forward with SB 10 regardless.”


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