San Diego Planning Commission Votes Unanimously Against Senate Bill 10

by on August 4, 2023 · 2 comments

in San Diego

Bill Hofman, chair of SD Planning Commission

On Thursday, August 3, the San Diego Planning Commission unanimously voted against Senate Bill 10. Although the Commission’s vote is only a recommendation for the city council, Mayor Gloria’s office confirmed after the vote that it will not be pushing for Senate Bill 10 to be part of the housing package going forward.

Other elements of Gloria’s sweeping Housing Action Package 2.0 were approved, such as converting unused land for housing, extending building permit times, eliminating parking requirements in many projects and making it easier to build off-campus housing.

Planning Commission chair William Hofman stated:

“In my opinion, SB 10 is not the right way to go. I think we are going down a wrong path that we won’t be able to retreat from.”

Sometime in September, the Housing Action Package will go to the Land Use and Housing Committee for recommendations, and then on to the City Council in October or November.

The six hour meeting included hundreds of speakers on both sides of the issue. Paul Krueger, a Talmadge resident and visible member of Neighbors for a Better San Diego said the only thing that matters to single-family homeowners is finding out their next-door neighbor sold their property and someone is building a small apartment building, without parking. He added:

“That matters to you, and every one of your neighbors. It happens one time without notice by a developer that refuses to engage the community in any discussion of design or mitigation.”

Former Planning Commissioner Jim Whalen told the Commission:

“I struggle with having 10 units on one lot, regardless of lot size. I can’t make that work in my head. Perhaps it might make sense to reduce the scope of SB 10 and retool it. Maybe drop to four units a parcel.”

Bruce Coons of Save Our Heritage Organisation, stated: “This would be the most sweeping change in San Diego history.”

Ron Askeland, vice chair of San Diego Sierra Club, also opposed SB10. He said that streamlining dense development within “one mile from real or imagined transit is ill advised and frankly unnecessary.”

Reporter Ben Christopher of CalMatters had the best blow-by-blow account of the hearing. He quoted Kathy McClelland with Neighbors for Better San Diego, the main opposition organization group, who said, “we don’t need more housing, we need more AFFORDABLE housing.” She said allowing more density on parcels will increase the value of those parcels.

Most of the people in the audience and attending the meeting through technology opposed SB10. Many argued that SB10 would alter the community character of neighborhoods that have existed for decades. Other arguments against SB10 included its impacts on the sewer system, destruction of trees, turning San Diego “into Los Angeles,” danger to pedestrians with more cars, abundance of trash cans and destruction of historic neighborhoods.

There were proponents, including YIMBY Democrats of San Diego, who pressed the issue that single-family zoning limited diverse housing options, such as apartments or townhouses. They said greater flexibility in zoning would create more affordable housing. Nothing in SB10 allows more affordable housing, however.

Here is Neighbors for a Better San Diego’s statement after the vote:

Planning Commission Rejects SB10, and Sends it Back to the Drawing Board

After reading thousands of “No on SB 10” emails and hearing from dozens of SB 10 critics, the Planning Commission unanimously rejected Mayor Todd Gloria’s effort to impose massive upzoning in our single-family neighborhoods. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, “the mayor’s office confirmed Thursday that it will not be pushing for Senate Bill 10 to be part of the housing package going forward.”

We delivered a powerful message at City Hall today, and the Planning Commission listened. The Commissioners heard from dozens of speakers who pointed out the serious pitfalls of adopting SB 10, including detailed presentations from Neighbors For A Better San Diego. These presentations, in front of an enthusiastic overflow audience of SB 10 opponents,  highlighted the issues that we have been raising since the Housing Action Package was introduced in February, including its irreversibility, out of scale building allowances, and net loss of home ownership opportunities.

We couldn’t have achieved this important victory without the grassroots efforts of groups across San Diego, including the organizers of last weekend’s rally, San Diegans For Responsible Growth, and the many residents who posted signs, spoke or ceded time at today’s meeting, and contacted their Councilmembers to voice their opposition to SB 10.

Today’s recommendation against the current proposed implementation of SB 10 is great news and a testament to effective citizen action. Stay tuned for next steps.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

DiegoK August 4, 2023 at 12:06 pm

The Planning Commission unanimously voting down SB10, along with every other city in the state, reflects how intellectually lazy Todd Gloria has been in regards to housing in our City. He seems to have an affinity for photo-ops and for passing anything that might sound or look like he is doing something.

The fact SB10 got this far and required so many people to get involved to stop this bad idea is unconscionable.

One item that did pass and mentioned in your summary is dormitory “student” housing. Something tells me we are going to see more of this and it won’t be just for students. Mini SROs coming to a neighborhood near you.


OB Toby August 4, 2023 at 12:43 pm

Thanks for the “heads up” about the so-called dormitory student housing.
I think you’re right this will be the next give away to developers.
Todd Gloria always seems to have an angle to get what he wants. Remember how eliminating the 30’ height limit was brought back again and again until it passed? Gloria is not to be trusted.


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