The War on San Diego’s Planning Groups

by on September 19, 2023 · 74 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Editordude: The following is by Kate Callen who is a candidate for the District 3 seat on the San Diego City Council.

By Kate Callen

Imagine if all democratically-elected officials had to “apply” to keep their jobs. And the candidates they defeated were invited to apply for those jobs. And the “winners” were chosen behind closed doors.

This is called “overturning elections,” and it’s exactly what is happening to San Diego’s 53 community planning groups, including District 3’s five groups: Downtown, Greater Golden Hill, Mission Valley, North Park, and Uptown.

For nearly 60 years, planning groups have exemplified the power of local democracy. Like my mother before me, I was elected to the North Park Planning Committee, and I know from direct experience that these all-volunteer groups work tirelessly to represent the will of their communities.

A few years ago, the City’s power elite abruptly declared war on planning groups, complaining that group members just weren’t the right sort of people. Every member has now been asked for personal information that includes age, race, and income.

City Hall will use that information to either bestow official “recognition” on these elected groups OR withdraw it and replace them with hand-picked groups that NEVER WERE ELECTED!

This assault on local democracy was done at the direction of “strong mayor” Todd Gloria. And our City Council either helped lead the charge or stayed quiet on the sidelines.

Want to know the real reasons for the war on planning groups?  Read my letter below published in the Union-Tribune in 2022.

I am running for the D3 Council seat to challenge City Hall’s culture of autocracy. If elected, I will support our planning groups, provide the resources these volunteers badly need, and fight any efforts to overturn their elections.

Starting with the Sept. 28 Greater Golden Hill meeting, I will attend every D3 planning group meeting to thank the members and personally attest to the value of their work. My next e-blast will include a full schedule of planning group meeting dates, times, and locations.

Please forward this message to your friends and neighbors. To learn more about my campaign, visit District 3, We Can Do Better!

Letter to the Editor, SD Union-Tribune, March 17, 2022

“Complaints that planning groups ‘kill off housing’ have no basis in fact. These advisory groups have never had the power to curb growth. They can only make recommendations that convey the general will of their communities. City Hall can and routinely does ignore that input.

“The real problem here is that elected officials and their allies in the building industry are easily bruised. Even after a string of victories (proliferation of accessory dwelling units, passage of Senate Bills 9 and 10), they continue to fret. They want total public acquiescence, and they will brook no opposition.

“Stifling the messenger to block the message never works. Community residents who are feeling the strain of disastrous land-use policies will not be silenced. As North Park’s three-year battle over the 30th Street bike lanes has shown, when politicians try to shut out constituents, our resolve strengthens and our voices get louder.”

Kate Callen, North Park

{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie September 19, 2023 at 11:14 am

What Kate says definitely applies to the 3 planning groups in the OB / Pt Loma area. She will face incumbent Stephen Whitburn and at least one other challenger, trial attorney Colleen Cusack, in the March 5 primary.

District 3 includes downtown San Diego, South Park, North Park, Hillcrest and part of Mission Valley.


Gravitas September 19, 2023 at 11:32 am

WELL DONE. Bravo! Kate. Keep up the good work! Your district has been STUFFED with SB 10 units, AirBnbs and way too many bike lanes! Big loss to a once super neighborhood…North Park.


Kate Callen September 19, 2023 at 11:59 am

Thanks, Gravitas! I am heartsick at what has happened to my North Park community. My decision to run for D3 began on the day dozens of us stood on 30th Street and watched city crews paint the curbs red. It felt like City Hall was giving us the middle finger. Over the next 6 months, I will focus relentlessly on the Mayor’s and the City Council’s blatant disrespect for neighborhoods and the people who live and work in them. Stay tuned.


Chris September 19, 2023 at 12:44 pm

On the counter side of that, it has been nice being able to bike along 30th with the bike lanes in place. There are some spots where it’s a bit dangerous if the rider isn’t paying attention to cars making a right turn but it’s just something you learn to be aware of and ride defensively. Overall, I’m much more comfortable riding along 30 now than I was before they were put in. I know plenty of NP residents who feel the same way.
I was hit recently on Uni crossing 30th so I’ve become a bit unsympathetic to hardships the bike lanes of caused TBH.


Chris September 19, 2023 at 1:06 pm

Have, not of.


Kate Callen September 19, 2023 at 1:23 pm

Chris, I have been impressed by the political acumen of bike lane activists. It is only natural for people to strive to advance their own personal interests. My disappointment is with the politicians who took sides, including some who expressed skepticism about bike lanes as candidates then flipped once elected. As I’ve told my North Park compatriots, don’t be angry with bike lane activists for getting what they want. Be angry with politicians who disrespected the majority of residents and small business owners in our community.


Chris September 19, 2023 at 2:37 pm

You bring up a very interesting dilemma. If the bike lanes in NP and pretty much everywhere else in the city were brought up to a vote of local neighborhood residents, how many would vote yes? If the majority were to vote no then too bad so sad for those of us who’d like to be able to bike there safely? Park Blvd is a perfect example. It seems most people hate them but for me it’s been nice being able to ride from Upas heading down town and not have to worry about getting doored. The only way to avoid that was to ride in the middle of the lane and possibly have an impatient driver right behind me. So the bike lanes have been a blessing, but I’m sure if up to a vote they would never have been put in. Sad that it has to bee that way.
NP is interesting to me because the majority of people I know who live there are very much in favor of them, yet that seems to be the polar opposite of others in that area. Perhaps that’s because the majority of people I know bike and I don’t encounter too many opposers.


Ben Fields September 19, 2023 at 6:53 pm

The problem isn’t safe bike lanes. We had those on other side roads and I think the majority of voters would have voted investing in improvements to those. The problem was the insistence on creating entirely new bike lanes on main thoroughfares in ways that decreased overall safety, accessibility, road usability, business, parking and was an entirely unnecessary and unauthorized use of funds. All so a handful could ride on 30th and Park instead of side streets. That’s not a good enough reason to justify the negative trade-offs and circumventing the will of the people.


Geoff Page September 22, 2023 at 1:42 pm

I’ve made this same comment and argument over and over and all I get are either crickets or something like “We have a right to ride wherever we want!”


natalie September 20, 2023 at 3:54 pm

Her argument is basically this: most people drive, so we shouldn’t have bike lanes. Politicians who support bike lanes are corrupt, but people who support bike lanes are ok. People who ride bikes should be endangered by car traffic because cars are good and she doesn’t ride a bike.


Geoff Page September 20, 2023 at 6:42 pm

None of what you wrote here makes any sense.


Paul Krueger September 19, 2023 at 11:45 am

I’m a District 9 resident (working hard to defeat my council member, Sean Elo-Rivera), so I can’t vote for Kate.
But I’ve contributed to her campaign and will walk precincts for her, just like I did for Tommy Hough in District 6.
We need smart, realistic, honest and, most importantly truly independent council members like Kate to bring real representation to the City Council, and not just in the districts in which we live.
Please learn more about Kate’s positions on the issues that matter most to you and your neighbors, and please consider contributing to her campaign, and walking a precinct for her.


Lisa Mortensen September 19, 2023 at 11:46 am

Kate is a refreshing change from the current lock out we have experienced from our current city hall. She will blow open the doors once again. Kate is a true passionate leader. Something that is lacking with our current city council member.


Chris September 19, 2023 at 12:14 pm

It really comes down to the fact that dense housing proponents (developers, urbanists, YIMBYs, etc) want something they know community planning groups do not support. Developers want max profit and the others naively believe an explosion of dense housing will drive the cost of housing down. CPGs get in the way of that so the only way to defeat them is to drastically weaken them.


Home Dweller September 19, 2023 at 10:51 pm

people want and need housing. someone built your home and people probably opposed it. When you look at it through that lens hopefully something clicks. Seeing thru that lens clarifies


kh September 20, 2023 at 7:49 pm

Name a project, any project that has been shot down on account of the community planning group’s recommended denial. I’ll wait…


Geoff Page September 20, 2023 at 8:54 pm

Me too, I’ll wait also.


Chris September 21, 2023 at 7:21 am

Ok guys I’ll re-word a bit. I don’t know of any specific instances of planning shooting down any projects. My point was the pro dense housing groups I mentioned see planning groups as getting in the way, slowing down their ability to reach their objective and that’s why they support drastically weakening them, if not dismantling them altogether. Don’t confuse what I said with support of them.


Chris September 21, 2023 at 8:17 am

Gawd I wish the rag had an edit feature. I’ll be the first to admit I can’t type if my life depended on it. Ironic since I work in an office on a keyboard all day lol.
I meant to say I don’t know of any specific instances of planning groups shooting down any projects and when I said “them” at the end of my post, “them” meant high density groups.


Frank Gormlie September 22, 2023 at 1:16 pm

Okay, gang, I’ve been sidelined by dental surgery and was out for a couple of days. But thanks to our great commenters, there’s been life on the Rag.


Kate Callen September 21, 2023 at 8:30 am

Pro-density advocates complain that planning groups thwart housing, but I think their real grievance is that planning groups are voicing the valid concerns of the communities they represent about overbuilding. Such representation is their job. Trying to quash the expression of public discontent seems petulant — and undemocratic. The war on planning groups is really a war on dissent led by our disastrous “strong mayor” government (absolute power corrupts absolutely). This is why I’m running for office.


Geoff Page September 22, 2023 at 1:44 pm

Gotta disagree here, Chris. “The only way to defeat them” is to run candidates that you want and vote them in. That’s the process, not weakening them.


Chris September 22, 2023 at 2:35 pm

I think we are confusing each other at this point. I’m saying that’s the tactic being used. Not saying I agree or disagree with it.


OBGOPer September 19, 2023 at 1:52 pm

Kate, thank you for caring (even though I can’t vote for you since I live in D2). You’ve really hit the nail on the head about the most important issues we’re facing – threats to planning groups and more bike lanes. I’m so happy someone finally is going to make this election a referendum on them. I just have to ask though before I tell other people I know in D3 to vote for you: where do you stand on housing? As far as I’m concerned we are FULL and these young people need to do what we all did and save up to buy a house.


Kate Callen September 19, 2023 at 2:33 pm

Thank you, OBGOPer. I’ve grown weary of politicians chanting, “We Need More Housing!” Well, what kind of housing? North Park is filling up with more *expensive* housing: high-rise towers and ADUs with no-onsite parking. Our retail economy (eateries, shops) is staffed with low-wage workers who can’t afford to live here. So the new units don’t serve our community’s needs.

In a desirable city like San Diego, you can’t build enough housing to meet the demand. When you factor in our shrinking supply of water (rarely discussed), and the stresses of population growth on traffic and air quality, you have a recipe for urban disaster.

I’d like to see more public-private partnerships that provide the truly affordable housing that developers won’t build. I definitely want to see the supply of single-room-occupancy units replenished; razing SROs for expensive housing helped get us into the homelessness crisis. But I think we need to put the brakes on rampant market-rate development. San Diego just cannot sustain that. Thanks for asking.


Chris September 21, 2023 at 5:32 pm

San Diego has always been expensive due to its desirability, but once upon a time it was more a matter of bang for buck. The big complaint was how much square footage one had with the amount they paid in their mortgage or rent compared to most other US cities. Now it’s become a matter of survival and just keeping a roof over your head, even in the less desirable areas of the city/county. So what do we do? I don’t think an explosion of high density housing will bring in the results it’s supporters claim, but again what do we do? The claim some long time home owners make that if one cant afford to live here anymore(as in someone who’s lived here all their lives or a very long time) due to being priced out should just pick up and go somewhere else is a s****y way to think and very short sighted.


Lisa M September 21, 2023 at 6:31 pm

Chris we need to get the for-profit motive out of development. We need affordable housing but more importantly we also need respectful housing. 200-400sqft units with limited outside space and no on-site parking is disrespectful. Back in my early adult days, the apartments I rented had on-site parking and a community courtyard and on-site laundry. 1 brs were 600 sqft & 2 brs were 750 sqft. People need to be provided respectful housing g.
How dare these money grubbing developers build units they would never allow their children to live in.


Chris September 19, 2023 at 2:51 pm

Bike lanes are a good thing, and I’m not young by any stretch. The problem with many of them in SD is not the fact they’re there but rather how poorly laid out they are. Regardless I’ve had a couple close calls in the past year and a half and a month ago finally got hit (University crossing 30th). I’m ok and no damage to the bike. I did file a police report and if given the option I will press charges (it was a hit and run). I got his license plate and should I ever spot his car it will take every bit of willpower I have to not take my u-lock and smash his window, if not his skull. I guess you can say the saving grace for me is I don’t like orange jumpsuits. So when you think about more bike lanes, make a point to understand why many of us like them and want more of them.
And your view on what young people do, that is pretty short sighted and a bit disturbing.


Vern September 19, 2023 at 4:50 pm

“… make a point to understand why many of us like them…”
Corrected “… make a point to understand why some of us like them…”

And Chris, controlling your violent impulses is duly noted. Good job!
Keep up the good work.


Chris September 19, 2023 at 5:15 pm

Sorry Vern, my statement was right the first time so nothing was “corrected”.
As to violent impulses, putting your sarcasm aside let’s see how you feel when you get knocked off your bike by an impatient driver while waiting for the light to turn green. At least I was able to get up and am ok. Thing like this happen all too often so it’s understandable why many cyclists have impulses:
Let’s face it Vern, you’re kind of a jerk.


Vern September 19, 2023 at 7:19 pm

Chris, I did correct your post, so there. Makes reasonable sense to help others when they post such things. Sharing is caring.
FYI, I was t-boned by an impatient driver years ago and was sent flying into the curb. Mild injuries (no doctor/hospital, but a long walk home carrying a vintage bicycle and school backpack loaded with books), bike was seriously damaged, but I was able to straighten & re-weld the broken frame & components, sandblast & repaint… good as new! No complaints! Part of living the good life. Never stopped cycling.
Hey now, my mom said I was a jerk when I argued with her from time to time, way back when. Still, we love the heck out of each other.
Geez, Chris, can’t we all just get along?


Chris September 20, 2023 at 7:26 am

Well Vern, I do appreciate you giving me a real and detailed response instead of just quoting me. So with that being said, I’m glad you came out of that unhurt but wouldn’t you agree the behavior of the driver who hit you is unacceptable? I don’t know the details of your situation beyond what you described here but hopefully that driver faced some consequences.
On an unrelated note, what brand and model of vintage? Do you still have it?


Vern September 20, 2023 at 9:17 am

Chris, the bike was a gold Schwinn Collegiate from the mid-60’s. It was in our family since then, passed along to various family members over the years. I gave it to a cousin a few years after the accident.

FYI, I was a bit more aggressive when I rode back then (yes, even on a Schwinn Collegiate!). I honestly couldn’t lay all the blame on the driver. Nevertheless, the driver drove off, never to be seen again.


Chris September 20, 2023 at 9:55 am

In my case I was just waiting for the light to change (University crossing 30th heading west). Other than being in his way, I was not being aggressive to him.

My sister had that also tho it was a step through. I ask because I’m a fan of vintage bikes.

And I retract what I said earlier. Sometimes I shoot from the hip.


kh September 20, 2023 at 7:54 pm

Those impatient drivers are the worst. I’ve never seen impatient riders though. They always stop and yield as required by law. Every time!


Chris September 19, 2023 at 5:19 pm

Things like this happen far too often. I hope we never meet in person.


Chris September 20, 2023 at 9:55 am

Please remove of possible editor dude.


Paul Webb September 20, 2023 at 12:57 am

Chris, this is exactly what many of us are saying. It is not the number of lanes, it is where and how they have been implemented, and the process for getting them.


Geoff Page September 20, 2023 at 10:44 am

Exactly, Paul, very succinctly stated. I don’t understand why they insist on having bike lanes on every major thoroughfare when there are plenty of alternate routes that are safer. Voltaire Street is a perfect example. Quiet side streets parallel Voltaire on both sides but they insist on riding on Voltaire. Bike lanes should only be placed where there is not possible alternate route. 30th Street is another perfect example.


LittleKumeyaayBoy September 21, 2023 at 10:49 am

Because bikes can travel that same roads that cars do. I think there should be bike lanes on Voltaire from Chatsworth to W. Point Loma. Anyone who disagrees is a NIMBY. If the city doesn’t do it, I will get a few neighbors to help paint some lines.


Geoff Page September 21, 2023 at 11:35 am

Well, Little Boy, you are entitled to your opinion.


LittleKumeyaayBoy September 23, 2023 at 5:22 pm

That’s Little Kumeyaay Boy to you old timer. I think my opinion is worth more than someone who just showed up here in the 70s. My families on both sides have been here for eons.


Geoff Page September 20, 2023 at 10:48 am

I too am sorry you had this incident, Chris. I’d like to ask why you were riding on University at that time?


Chris September 20, 2023 at 11:05 am

I actually was coming all the way from South Park riding along 30th. I got to the University/30th intersection. I headed west on Uni just to go a few blocks West (to get lunch @ The Friendly Tavern). I don’t normally ride University but again the intent was just to go a short distance.


Geoff Page September 20, 2023 at 11:49 am

Ok, thanks for that. Now, let me ask this. You said you rode up 30th from South Park. Except for the short crossing over Switzer Canyon, that ride could easily have been done on parallel streets on either side of 30th, don’t you agree?


OBGOPer September 20, 2023 at 12:11 pm

You tell ‘em Geoff! I agree with you, I’m sick of this whining from people who clearly are at fault when they’re hit by a car. It’s common sense and I just so appreciate you having the guts to say it like it is. Too bad you’re a progressive Geoff, I think we’ve got a lot in common.


Geoff Page September 20, 2023 at 12:26 pm

Well, thanks, OBGOPer. But, I will say that I did not say who was at fault in this one. Chris seems like an honest guy and if it was his fault, I think he’d say so. That said, I do have an issue with this need for bike paths on every thoroughfare when there are perfectly good side streets. I watch cyclists on Voltaire all the time and wonder why for the same reason. It is just much safer to use a side street but they insist on riding on Voltaire.


Chris September 20, 2023 at 12:41 pm

Here’s one thing I can say about riding Voltaire. When I ride from Hillcrest to OB, I go along Harbor Drive, mostly on the multi use path. Once I get to Nimitz I take that up to Chatsworth and turn left onto Voltaire, where there is in fact a bike lane. As I’m heading west the bike lane disappears for a couple blocks and resumes and disappears again and resumes again. It’s like that the whole way between Chatsworth and Sunset Cliffs.


Geoff Page September 20, 2023 at 1:19 pm

I agree that there are not good alternates for Voltaire from Chatsworth to Mendocino, so bike lanes there make sense. But after that, there is no reason to be on Voltaire. I live in the area and I never ride on Voltaire going to the beach or downtown OB.


Chris September 20, 2023 at 1:52 pm

For me it depends where I’m going. If I’m headed to The Noodle House or The Beach House or The Stick then I’ll stay on Voltaire. Plus once west of Sunset it’s not really bad. There are so many stop signs that no car can really go any faster than I can ride so at that point Voltaire is not really problem.

Chris September 20, 2023 at 12:27 pm

Please explain how I’m at fault?


Geoff Page September 20, 2023 at 1:12 pm

I can’t tell for sure, Chris but it looks like this question is directed at me. If, so, check out my comment and you will see I didn’t say anything about fault of anyone.


Chris September 20, 2023 at 1:54 pm

Geoff, that was directed at OBGOPer, not you.


Geoff Page September 20, 2023 at 6:44 pm

Thought so, just wanted to be clear. I tried to trace the lines connecting the comments and couldn’t get it, but trying again just now, I was able to see it.

Chris September 20, 2023 at 12:15 pm

Once I cross Upas, I know there’s Utah, but since there is a bike lane on 30th I’d rather take that since it’s there (and I hope it stays). That’s my honest answer. Sometimes I do take Utah (depending on my destination) but more often prefer 30th.


Geoff Page September 20, 2023 at 12:30 pm

Sure, I understand why you take 30th now with an available bike lane. But, this was not a road where there were no other possibilities as evidenced by parallel streets east and west. This bike lane went in simply because cyclists wanted it, not because it was needed. And they got it because of politicians thinking of their own careers, not thinking about the local constituency.


Geoff Page September 20, 2023 at 1:10 pm

And, this thread was not about bike lines, it seems to have gotten off track. It was about the intentional destruction of planning groups and stifling public opinion.

I served on the local planning board for some years, spent time as chair as well, and have been reporting on them for a few years too, so I know planning boards well. The only people who disliked planning boards were only those there to make money, with no thought of the community. Planning groups called developers on cutting corners and changes were then made, as much as possible, to benefit the community.

Now, the most vocal group today is the cycling lobby. They detest planning boards for the same reason, they hate having to answer to anyone who won’t let them have their way exactly as they want it. How does this translate into making money you ask?

Look at the relationship between the “mobility” advocates and the development and construction industry. There is money to be made. The mobility group is firmly entrenched in city government today and it does not take a genius to see why. Politicians – cyclists – developers – construction.

Make no mistake about it, the politicians are using the mobility group to gain favor from the moneymakers.
The image of the angler fish comes to my mind.

Planning boards have never had any real teeth. I’ve seen many a project approved by the city despite denials and appeals by planning boards. But, they do provide influence and they can have good effects. More than anything, they give people a place to come and voice an opinion, people who would never be able to do so in front of city council.

The city’s bald-faced attempt to cut even this toothless voice out of the process is the third part of what I think is broader effort to cut government off from the public. The other two parts are the Public Records Request system and the bloated Communications department.

Virtually no one in city government will provide a request for some information. The immediate response is “make a PRR.” The city is using the Public Records Act to keep an inventory of documents that come in and out. All documents. That was never the intent of the PRA.

And now, we have 33 people, one each assigned to a specific department. No longer are people in the departments allowed to talk to the public, everything is filtered through these people.

The people running the show need to go and these changes need to be made:

1. Fire 33 communications people

2. Use the PRA for what it was intended and reinstate direct contact with the public.

3. Dump the CPG “reforms” and restore planning boards to what they are intended for.

4. Halt this breakneck, poorly thought out construction of bike lanes until justifications for them are clearly articulated and shared with the public for discussion and until the city provides the maintenance budget and maintenance schedule it has in place .

5. Lower the city council seats to the same level as the public. That’s how planning groups do it.


Paul Webb September 20, 2023 at 11:47 pm

Amen, brother.

When I worked on state government the rule was you had to respond to any information request within 72 hours. Period. Full stop. At the Coastal Commission, we had one information officer for the entire state, not one per office.

Most, if not all, agencies have used the PRR law to obstruct the flow of information, not facilitate it, as was originally intended.

And don’t get me started on attorney/client privilege, where you are required to CC an attorney on all correspondence so you can claim privilege.


Donnar September 22, 2023 at 2:59 pm

Thank you, Geoff Page, for your insight and information! I am not an Insider by any means, yet I haven’t been able to shake this powerful feeling that our democracy, most especially on the local level, is being undermined in every way. And it all points to the power that only big developer $$$ can provide to the politicians!
I’d love to hear more about these 33 “communications” people, and what you mean by lowering the City Council seats to the same level as the public. How can I learn more about this?


Geoff Page September 22, 2023 at 4:13 pm

Donnar, here is the link showing all the Communication Department employees.

I have to correct what I said previously. I went through the list at the link more carefully and counted 18 employees, some people are the communications person for more than one department. There were two entries that were not names. One was “Communications Department” for the Development Services Department. Considering the importance of the DSD, one would think there would be someone specifically assigned to it. Very odd.

The second entry not a person was “SDPD Media Services Unit” for the Police Department. This probably means they have their own people.

As for lowering the dais, I don’t know what it would take but it would be a vast improvement in lowering a lot of egos.

Kate Callen September 19, 2023 at 3:21 pm

Chris, I do understand why many bicyclists like the lanes and want more. And I’m truly sorry about the hit-and-run driver. That was a criminal act. I’m glad you weren’t badly hurt, and I hope he can be apprehended and charged. But please, no smashing of cars or skulls!

As for my “view of what young people do,” I’m puzzled — what view is that?


Chris September 19, 2023 at 3:30 pm

Like I said, I don’t like orange jumpsuits so my common sense kick in. Actually tho, that and the comment about young people was in response toOBGOPer.


Kate Callen September 19, 2023 at 3:41 pm

We may not agree on everything, but you are a thoughtful person who cares about issues, and I’ve enjoyed our exchange of ideas. This is what public forums do best. So thank you.


Chris September 19, 2023 at 4:01 pm

No worries. I do get pretty heated sometimes because there really are a lot of people out there who don’t want us on the road with them and also don’t want bike infrastructure, especially if it takes away any parking and or slows them down. I still drive so when I’m behind any cyclists, I can be patient so I guess I naively expect them to.


Donnar September 20, 2023 at 12:12 am

Wouldn’t it be better/safer for all to establish bike lanes on the less well-traveled streets? If it’s a tight squeeze, the City could consider one-way streets for traffic in order to fit in a bike lane. If they can shut down Diamond St. in PB to all cars, one-way streets could at least be a compromise.
To close down parking which threatens the survival of businesses in the heart of North Park is evil! And as someone who neither lives in No. Park or rides a bicycle, I have missed going to the restaurants, coffeehouses, and shops along 30th St. and University Avenue. I’ve tried using that multi-level lot and it reeks of human urine, and it does not feel safe.


Chris September 22, 2023 at 6:22 am

“I’ve tried using that multi-level lot and it reeks of human urine, and it does not feel safe.”

Interesting. I’ve parked there and never had any issues.


Geoff Page September 22, 2023 at 11:20 am

“establish bike lanes on the less well-traveled streets” I would go a step further, the less traveled streets don’t need bike lanes at all. Bikes and cars have been co-existing on streets like that forever. Put bike lanes only where there are no such alternatives and if the bikes have to go on the heavily traveled roads, make them protected bike lanes.


chris schultz September 20, 2023 at 8:21 am

The landmark tax initiative Proposition 13, passed in 1978, has endured in its popularity over the years. It has required a two-thirds voter majority to pass most bonds and the taxes to pay them. That pillar of the proposition is called into question by Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1 by Democrat Ceclia Aguilar-Curry of Winters.

ACA 1 would lower the voter threshold to 55 percent to approve affordable housing and public infrastructure projects. It still would allow a minority of voters to control taxing policy in California. Newsom should help make a historic migration away from the 1978 rebellion and toward majority rule and support ACA 1. Local measures to advance affordable housing and customer-friendly transit will rely on new revenue sources.


chris schultz September 20, 2023 at 8:35 am
LittleKumeyaayBoy September 21, 2023 at 11:03 am

You prop 13 deniers are so short sided it’s incredible. Prop 13 isn’t the enemy, it has saved countless retired people and families from having to sell their family homes. Let’s look at it from a homeowner’s perspective. You buy a house at market value in 2023 meaning you lock in your housing costs at today’s rates. Do you want the government, who is really only interested in increasing revenue, to be able to re appraise your home on a whim anytime they need to find more money for more wild spending? Let’s analyze how this has worked out for Hawaii. Your family has owned a house for 30 years. Property values have increased 30 fold in your once sleepy town. Your neighbors have all sold to developers. Because the property tax is flexible you now can not afford to pay. The government takes your land and auctions it off to the next bidder that will develop it and afford to pay the increased property tax rates. And the cycle continues. Or just overturn prop 13 because a few older people are benefiting and you’re jealous. You won’t benefit either way.


chris schultz September 21, 2023 at 11:37 am

Are you lost Little KB? You think I posted this against prop 13? Why would I have posted anything if that was the case? I posted this to inform the end around Sacramento is attempting with ACA1. The impact it will have on local planning.


sealintheSelkirks September 20, 2023 at 12:00 pm

Kate Callen: I applaud you! At least you mentioned the 1,000 pound anvil hanging over everyone’s head that is always completely ignored; the dwindling fresh water supplies!

Why is it that every one of these builders and their bought politicians NEVER mentions the fact that the Colorado River, the main supply that keeps all these cities alive, is absolutely over-allocated and disappearing with the drastic shift in climate and population increase as it is sucked dry by all the cities and builders in the desert southwest who only see dollar signs? Anybody asking ‘then what?’ when the last drop is gone yet? Nope. Just ignore it and it will go away. Like a miracle!

Even a 20% increase in San Diego water costs isn’t going to change that. It’s a finite resource and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Imagine the exodus…
As for the politicians chanting ‘more housing’ I will repeat myself; outlaw STVRs. And enforce it. Instant availability of thousands of homes and apartments.
As for the ADUs with no parking, a point in the rental contract could be that nobody who owns a car can rent one UNLESS there is an off-street parking space added.

Then mass transit and those bike lanes might become worthwhile to a lot more people, eh Chris?
Chris Shultz: Property taxes should be lower on owners that live in the home and higher on income property. Those that benefit from the system should pay more than those that don’t is a better idea than what we’ve got going now…



chris schultz September 21, 2023 at 11:40 am

LOL Property taxes are 1% and they are higher when a property is bought at today’s prices. An investor buying multiple properties is going to generally pay more. What’s the point?


Geoff Page September 22, 2023 at 2:03 pm

Lots of good solid common sense there, seal. A rare commodity these days.


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