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Del Mar throws support to California housing initiative

Joins L.A. and 243 other cities to push against state density rules

SB 9 and 10 are seen as the death of single-family zoning.
SB 9 and 10 are seen as the death of single-family zoning.

The Del Mar City Council voted unanimously on Monday to support an initiative that would give the city more control over issues they've been grappling with - like where to put 113 low-income housing units.

Oceanside, Encinitas, San Marcos and other cities have already signed on to the “Brand-Huang-Mendoza Tripartisan Land Use Initiative,” a measure filed last summer that will require 1 million signatures in order to qualify for the ballot next November.

SB 9 would allow up to four new units plus a granny flat on most single-family properties.

Its goal: amend the state constitution to override state laws that conflict with local land-use and zoning regulations.

"Zoning is not one size fits all," said Del Mar deputy mayor Tracy Martinez, who proposed the resolution along with Councilmember Terry Gaasterland.

Over 244 cities have already supported the initiative, including the city of Los Angeles, Martinez said. The petition has received $200,000 from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, along with funding from the group Our Neighborhood Voices.

At the center of the fight over local zoning are two new state laws, SB 9 and 10, which tackle the housing shortage by allowing more units per lot. Way too many, as opponents see it; up to six, counting the existing home.

The new laws are seen by critics as the death of single-family zoning, drawing investors and developers who they say will turn entire neighborhoods into apartment zones. SB 9, for instance, would allow up to four new units as well as a granny flat on most single family properties.

Additional parking would not be required, since the units would be encouraged near transit lines and job centers through fewer zoning limitations.

The new laws don't mandate any affordable housing - but cities are supposed to be building their fair share of regional housing needs. Del Mar added just one affordable unit in its previous housing cycle (2013-2020). Its current, 6th Cycle Housing Element, has not yet been certified by the state.

Plans for where to put such housing are now aimed toward the state-owned fairgrounds. That land would hold about half the 113 units the San Diego Association of Governments determined is the city's fair share; the rest to go in downtown Del Mar.

Mayor Worden said the city has been through a long, grueling process trying to bring the housing element into compliance with state law. "We're putting ADUs in various places." Now, in addition, there's SB 9 and 10, allowing four units where there used to be 2, he said.

"I'd rather live with the mistakes we make than mistakes made by the state."

Housing isn't the only battle over community control. The city is struggling to assert its local coastal plan, which centers on adaptation measures that don't involve the Coastal Commission's managed retreat - moving houses away from the rising sea. It, too, remains uncertified by the state.

Trains, on the other hand, they do want to see moved inland, miles from the eroding bluffs; another topic with complicated jurisdiction.

Neither will be helped by the citizens initiative, which doesn't cover every local issue. State law would prevail in three areas of statewide importance: coastal zones, power plant sites, and infrastructure projects.

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SB 9 and 10 are seen as the death of single-family zoning.
SB 9 and 10 are seen as the death of single-family zoning.

The Del Mar City Council voted unanimously on Monday to support an initiative that would give the city more control over issues they've been grappling with - like where to put 113 low-income housing units.

Oceanside, Encinitas, San Marcos and other cities have already signed on to the “Brand-Huang-Mendoza Tripartisan Land Use Initiative,” a measure filed last summer that will require 1 million signatures in order to qualify for the ballot next November.

SB 9 would allow up to four new units plus a granny flat on most single-family properties.

Its goal: amend the state constitution to override state laws that conflict with local land-use and zoning regulations.

"Zoning is not one size fits all," said Del Mar deputy mayor Tracy Martinez, who proposed the resolution along with Councilmember Terry Gaasterland.

Over 244 cities have already supported the initiative, including the city of Los Angeles, Martinez said. The petition has received $200,000 from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, along with funding from the group Our Neighborhood Voices.

At the center of the fight over local zoning are two new state laws, SB 9 and 10, which tackle the housing shortage by allowing more units per lot. Way too many, as opponents see it; up to six, counting the existing home.

The new laws are seen by critics as the death of single-family zoning, drawing investors and developers who they say will turn entire neighborhoods into apartment zones. SB 9, for instance, would allow up to four new units as well as a granny flat on most single family properties.

Additional parking would not be required, since the units would be encouraged near transit lines and job centers through fewer zoning limitations.

The new laws don't mandate any affordable housing - but cities are supposed to be building their fair share of regional housing needs. Del Mar added just one affordable unit in its previous housing cycle (2013-2020). Its current, 6th Cycle Housing Element, has not yet been certified by the state.

Plans for where to put such housing are now aimed toward the state-owned fairgrounds. That land would hold about half the 113 units the San Diego Association of Governments determined is the city's fair share; the rest to go in downtown Del Mar.

Mayor Worden said the city has been through a long, grueling process trying to bring the housing element into compliance with state law. "We're putting ADUs in various places." Now, in addition, there's SB 9 and 10, allowing four units where there used to be 2, he said.

"I'd rather live with the mistakes we make than mistakes made by the state."

Housing isn't the only battle over community control. The city is struggling to assert its local coastal plan, which centers on adaptation measures that don't involve the Coastal Commission's managed retreat - moving houses away from the rising sea. It, too, remains uncertified by the state.

Trains, on the other hand, they do want to see moved inland, miles from the eroding bluffs; another topic with complicated jurisdiction.

Neither will be helped by the citizens initiative, which doesn't cover every local issue. State law would prevail in three areas of statewide importance: coastal zones, power plant sites, and infrastructure projects.

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Comments
1

"Affordable" is Developer B$ wording for Market Rate Housing... Make it 30 yr. rent restricted Low and Low-Moderate income housing instead! Make it a percentage of every project over 3 units to build your way out of current shortfall!

Jan. 18, 2022

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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