Today, San Diego is failing to accommodate our growth demands. Due to NIMBY (people who oppose any new building with a “Not In My Backyard” attitude) pressure and fear, only downtown towers and greenfield sprawl sites are far enough away from them to secure any development permits. And these aren’t our best places to allow for enough attainable or affordable housing. Big, heavy downtown towers are very expensive. But so are sprawling subdivision roads, fire stations, community centers, parks, and new housing construction costs. Those subdivisions are far away from jobs, necessitate a car for every daily need. Suburbia encumbers agriculture lands and are at great wildfire risk. But, that’s mostly what we have available to us to build the housing we need to accommodate for the next 1.3 million people by 2050 (SANDAG). [Read more…] about It’s Time to Take the Keys Away from Granddad
Trade Joe’s stores are so popular that zoning laws are drafted to accommodate them while keeping out competitors, and communities swoon to receive them while staunchly opposing other businesses selling the same types of goods. [Read more…] about Zoning for Trader Joe’s – is there a better way?
Nobody likes uncertainty. Certainly not the developers of a billion dollar mixed-use project that encounters community opposition due to traffic impacts. Nor the public transportation agency that runs into fairy shrimp on the future route of a trolley line. Nor the city planners for multifamily housing around a transit station that face a revolt from their single-family neighbors. [Read more…] about In Defense of Uncertainty
A city makes many investments, such as infrastructure improvements, life and safety services, and in their employees. To fund such, cities rely upon new development and construction to fuel its economic generation engine with new jobs, housing, shops, parks, fees, and tax revenues.We have all experienced the difficulties with building new developments in Southern California. It is either too difficult to build something great or too easy to build something terrible. Most city planning departments have to overcome a past of allowing for deplorable new buildings that challenged the character of beloved older communities. [Read more…] about The Value of Planning in the Age of Economics.
By now, most of the nation is aware of San Diego’s mayoral scandal, which was reported in such national media outlets as CNN, Chris Mathews Hardball, New York Times, etc. and included international legal gadfly Gloria Allred elbowing her way onto center stage. Former 10 term congressman Bob Filner had been Mayor of San Diego only 6 months before it all came to an inglorious and undemocratic end. The conventional wisdom is that the Mayor was accused by 18 women of sexual harassment leading to his resignation. [Read more…] about Who Really Deposed San Diego’s Mayor and Nullified the 2012 Election?
For much of the last century, urban planning involved ever wider streets, both for major thoroughfares and for residential side streets. The justifications for this ever increasing road girth has ranged from emergency vehicle access to traffic flow. [Read more…] about One Simple Step to Suburban Street Slimming: Give it Away!
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved its revised General Plan last Wednesday with a 4-1 vote, it was reported in the San Diego Union Tribune. The update includes many changes in zoning rules aimed to limit development in remote, rural areas and to increase development in existing communities. [Read more…] about San Diego County General Plan Revision approved