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Thursday, Aug. 3, 2006 | Tell the developers to look at the demographics. San Diego county population declined last year. Schools throughout the county are experiencing declines in student enrollment. The U-T had a couple of articles on this situation and the problems some school districts were facing because of declining enrollment. Why should we build schools until the children are there? Many cities that have developed a downtown population long before San Diego got on the bandwagon and discovered that many of those families that start downtown in a condo do not stay there once the children are starting school. Of the 18 babies in Mr. Smith’s condo complex most will be out of downtown in five years. Why build for them? Wait and see if the demand is really there.

In the meantime the developers want it both ways. In Campo the developer tells everyone the reason we need to approve his urban density project with 8,000 square foot lots is because the local schools have less enrollment just like most areas in the county. But his development will rescue the schools by bring new families to the area with their children. Maybe they would be Mr. Smith’s 18 babies. However, accepting a bad development that is totally inappropriate for the rural area just because it might increase local school enrollment is a very bad land use decision.

And those children would just further reduce the enrollment in another area of the county complicating their problems with reduced enrollment.

Maybe we need to change land use policy. Build more schools downtown and let them sit empty and then deny all development in rural areas because of the empty schools in downtown. That is a way to stop urban sprawl

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