In the neighborhood of Grantville, as in many parts of the city of San Diego, the rules that say what can be built on each piece of land are outdated.

That means that the people who want to build more housing have to go through a longer and more expensive process to get the City Council OK for their project. And it means that neighbors that push back and urge more parks and better infrastructure have to do so one project at a time.

Instead of a having broad, simple blueprint for how they grow, these neighborhoods instead are developing piecemeal.

Our Scott Lewis says there is a solution emerging. The people who want to build things like housing and a Chargers stadium can partner with communities through a planned regional infrastructure bond and make sure neighborhood infrastructure is funded.

“If neighbors know they’re going to get their parks and streets, then they’ll be more receptive to allowing more people into their neighborhood,” Lewis writes. “In Grantville, an updated plan would mean residents would already have signed off on a dense area. Developers would save time and money by creating projects that fit the vision.”

The latest story is part of Lewis’ look at the top storylines developing across the region. Infrastructure clocks in at No. 4.

Tax Hike Without A Vote: San Diego Explained

“San Diego hoteliers and politicians are putting together a plan to renew an extra 2 percent charge on hotel bills. The proposal is expected to raise more than $1 billion over the next four decades for tourism promotion,” reports our Liam Dillon. While we’ve covered the controversial increase before, phrases like “Tourism Marketing District” and “it’s an assessment, not a tax!” may have you scratching your head.

Don’t worry. Dillon teamed up with NBC 7 San Diego’s Catherine Garcia in this edition of San Diego Explained to break down what all that means for San Diego and why it’s important.

Where Parolees Live: Graphic of the Week

As part of a larger story he’s been working on, Keegan Kyle has been mapping out where parolees live across the region.

It’s become an important topic as the state continues to look at early release programs to cure prison overcrowding, and communities in southeastern San Diego have been especially concerned about what an influx of parolees would mean.

Kyle’s map shows that while southeastern San Diego is indeed home to a relatively higher number of paroled and probated citizens, there are a number of other hotspots in North County, East County and western Chula Vista.

Poway Loan: ‘Terms that Even Countrywide Would’ve Laughed At’

Add The New York Times to the growing chorus of those skeptical of Poway Unified’s creative borrowing scheme.

“There is a furor in California because the Poway Unified School District, in San Diego County, borrowed money last year on terms that even Countrywide would have laughed at during the boom,” says the paper, which credits VOSD with drawing national attention to the issue.

Writer Floyd Norris’ conclusion: “This generation will not pay for what it needs, so some of its leaders have decided to saddle future generations with the bills.”

Poway Patch also reports that citizens of that city are riled up and how one concerned citizen has started a Facebook page: “Thanks A Billion.”

Letters: Filner Overdid It, But Take It Easy on Him

Daniel Smiechowski urged readers not to judge Bob Filner for “overstating” his case against Johnathan Hale after the recent “Balboa Park fiasco,” which caused damage to the Lily Pond. “Mr. Filner, as all politicians, is a self-directed man fearless of social disapprobation,” he writes.

Former Union Head Indicted

Terence J. Bonner was the head of the Nation Border Patrol Council, a national union for Border Patrol agents, for 22 years. He oversaw the union during a time when the Border Patrol doubled in size. And now he’s facing criminal charges.

“The longtime former leader of the national union for Border Patrol agents was indicted by a federal grand jury in San Diego Thursday on charges that he funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in union funds for his own use,” wrote U-T San Diego. The charges against Bonner include using union money to visit a mistress in Chicago and attend sporting events.

“Bonner is the latest in a growing list of border law enforcement agents who have been arrested or indicted on corruption charges since 2004,” the paper said.

Council Members Pledge on Prop. B

Two current council members and two incoming council members pledged on Thursday to implement a five-year pay freeze that was passed in June as part of Proposition B.

The conference was organized by Carl DeMaio’s mayoral campaign. DeMaio used the occasion to say that with the four council members, “the city of San Diego has everything it needs to insure the full and complete and immediate implementation of Proposition B.” (NBC San Diego)

The four votes, he says, are enough to block any potential two-thirds council vote that would be needed to override Prop. B’s direction.

News Nibbles

• The San Diego Padres have been sold to a group that includes the sons of former Dodger’s owner Peter O’Malley. “This is a group of heavy hitters, especially given the pedigree of the O’Malley family,” writes ESPN.

• In a wide-ranging essay on and interview with Jerry Brown, the Pacific Standard delves deep into the current state of California politics and puts a litany of tough questions to Brown, including what happens if he fails and if he regrets the social cuts he has made during his administration.

Coming Soon: San Diego’s Own “Pike Place” Styled Market

Seattle has Pike Place Market, San Francisco has the Ferry Building Marketplace. Heck, even Cleveland has the West Side Market. But while San Diegans enjoy dozens of smaller neighborhood farmers’ markets, we have no full-time public market where you can go to buy fresh goods and produce from small businesses.

That will all change if Dale Steele and Catt White have their way, and they are very close to having their way.

Yesterday the two appeared on KPBS to talk about their proposed San Diego Public Market, which they will locate in the “food desert” of Barrio Logan. “This gives you a central location where, in addition to the farmers, you can go a little deeper into food, where you have refrigeration capabilities, so some really wonderful actual artisan food production can take place,” writes KPBS.

The pair are raising funds on Kickstarter and awarding donors with gifts. The gifts range from seeds and beeswax candles to building-naming rights or your “fine art photographic print” hung amidst photos of the founding farmers and chefs.

When it comes to people shopping for food, I find that it’s best to keep my “fine art photographic print” hidden safely away. I think I’ll just stick with the T-shirt.

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

Seth Hall

Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can reach him at or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.

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