Check out five interesting comments we’re highlighting from the discussion going on our stories this week. Balboa Park, affordable housing and the state of our neighborhoods and streets make appearances.
Someone asked me where these streams drain to so I looked into it a bit. Flipping through a few historical photos it looks like the stream was put underground back when downtown was first developed. Seems amazing that it would be big enough to support a village. I read somewhere that the native people used to seasonally migrate to the mountains during the dry summer months.
People don’t realize that there are closed landfills and burn dumps all over the county. They are in constant need of monitoring and inspection at a significant cost to local government. That is one problem with the city of San Diego’s “free” trash collection policy for some of its residents.
The simple, pragmatic approach would be for the local government to buy up existing housing stock that is in foreclosure or even for-sale housing and convert it for the use of those who need “affordable.” Eventually the government would get the purchase price back by paying for the loans with the tax credits and rents/mortgage payments. Everyone would have a stake in it — people who need to sell their homes win; the government wins because it would actually be accomplishing something rather than merely studying it; the neighborhoods would win by having vacant homes occupied and finally the big winners would be people on the edge who would get a chance at stability and ownership.
It didn’t take the new city leadership long to lay down its marker for increased spending and higher taxes, did it? Actually, before Gloria’s pronouncement there was an indicator that the era of tight budget control was reaching an end.
The council recently decided to establish and maintain a “registry” of foreclosed properties, to be administered by, you guessed it, hiring three additional employees in the Code Compliance Department. After reading the reaction to this decision in the U-T Saturday by eight people who work in and around real estate, none of whom wholeheartedly endorsed the idea and several of whom called it a boondoggle, I wrote the council to suggest they revisit the idea. I got one response, from my Councilmember Kevin Faulconer, who explained that three members of the council, himself, Zapf and DeMaio, had voted “nay.”
Is this in itself a big deal? Of course not, and lord knows Code Compliance could use some new blood, but as a harbinger it troubles me.
The combination of this ruling plus the recent swearing in of “Mr. Neighborhoods” Bob Filner and Todd “Sexy Streets” Gloria seems to be opening up a rare opportunity for the city and the region to rethink and revamp the way we build our neighborhoods. This very well could be remembered as the tipping point in which San Diego abandoned car-centric design in favor of a more livable, multi-modal urban fabric that a city of this size and stature deserves.
At least, one can hope.
Comments were lightly edited to fix typos and spelling.
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Dagny Salas is the web editor at Voice of San Diego. You can contact her directly at email@example.com or 619.550.5669.
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