Our readers this week discussed the impact of a rule limiting building heights west of Interstate 5 to 30 feet, as well as the news that the special election for a new City Council member in District 4 will use old district boundaries instead of new ones.

Check out five comments we highlighted on those issues and others.

David Kissling on “The Coastal Height Limit’s Legacy“:

Heavily modifying the coastal height limit should be a priority for San Diego if this city is going to develop dense, walkable, transit-oriented neighborhoods (as Mayor Filner stated was one of his goals for his administration). The only neighborhoods where this can be done organically is where there is a uniform street grid, and relatively flat terrain, as the beach communities mostly have (especially compared to any post-WW2 suburban areas).

Pacific Beach is the best example in San Diego of a community that is underdeveloped compared to its true potential. Instead of being limited to three-story townhomes, both Garnet and Grand Avenues should be lined with four-to-five-story mixed-use buildings full of apartments, condos, offices, retail and dining, instead of Garnet’s single-story retail buildings and Grand’s mix of bungalows and two-to-three-story apartment buildings set back from the street. This increased development would then make a trolley line to PB much more viable.

If the goal of the coastal height limit was to prevent 10-story high rises such as the Capri by the Sea condo tower shown in the article, I’m fine with that, but the lack of dense, mid-rise development is holding these neighborhoods back from becoming more livable, and more affordable. We absolutely need a citizens movement to fight the NIMBY’s, modify the coastal height limit, and ensure that future growth in San Diego will be channeled into the dense parts of the city, instead of more sprawl out in the exurbs.

Mary Laiuppa on “The Coastal Height Limit’s Legacy“:

Allowing taller buildings will push down housing costs all right. Those homes that used to have views but lost them will see their property values drop by a half or more.

No one has the right to take away an ocean view from a home that has had one for 40 years.

I’m sure developers would like nothing better than to see this law overturned. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

We are lucky that in San Diego many people at many income levels can have an ocean view. It’s not restricted to only the wealthy elite. That’s what the height limit gave San Diego. Equality.

Joe Jones on “‘An Era of Investment’: San Diego Schools’ Remarkable Fiscal Turnaround“:

Oh, for the love of … a $3 billion gift of tax money is NOT a “remarkable fiscal turnaround.” I can’t wait to see what Richard Barrera has in mind for his “era of investment.” More $5,000 iPads? Heck, let’s get the $10,000 version, because Remarkable Fiscal Turnaround II could be worth $6 billion in tax handouts.

Certainly glad to see that the “bloated bureaucracy” is a thing of the past. Because a flailing public entity handed a few billion in free money will always spend it frugally, and wisely — especially this one.

Gayle Falkenthal on “Emails from a Newly Homeless Woman: ‘I Feel Useful Again’“:

There is great wisdom in Liz’s admonition that society focus on helping the “About to Be” population. I hope the many decision-makers who read Voice will think about how to put their organizations or programs in a position to do so; or create a way to do so if none exists now.

It’s also illuminating to read Liz’s observations on the “homeless mindset.” It isn’t all that different from the mindset of many people in this consumer culture about wanting more, better, bigger amounts of stuff. How much “stuff” is enough? What do we all really need to live on? Most of us could give away half of what we own and we wouldn’t miss it. Let it do someone else some good. And anyone with a home with a garage and plenty of storage who has to also rent a storage unit needs to do some serious thinking.

Bettina Rausa on “District 4: Out With the New Boundaries, In With the Old“:

I am also a resident of Redwood Village and to realize that I won’t be able to vote for who is going to represent me and my community on the City Council is absurd. My right to vote for my representation has been eliminated by some draconian “rule.” And, not only do I not get to vote for who represents me, but someone else is going to decide for me? How is this representative of a democracy?? I have represented, volunteered and worked to fix blights and other major problems in my neighborhood with my council representative, and other local agencies for a number of years, along with Anna, Gary and many others and now I have no right to even vote for who is going to represent me? When the decision was made to move our neighborhood to District 4, we embraced this change and tried to be as positive about it as possible, considering that we had forged an amazing relationship with our prior City Council reps and advocated for desperately needed changes and improvements. We embraced being put into another district and now, not only can we not have a candidate in the race, but we don’t even get to vote! It’s outrageous. Why would we expect whoever wins this election to give a damn about us. We mean nothing without the power of our vote.

Comments have been slightly edited for typos and spelling.

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Dagny Salas is the web editor at Voice of San Diego. You can contact her directly at dagny.salas@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5669.

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Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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