Voice of San Diego investigative reporter Andrew Keatts has worked for a long time to unlock data about the city’s permitting process and spent months after that working to analyze it. The first results are coming out today.
Turns out, the city’s getting faster at approving permits.
“When it comes to the city’s more complicated permits, it took about nine months to get a project approved in 2013, the most recent year with enough available data to draw a conclusion. That’s faster than in any of the last 10 years, the time for which records are available,” Keatts writes.
In a separate post, Keatts also broke down the types of permits and explain how long they take to get approved, on average.
Signature Gatherers Are Back
A petition with paid signature gatherers is going to start today to keep the Chargers in San Diego. That’s it — just keep the team here. There’s no plan or site. It’s not a ballot initiative — it’s a so-called plebiscite. It’s being run by Victory Consultants, a call to their hotline confirmed it was going out Monday.
We’re not sure yet why they’re doing it or who’s paying. A signature gatherer named Arenza Thigpen Jr. told our Scott Lewis that they were paying $2 per signature.
But at the same time, another petition has started circulating, also with paid gatherers. Opponents of the One Paseo project in Carmel Valley are collecting signatures to force a referendum on it. The City Council approved One Paseo last week 7-2.
Perhaps the former is meant to distract from the latter.
• It’s going to be a wild time at ye olde football stadium tonight. From 6-9 p.m., residents are invited to Qualcomm Stadium to give a piece of their minds to the mayor’s football stadium task force. It’s being broadcast live on sports radio and KOGO.
• The U-T says “momentum” is swinging away from downtown as a site for a new stadium — moving a bus yard would be a major challenge — and toward Mission Valley: “Real estate experts, politicians and the public seem increasingly convinced that the 166-acre site is where the team should continue to play, either in a vastly refurbished Qualcomm or in a state-of-the-art, $1 billion-plus new facility next to it.”
• U-T politics guru Michael Smolens urges readers to “dispense with the notion that the mayor’s stadium task force is ‘independent.’”
Opinion: Neighbors Need Attorneys on Call
Rick Pyles and Roger Lewis, co-founders of Care About North Park, write in a VOSD commentary that it takes a legal punch to protect neighborhoods in San Diego: “If there’s a development project in your midst, make sure you’ve got a lawyer on speed dial.”
Quick News Hits: Cross-Border Bonding
• San Diego and Tijuana are bonding over drones. (Bloomberg News)
• NBC 7 reports on a cell phone video of San Diego metro transit security officers who seem to be standing by and doing nothing during a medical emergency in which a man bleeds severely due to an accident. “We’re strictly transit. We’re not…that’s off our property,” one says.
• A judge’s ruling could mean that thousands of immigrants who agreed to be sent to Mexico from Southern California will have a chance to come back. (Reuters)
• Ruben Navarette Jr., a columnist based in San Diego who used to write for the U-T, is sympathetic to anti-vaxxers and says “We can’t force parents to do something that they firmly believe will hurt their child. Not in this country.” (Actually, we can and we do: It’s not uncommon for courts to force children to receive medical care against their parents’ wishes.)
Some Things Never Change Dept.
A San Diego history flashback in the Reader sent me into an Internet wormhole the other day. I landed on a page with a transcription of content from the San Diego Herald in the 1850s: “San Diego has been unusually dull during the past week… There have been no births, no deaths, no arrivals, no departures, no earthquakes, nothing but the usual number of drinks taken and an occasional ‘small chunk of a fight’ (in which no lives have been lost) to vary the monotony of our existence.”
About 65 years later, circa 1920, a writer sighed: “Oh for such candor in the wearisome booster press of our own time.”
Just another sign that San Diego snark didn’t start with the Morning Report.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Please contact him directly at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.