The Morning Report
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Some North Park residents are riled after a meeting this week where the city laid out a new vision for how that already dense neighborhood is going to continue to grow. After planners went back to the drawing board, the proposal now calls for even more density in order to reach the city’s big climate goals, and it got a vote of support from the community’s planning group.
But Andrew Keatts reports those opposed to the plan are raising a bevy of issues. “Some residents are angry that the plan is increasing density at all,” Keatts writes. Indeed, one resident pointed out how if only they would stop building things in his neighborhood, home values would rise, and his fellow residents would be enriched. It’s a refreshingly honest argument, Liam Dillon noted.
The disagreement may underscore how fraught San Diego’s path to implementing an ambitious climate plan could be. Other issues abound as well, such as the number of approvals developers must get prior to building certain projects with higher density. “Some developers … will simply choose not to enter into a time-consuming, uncertain and political process,” Keatts reports.
The Learning Curve: A Job Few Want
While schools trustee Marne Foster is under investigation, it seems likely no one will oppose her when the election comes around. This possibility got Mario Koran thinking about why so many people fret about schools, yet care so little about the board elected to run those schools. “Hey, I’m not judging you. But it’s my job to figure out what’s missing,” Koran writes in the latest Learning Curve.
Turns out, the competition for those board seats isn’t always hot. Making a bid for a little school board seat is a huge undertaking. Potential board members are forced to make it through two elections, one focused on their own sub-district and then one city-wide election. That’s expensive. The job only pays about $18,000 per year, which means candidates will probably need backers with big money. This “technically non-partisan race,” Koran writes, “gets partisan very quickly.”
Homeless Charities Pivot: San Diego Explained
If you’re in the business of serving the homeless, you have to know by now that the game is changing. A tectonic shift has occurred in the way effective solutions to homelessness are delivered; no longer is the focus on “transitional housing” where homeless are hoteled in temporary structures for months or years. The push is on to provide permanent housing to the homeless earlier during intervention, and that means programs serving the homeless are scrambling to adjust. Lisa Halverstadt and NBC’s Monica Dean look into how San Diego’s homeless institutions are keeping up in our most recent San Diego Explained.
FBI to Attend All Police Shooting Meetings
One big change is coming to San Diego law enforcement agencies this year, and it could spark change nationwide. Representatives from the FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office will sit in on briefings that are required whenever a San Diego police officer is involved in the shooting of a civilian. Typically, the police department reviews such incidents only with the district attorney’s office. Though no formal agreement yet exists between local and federal parties, “federal agencies are already attending the briefings,” reports the Union-Tribune.
One police chief told KPBS that increased federal involvement was “the next logical step in transparency.”
The change came about as the result of discussions after the shooting of Fridoon Nehad, which we covered extensively.
• If you’re headed into San Diego Superior Court, a controversial new form may ask you to surrender those pesky constitutional rights you have. (NBC 7)
• Let’s get some more community gardens up in here! (Union-Tribune)
• USA Today is digging our new airport artwork.
• A new report from Penn State reports on the use of Airbnb to operate illegal hotels in cities like San Diego. (NBC Los Angeles)
• Del Mar is about to get its first brewery tasting room with a restaurant. (Coast News)
• We’re getting more rain and snow this year but not yet enough to make a dent in the drought, according to KPBS’s drought tracker.
• Mission Hills had its very last utility pole removed on Thursday, NBC 7 reports. Undergrounding of utility lines across the city continues.
• CityLab thinks the odd rolling barriers proposed to keep smelly sea lions off the rocks in La Jolla will almost certainly be approved and installed.
The Secret Is Out
Frustrated mountain bikers had their bikes confiscated by the military for riding on restricted land this past weekend, NBC 7 reports. Now that their fun is over, the cyclists are pining for new legal biking trails in the Mission Trails Park area. That means city government would have to cut red tape and act. And that is, of course, where Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s expensive plan to fast-track the approval of an environmental impact report for a new Chargers stadium comes in handy.
“If the stadium can get an EIR approved within six months, don’t you think the city … could get a (biking) trail on the ground within six months?” wondered one cyclist.
Seth Hall is a local writer and technologist. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @loteck.