Three Board of Supervisors candidates are running to represent coastal North County. None of them are openly pro-development — because they can’t win that way.
“You would have to be a complete idiot to be openly pro-development,” said Pam Slater-Price, who represented the district for 20 years as a Republican wary of new development.
Dave Roberts, the incumbent Democrat from Solana Beach, supports strict development and environmental standards. His opponents, two Republican mayors, Kristin Gaspar from Encinitas and Sam Abed from Escondido, likewise say new housing needs to go in already-developed areas near transportation options.
As projects make their way to the supervisors for approval, the composition of the five-member board could determine those developments’ fates.
Our Maya Srikrishnan breaks down what that might mean.
Roberts, who has represented the district for four years, said it’s crucial to follow existing county guidelines that limit growth to areas where development and public transit already exist.
Gaspar’s preached for development in certain locations only, she’s also argued that it’s essential the county makes it cheaper and easier to build in those locations, to make housing cheaper.
Abed has overseen a surge in development in Escondido during his mayoral tenure. He said there are 25 significant residential and commercial projects proposed or under construction, worth almost $1 billion and including 1,800 new housing units.
Downtown Bike Plan Released
The city of San Diego recently released a draft of its downtown “mobility plan.” It outlines a future with 9.3 miles of protected bike plans and 5.5 miles of pedestrian greenways in the city core, according to Next City. The plan sets up a fight over parking, some 731 spots. The city is accepting public comments until March 11.
• The city’s bike-rental network run by the company DecoBike is struggling, the U-T reports.
More Coffee Talk
Our Kinsee Morlan, who recently wrote about San Diego’s craft coffee scene, went on the radio to talk more about it. “We’re still not anywhere close to where, maybe Portland is, but we’re getting there,” she said on KPBS Midday Edition. “Next comes more consumers who are interested in it.”
Times Backs Atkins’ Coastal Commission Bill
The Los Angeles Times threw its support behind Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins’ bill to require Coastal Commissioner lobbyists to disclose their doings, which we reported on last week. “At the time they were adopted, the Coastal Commission’s ex parte disclosure rules were considered sufficient to establish a record of communications related to a specific proposal before the board,” the Times editorialized. “But time has proven the system to be woefully inadequate.”
Under the Sea
A new study shows that mainly because of climate change, sea levels are rising faster than they have in 2,800 years. Last month, we reported on how some of the flooding we’ve begun to see in San Diego may only be a small hint of what’s to come. One of the co-authors of the new study, Harvard geophysics professor Jerry Mitrovica, gave an interview recently that talked about how the effects of gravity will cause sea levels to rise far away from the melting ice. Right now, the gravity field caused by the large ice sheets draws water toward the ice; when those sheets have melted away, the water will move away from where the sheets used to be, prompting sea levels rises far from where you might think. “The farther you get away from Greenland, the greater the price you pay,” Mitrovica told the science magazine Nautilus. “If the Greenland ice sheet melts, sea level in most of the Southern Hemisphere will increase about 30 percent more than the global average. So this is no small effect.”
• Media maven Ken Doctor broke the news late Monday that the owner of the Union-Tribune, Tribune Publishing, just sacked its CEO, Jack Griffin. It appears the new chairman of the company, who made a major investment that Griffin intended to use to purchase the Orange County Register, shocked Griffin by first ousting him. Griffin gained notoriety for firing the U-T and LA Times publisher Austin Beutner and later appearing somewhat clueless about the future of news.
• NBC 7 San Diego has alarming details of a Nevada mental hospital that sent homeless patients to San Diego even with no connections to the area.
• The Union Tribune editorializes that the public has the right to know what’s going on with the departure of three top Poway Unified School District administrators.