Downtown Chula Vista / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

These were the most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week of Dec. 8-15.

1. Some Homebuyers Back Out of Chula Vista Development Following Methane Discovery

A few homebuyers in the 950-home Village of Escaya development in eastern Chula Vista have backed out of their deals following the discovery of methane and other gases in the soil. Others hoping to move into their new homes by Christmas might not have running water. (Ry Rivard)

2. More Students Describe Unwanted Touching From La Jolla High Teacher

Two more former students of a former La Jolla High teacher accused of groping female students have come forward to say his behavior in the classroom made them uncomfortable, and that they felt at a loss as to how to respond. (Ashly McGlone)

3. County Officials Set to Consider Allowing Nearly 6,000 New Homes in High Wildfire Risk Areas

County leaders may soon decide whether to let developers move forward with several projects that would be located in areas of extreme wildfire danger. (Maya Srikrishnan)

4. Alvarez Flips, Torpedoes Council Decision on Vacation Rentals

San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez had joined three colleagues to support a permissive regulation structure for short-term vacation rentals. But as the decision headed toward a vote, he backed off. He later explained that he’d listened to residents’ feedback. But he also declined to support an alternative plan. (Lisa Halverstadt)

5. The Learning Curve: Eight of the State’s Most Segregated Schools Are in San Diego

Eight schools in San Diego Unified make the list of the most racially segregated schools in the state. But there hasn’t exactly been a critical mass of parents pushing for more integrated schools. More often, parents who aren’t happy with their assigned neighborhood schools speak with their feet. (Mario Koran)

6. Everything You Need to Know About the Big Vacation Rental Vote

After years of wanting action, it appears many vacation rental opponents would be greatly relieved if the City Council would punt the issue once again. The Council is set to decide on Tuesday whether to permit and regulate vacation rentals, severely restrict them or drag the issue out once again, leaving a meaningless ban on the books. (Scott Lewis)

7. Fresh Off Lost Chairmanship and Vacation Rental Debacle, Sherman Unloads

City Councilman Scott Sherman, who this week lost his post as chair of the City Council’s land use committee, says unions are increasingly running the show at City Hall – and he’s not happy about it. (Lisa Halverstadt)

8. Long, Strange Marijuana Case Takes Another Turn in Pot Entrepreneur’s Favor

District Attorney Summer Stephan has agreed to return to medical marijuana pioneer James Slatic and his business, Med-West Distribution, $289,979 — plus $5,484 in interest — that authorities confiscated in a 2016 raid on his Kearny Mesa facility. So ends a nearly two-year case with sudden and suspenseful turns. (Jesse Marx)

9. Scenes From a Burned-Out Neighborhood

Photo albums and garden decorations are some of the few items left scattered amid charred rubble after the Lilac Fire engulfed several homes at the Rancho Monserate Country Club near Fallbrook. (Adriana Heldiz)

10. To Create Its SoccerCity Analysis, SANDAG Used a Loophole for the First and Last Time

SANDAG’s traffic analysis of SoccerCity was unusual for a few reasons. First, it created the analysis at the request of one the project’s opponents. And it maneuvered around a board policy that the agency shouldn’t review projects set to appear on the ballot. That policy has since been strengthened, meaning SANDAG might not analyze competing projects like SDSU West. (Andrew Keatts)

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