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As insurance companies raise rates to cope with growing wildfire risk across California, many homeowners are likely to be caught off guard by higher rates.
It may not need to be this way. Ry Rivard explores the state’s insurance regulations and how public notifications required by law doesn’t actually result in the public being notified of proposed rate changes. Insurance companies are exploiting a loophole to avoid public hearings about high rate increases.
For instance, if an insurer asks for more than a 7 percent increase, the public can force the state’s elected insurance commissioner to hold a public hearing.
In the past two years, more than two dozen home insurance companies requested a rate increase of 6.9 percent.
“When the voters passed Proposition 103, they expected there to be a lot of hearings, and there aren’t,” said Harvey Rosenfield, the author of Proposition 103.
Even the 6.9 percent requests mask the true effect of rate increases on homeowners. That’s because insurers are using the average rate hike across the entire company. One company that requested such an increase is actually looking to double rates on more than 5,000 homeowners.
Another Big Balboa Park Project
There’s another plan to clear (some) cars out of a longtime parking lot in Balboa Park.
The city plans to transform what’s now an asphalt parking lot in front of the San Diego Air & Space Museum into a paved public space complete with landscaping and public seating a la the more bustling Plaza de Panama.
At a Balboa Park Committee meeting last week, Park and Recreation officials said the city will use $1.2 million of roughly $9 million that had been set to help bankroll the now-defunct Plaza de Panama project to pay for the Palisades area makeover. They hope to finish the project within the next six months.
Officials said last week that the project will result in the loss of 144 parking spaces in the area but that they plan to add 114 additional spots in two other parking lots.
While new to many current park stakeholders, the plan to remove parking and restore what had been a public space back during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition is set out in the city’s master and precise plans for the park that were approved by the City Council about three decades ago.
- Assemblywoman Marie Waldron wants to ensure freeway expansions in more suburban and rural parts of San Diego County are at the front of the line for remaining TransNet funds. Her office is exploring legislation that could require a vote of the people if SANDAG wants to deemphasize roads in favor of public transit projects. Tax revenues are falling at least $10 billion short of the funding needed to build everything promised in 2004.
- With much help from political consultant Mason Herron of Edgewater Strategies, we put together a guide to show how much money each candidate has to work with in the major city and county races so far. There were some surprises.
Gómez Has a Warning for Faulconer
San Diego City Council President Georgette Gomez’s proposal to require developers to build more affordable housing or pay a larger fee was narrowly approved. But Mayor Kevin Faulconer could still squash it.
In a podcast interview, Gomez told Scott Lewis that if the mayor vetoes her new inclusionary housing ordinance, some of his own efforts might be in jeopardy.
“I’ve been a good ally and he’s been a good ally,” she said. “He’s been very supportive of the work I’ve been doing around transit and I’m appreciative of that. But this is important. So if this were to go down I would engage differently.”
Faulconer has created a broad coalition of supporters to help campaign for a tax increase that would fund a convention center expansion as well as homeless services and more.
Gomez also declined to say which of the two leading mayoral candidates she plans to support.
In Other News
- Four Democratic Party presidential contenders will speak downtown Monday at a conference organized by the Latino civil rights group UnidosUS. The U-T reports that the conference’s drawing power is one of many signs that Latinos’ political influence is growing.
- A Little League baseball team in Tijuana that has produced professional players was among the favorites to represent Mexico at the next Little League World Series. But the team was disqualified because three of its players attend schools in the United States, which violates international rules. (Union-Tribune)
- The Encinitas bluff collapse that killed three people on Friday is part of a larger danger along California’s coast. (Los Angeles Times)
- Hundreds of supporters came out Sunday to rally in support of protected bike lanes on 30th Street in South Park and North Park.
The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.