Homes in Encinitas / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

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State Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a warning to Encinitas last week after the City Council rejected Encinitas Boulevard Apartments, a 277-unit housing project that included 41 units for low-income residents.

Bonta sent a letter to Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear, saying the disapproval violated state law, meaning the project met the necessary standards to be approved, but the city turned it down anyway. The city also violated its obligation to create more fair housing, the letter said, as it effectively blocked the creation of lower income housing units.

This isn’t the first time the city has caught the attention of state officials. A few years ago, Encinitas was in hot water over its failure to complete its Housing Element, a plan cities submit to the state identifying sites for housing production of all income levels.

In 2020, Encinitas also tried to exempt itself from the state density bonus law, which provides incentives for private developers to create affordable housing. 

The developer of Encinitas Boulevard Apartments now intends to submit a revised project proposal, which is expected to include even more affordable housing. The Attorney General’s office urged the city to approve the revised proposal.

“If the city fails to do so, the Attorney General is prepared to take immediate steps to hold the city accountable,” Deputy Attorney General Matthew Struhar wrote on behalf of Bonta.

Read more about the state’s warning in Tigist Layne’s latest North County Report.

How Vulnerable Is San Diego to Nuclear Attack? 

In a startling story of what-if’s, contributor Randy Dotinga explores the possibility of nuclear attack in San Diego and the repercussions such a catastrophic event might bring.  

The good news: San Diego is not nearly as likely to be targeted in a nuclear strike as Hollywood and literature have led us to believe, experts say. 

San Diego is the biggest military town in the United States and a major port for the U.S. Pacific Fleet. But it seems likely that command centers on the East Coast and missile silos in the Midwest would be struck first, Dotinga reports. That’s because debilitating those areas first would stop the United States’ ability to even wage nuclear war. 

A less comforting thought: What warning systems San Diego has might not be effective if a nuclear holocaust were to get underway. The error-prone nature of these systems was exemplified in Hawaii in 2018, when a false alarm for a missile attack was issued across the state. Missiles also move much more quickly than they did when nuclear warning systems were put in place during the Cold War. 

Read more here.

Bob Nelson, Former Port Commissioner, Dies at 70

Bob Nelson, the former Port Commissioner and longtime Southern California public relations professional, died at his home this weekend. He was 70 years old.

As news of his passing spread, his friends and colleagues commemorated him as a loyal ally, patient mentor, visionary leader and a man with a kind heart and brilliant mind.

After beginning his career as a Republican consultant in Orange County, Nelson led a “Republicans for Clinton” group in 1992 before he became a Democrat, according to a profile by his close friend, Shawn VanDiver. He went on to serve as the chairman of the San Diego Convention Center and the San Diego LGBT Center and in 2017 resigned from his role on the Unified Port of San Diego’s board to help pass a ballot measure to expand the Convention Center.

Nelson was an early supporter of Voice of San Diego, donating shortly after our launch in 2006. We’ll join the many people in town who remember him for his giant laughs, generous spirit, and commitment to San Diego.

In Other News

  • KPBS reports that state lawmakers are racing to extend emergency statewide eviction protections but renters need to apply by Thursday to be eligible. On the local level, San Diego City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera’s proposal for a residential “no-fault” eviction moratorium will come up for discussion Monday. 
  • The city of San Diego has tapped Charles Modica to replace Independent Budget Analyst Andrea Tevlin, who retired in November. The office helps check the mayor’s power analyzing city finances and legislation. (Union-Tribune)
  • The U-T also reports that a San Diego Superior Court judge is weighing a request to void a contract at the San Diego County Fair in the face of bid rigging allegations.
  • As more attention turns to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, advocates worry the people who worked with Americans during the Afghanistan War may be forgotten. The Biden administration is expected in the meantime to end asylum limits at the U.S.-Mexico border. (KPBS/AP) 
  • Contract negotiations were supposed to resume Wednesday in hopes of avoiding a walkout by thousands of Southern California grocery workers who’ve already authorized their union to call a strike. (City News Service) 

This Morning Report was written by Will Huntsberry, Jesse Marx, Tigist Layne and Andrew Keatts. It was edited by Megan Wood.

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