The Morning Report
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Water shutoffs in Tijuana are so common for the city’s residents, that preparation and water conservation has become second nature. But lately, residents are saying that these shut offs are more frequent and last longer.
With the Tijuana River plagued with pollution and residents’ personal conservation efforts doing little to alleviate the problem, residents are wondering when the city’s leaders will come up with a long-term solution to what residents are calling a water crisis.
In San Diego, two-thirds of the water supply comes from the same source that Tijuana residents depend on, yet San Diego has so much water that water agencies have called the region “drought-proof.”
But water security comes with a price. The San Diego Water Authority says it will have to raise water costs beginning in 2023 and increasing thereafter.
The Short List for Sports Arena Is Back
The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Monday to throw out its committee’s recommendation that the council force staff to study all five teams that applied for the chance to redevelop the city’s nearly 50 acres of land in Midway. The list staff must study will go down to three.
And really, city staff clarified that this is now the top bidder’s deal to lose. Midway Rising, the partnership led by Chelsea Investment Corp. and the developer Zephyr, promised the most affordable housing units and must be prioritized by the city, the Council decided. Two others: HomeTownSD and Midway Village+ will also be studied in depth by city staff and a consultant the city is hiring. If Midway Rising is not able to deliver or other flaws are found, the city will go down the list respectively.
The two bidding teams that did not promise to build a wholly new arena on the land were dropped, one explicitly because city staff decided it didn’t have the experience necessary to build a new arena. That bid, Neighborhood Next, promised the most total housing. The other because it did not provide enough housing.
San Diego Seeks to Snub Out Wood-Burning Beach Fires
Last year, Environment Reporter MacKenzie Elmer wrote about her beach bonfire, contained in a raised metal ring, that was doused by a San Diego lifeguard.
Then her point was that San Diego city code wasn’t clear about the rules. Bonfires were restricted to city-constructed concrete fire rings. But they were also allowed in a “portable barbecue device.”
That allowance for a barbecue opens some ambiguity in the code, she argued.
This Thursday, the City Council’s Environment Committee will look at striking barbecue devices from the beach fire code altogether, substituting propane-powered fire pits as permissible instead.
There’s another issue, though. City fire pits have been dwindling in the past decades, struck from government budgets during tight financial times. Will the city, in exchange, build more? That doesn’t seem to be on the table.
In Other News
- San Diego’s new eviction moratorium went into effect Sunday, preventing landlords from evicting tenants for “no fault” reasons. Under the moratorium, landlords must provide a 90-day notice if they or their family member want to move into the unit; and a six-month notice is required if a landlord wants to take the property off the rental market. The moratorium is set to expire in September or 60 days after the pandemic state of emergency ends, whichever comes first. (CBS 8)
- Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday warned that if water conservation efforts don’t significantly improve this summer, the state could start imposing mandatory water restrictions statewide. Water use statewide increased by nearly 19 percent during March, according to the State Water Resources Control Board, and statewide cumulative water savings since July have amounted to just 3.7 percent, compared with a 2020 baseline. (Union-Tribune)
- A former employee of the San Diego County Clerk’s office pleaded guilty on Friday to unlawfully recommending his wife’s company to be hired for county projects. Rolf Bishop was charged with violating a government code that prohibits county employees from having any financial interests in official county contracts made by them. The couple may have made hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit, prosecutors allege. (ABC 10)
This Morning Report was written by Tigist Layne, Scott Lewis and MacKenzie Elmer. It was edited by Megan Wood.