The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
The North County Transit District is redeveloping some of its real estate properties into mobility hubs that officials say will change the future of public transit in North County.
The public transportation agency is redeveloping its land at several of its transit stations into mixed-use developments. The idea is to include apartments with market-rate and affordable units, office spaces, commercial spaces, a hotel and more.
The transit stations currently sit on acres of land owned by NCTD that serve as surface parking lots, but those lots often sit empty and underused. After redevelopment, access to transit will remain, but housing and other developments will replace the underused lots.
NCTD officials say the projects will create housing, increase ridership and ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The move coincides with a similar initiative by MTS, signifying a broader effort by public agencies to contribute to regional housing goals and climate action goals.
Newly Homeless San Diegans Eclipsed Newly Housed in October
October data from the Regional Task Force on Homelessness showed that the number of people who fell into homelessness for the first time in San Diego County last month was more than double the number who moved into homes.
As our Lisa Halverstadt wrote last month when the Task Force first released this monthly data for the first time, the mismatch is a reflection of the reality that local efforts to combat homelessness can’t keep up with the flood of people losing their homes.
Fletcher Testing the Senate Waters
Election results for 2022 still aren’t official, but the 2024 cycle appears to be underway.
County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, fresh off re-election to his second and final term, has opened a committee to run for state Senate in two years, for the seat that Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins is vacating due to term limits.
Fletcher confirmed to NBC 7’s Priya Sridhar that he’s considering a run. “I anticipate making a final decision and formal announcement soon,” he said.
Mission Bay Finally Has a New Playground
The city of San Diego unveiled this weekend a new $3.8 million playground and adult fitness center on Mission Bay, the Tecolote Shores North playground, 16 months after construction started, as the Union-Tribune reported.
Another portion of the project is expected to be finished in May. Together, those two projects and an adult fitness course near De Anza Cove cost $8.3 million, paid for out of the Mission Bay Park Improvements Fund, a special pot of city money that comes from commercial leases on Mission Bay, like hotels and marinas, and can be used only on improvements in and around the park.
Construction of the new playground was delayed for two months because the shade structure didn’t fit properly, city spokesman Tyler Becker wrote in an email. The city’s vendor had to create and ship new pieces to complete the project. Since August, the project has been substantially finished, but it remained closed to the public and behind a fence because of a 90-day inspection period for play equipment, Becker said.
In April of 2021, the city gave the contractor, Dick Miller, Inc., the go ahead to begin the project, but construction didn’t begin for nearly three months, because the California Coastal Commission needed to approve a waiver of the “summer moratorium,” which prohibits construction during the summer months.
In Other News
- San Diego drivers create nearly double the greenhouse gasses compared to Los Angeles drivers, a recent comparison of the cities’ climate action plans revealed. Even though San Diego has 1.3 million residents and Los Angeles has 3.8 million residents, San Diego vehicles generated 40 percent more greenhouse gas emissions. One explanation could be the different carbon accounting methods used by each city. (Union-Tribune)
- A discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the San Diego County Public Defender Office will be heading to the Superior Court in the coming months. Two former attorneys claim they were forced out of the County Public Defender Office after they complained about racist terminology being used by a supervisor. (KPBS)
- And in other lawsuit news, a former executive director of the San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center, an independent nonprofit run by the San Diego Foundation, recently settled a wrongful-termination against the two orgs and CEO Mark Stuart. The U-T reports that Shalini Vajjhala made several allegations including the misstating of funds and conflicts of interest.
- After the San Dieguito Union High School District board failed to approve a new interim associate superintendent of business services, Interim Superintendent Tina Douglas, resigned in order to return to her prior position as the associate superintendent of business services. Douglas started serving as the interim superintendent after the district terminated the previous superintendent, Cheryl James-Ward. (Union-Tribune)
The Morning Report was written by Tigist Layne, Lisa Halverstadt and Andrew Keatts. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.