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As homelessness has surged throughout the city, Mayor Todd Gloria and downtown City Councilman Stephen Whitburn have been among those feeling the most heat from exasperated residents and business owners.
The two responded Thursday with a series of announcements including an ordinance Whitburn plans to propose next month banning camping on public property when shelter options are available – and in certain areas including in certain parks and near schools at all times. Gloria also revealed that the city will soon resume enforcing its vehicle habitation ban and pursue a safe campground program that Whitburn has championed.
And, our Lisa Halverstadt reports, Gloria says he’s working on a 2024 homelessness-related ballot measure.
Not the only one: It turns out Gloria’s predecessor Kevin Faulconer, who has been rumored to be considering another mayoral run, is also working on a homelessness-related ballot measure.
Halverstadt unpacks the details on all of the above – and the complications the city faces – looking ahead.
Another Former Mayor’s Take — This Time on Housing
State Senator Catherine Blakespear (D-38), formerly the mayor of Encinitas, tweeted yesterday that Encinitas has gotten its act together when it comes to housing laws.
Some Background: Encinitas has a long history of pushing back against affordable housing laws and new development altogether.
In 2019, it was one of a group of Southern California cities that were deemed “out of compliance” with state law when it comes to creating new housing for low-income residents by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
In 2020, it tried to exempt itself from the state density bonus law, which provides incentives for private developers to create affordable housing.
The city has repeatedly tried to get around this law over the years by creating policies that would make it harder for developers to use it, resulting in multiple lawsuits.
Last year, Encinitas received a firm warning from State Attorney General Rob Bonta after the City Council rejected a housing project that would have created 41 lower income housing units. The city ultimately approved a revised version of the project, called Encinitas Boulevard Apartments, after Bonta’s warning.
Blakespear tweeted that Encinitas has since “zoned for housing for all income levels and ended the lawsuits.” But Encinitas still has a lot of work to do to create more affordable housing, especially because the city’s median home price was $1.67 million last year, more than double the median price statewide.
More on housing: Newsom also said he will provide 1,200 tiny homes to jurisdictions across the state — including 500 in Los Angeles, 150 in San Diego County, 200 in San Jose and 350 in Sacramento — to be used as a temporary housing option for people immediately leaving the streets. He has tapped the National Guard to help deliver the units.
In Other News
- The city of San Diego says it’s prepared to sue its private ambulance provider after troubled negotiations over the city’s takeover of billing and ambulance staffing. Falck took over ambulance services in November of 2021 and recently faced $1.2 million in fines for failing to meet response time goals. (Union-Tribune)
- A third-party accessed patient data at University of California-San Diego Health and transmitted the information to other companies. Affected patients will be notified of the breach via mail. (KPBS)
- Mayor Todd Gloria wants to build a new city hall in a skyscraper and put five city blocks up for private development. (Union-Tribune)
- Most of Poway Unified’s school buildings are in such disrepair the district will soon declare them “failed.” (NBC 7)
- Part of a coastal bluff supporting a parking lot collapsed in Encinitas. (CBS 8)
- San Diego County spent nearly $1 million so far settling lawsuits against a sheriff’s deputy charged with 14 counts of making sexual contact and sexually harassing numerous women while on duty. (CBS 8)
The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, Tigist Layne and MacKenzie Elmer. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.
The headline could also read: “Mayor vows equal enforcement of laws for everyone”
Re: The item on the mayor’s and Whitburn’s latest proposal on homelessness.
When state and local politicians upzone property to enrich landowners and allow added density, they encourage developers to buy up the property, evict tenants from existing affordable housing, bulldoze it, then build new “market rate” high end apartments and condos. In the meantime, many of those evicted tenants end up living on the streets, or our canyons and riverbeds.
Then the politicians wring their hands and ask “Where did all these homeless people come from? We must do something” They first need to look in the mirror. Homeless people don’t cause homelessness, city hall politicians do.
Voters need to remember that.
Many thanks for housing the homeless always which included children in low cost housing which has been developed and allowing them to have food continually and entirely. I know you will be richly bless within 2 weeks. From Heather
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