A rendering of the proposed Seaside Ridge development in Del Mar / Courtesy of Seaside Ridge

The developer of a proposed housing project on a Del Mar ocean bluff is one of a handful in the state attempting to use California’s housing laws to force cities to approve housing projects. 

The proposed Seaside Ridge project would include 42 low-income units, 43 moderate-income units and 174 market-rate units. The developers say their project would help Del Mar reach its state-mandated affordable housing goals. 

But the coastal city is not stoked. The city hasn’t been on board since the project was introduced last fall. Still, the developers say the city doesn’t really have a say in the matter because of some state laws. 

Tigist Layne breaks down what strategy the developer is using, and how if Del Mar continues to push back, the dispute could play out in court. 

Read the full story here.

Homeless Man Beaten in Video Also Attacked Shop Owner

A viral video on Twitter surfaced recently, showing a man repeatedly slamming a man who appeared to be homeless onto the sidewalk – but a shop owner involved in the incident said that was only half the story. 

The owner of Ibis Market in Mission Hills, who declined to give his full name, said the man tried to pocket a bag of chips. The owner approached him and the homeless man punched him in the face and pushed him to the ground, the owner said. 

The man still had a cut on his face and showed a Voice of San Diego reporter pictures of cuts on his hands and face taken directly after the incident – which occurred April 23. 

Bystanders immediately started to gather, the shop owner said. That’s where the viral video picks up. 

People can be heard telling the homeless man to leave, but he tries to enter the market. A large man with long hair steps out of the crowd and says, “You want some?”

The two men circle each other for a moment, but the homeless man, who is much smaller, quickly starts to retreat and then run. The larger man gives chase. He catches the man and forcefully kicks him into a fence. 

People begin to yell for the man to stop. They wonder why the police haven’t arrived. (The shop owner said it took police 10 or 15 minutes to arrive.)

The larger man hovers violently over the homeless man. The homeless man tries to get up to run but the larger man begins to violently slam him into the sidewalk. His head repeatedly hits the concrete. Police arrive soon after and the larger man walks off before they pull up. 

The video shows police handcuffing the homeless man. 

The homeless man was issued a theft citation, a police spokesman said. The shop owner said he wanted to press charges and did, but police declined to arrest the homeless man in the end. It’s unclear whether police pursued the larger man in the wake of the incident. Since the release of the video, however, they have begun trying to locate the man. They have released a bulletin seeking to identify the man. And officers showed up looking for him, as well, the shop owner said.

The Mayor’s Shift on Safe Camping

Lot O has multiple lots and is located behind the Naval Medical Center in Balboa Park on May 8, 2023. Mayor Todd Gloria believes the lots could temporarily house as many as 400 people.
Lot O has multiple lots and is located behind the Naval Medical Center in Balboa Park on May 8, 2023. Mayor Todd Gloria believes the lots could temporarily house as many as 400 people. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Mayor Todd Gloria on Monday announced a plan to open two safe campsites at the edge of Balboa Park.

He hasn’t always been a fan of this model.

Back in 2021, a downtown business group started lobbying the city to set up sanctioned campgrounds on city properties including the maintenance yard at 20th and B streets that hosted one in 2017. Gloria noted at the time that after-action reviews of the 2017 project showed it was “not particularly successful or (a) national best practice.”

By early 2022, Gloria still wasn’t thrilled with the safe campground concept but seemed willing to consider it out of exasperation with the city’s homelessness crisis. He essentially dared the Downtown San Diego Partnership to deliver a specific, actionable proposal. Months later, the mayor agreed to include $200,000 in the city’s budget to back a safe camping pilot for seniors. But as the plan to open one downtown stalled in late 2022, Gloria’s office continued to flag concerns about the concept. The plan ultimately fell apart.

Now Gloria has directed city staff to prepare safe campsites. He acknowledged he’s pivoted on the concept.

“I’ve had reservations about a safe sleeping approach,” Gloria told our Lisa Halverstadt. “But much like I’m asking unsheltered individuals to avail themselves of the options that are provided, I have to hold myself to the same level, and say OK, this is not ideal, but it’s better than what’s out there and we have the ability to move and make this possible and we’re gonna do that.”

Gloria now hopes the city yard at 20th and B streets will again welcome unhoused residents in July and that lots south of the Naval Medical Center will become a safe campsite this fall.

Read about the safe campsite proposal here. 

Why Maienschein Essentially Voted to Kill His Own Bill

Assemblyman Brian Maienschein took an awkward vote Monday to bat back Assembly Republicans’ efforts to fast-track a slate of bills meant to crack down on fentanyl dealers, including his own. His office said he’s now focused on reviving his bill aiming to increase penalties for fentanyl sales that lead to death or significant injuries next session.

Here’s how Maienschein’s office explained his no vote to Voice of San Diego: “Republicans made a motion on the Assembly Floor yesterday without consulting any Democratic colleagues, including Assemblymember Maienschein or our office. Assemblymember Maienschein’s vote was in response to a motion to suspend the rules of the Assembly, which was improper under the circumstances. No Democrat supported the motion to suspend the rules.”

In Other News 

The Morning Report was written by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, Will Huntsberry, Lisa Halverstadt and Jesse Marx.

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