Big, Possibly Temporary, Win for Single Family Homeowners

Today, San Diego Planning Commission unanimously approved Housing Action Package 2.0, which further eases development and redevelopment of properties to increase population density (real intention versus stated objective of creating more affordable housing).

But, the most controversial portion, which had garnered protests for and against, stalled: California State Bill No. 10, which became law last year. Localities choose whether to adopt the provision, which would essentially enable eradicating portions of single-family neighborhoods for the construction of up to 10-unit residences on as little as a single lot. Location must be in a “transit-rich area”, which is a bit misleading. According to the bill, that “means a parcel within one-half mile of a major transit stop” (e.g., city bus).

For months, I have seen signs against SB-10 pop up on lawns all around my neighborhood of University Heights. They all look the same, except for the handmade one that dominates the Featured Image. I used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra on July 25, 2023. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 160, 1/120 sec, 23mm (film equivalent); 7:56 p.m. PDT.

Protesters against SB-10—and they were many during today’s marathon, six-hour planning commission meeting—can claim only so much victory. So-called Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) construction will continue in (mostly) back yards of single-family homes. San Diego even offers a “bonus program” that “allows additional ADUs to be built on a property after the owner has maximized the number of ADUs allowed by right”.

Meanwhile, the package voted on today, and headed for city council approval, means more congestion in neighborhoods where implemented. Developments would no longer be required to provide parking, if within a half-mile of public-transit (again, typically a bus stop). San Diego also will provide incentives for off-campus housing and so-called hotels with single-occupancy rooms.

My question: Where is the broader infrastructure, including water and sewer systems, to support packing more people into neighborhoods with homes built for single families or converted to apartments decades ago?