A California housing law that would permit the city to build housing units in “transit-rich areas” sparked a wave of protests over the weekend. San Diego homeowners took to the streets to voice their concerns over the new law that could unfairly target them.
How the New Law Impacts Local Homeowners
In 2021, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 10 in an effort to increase the availability of affordable housing by providing more development options to local governments.
Under the new law, cities can create ordinances permitting the construction of up to 10 housing units in major transit areas. It allows cities to override certain zoning laws put in place to ensure that the community remains a desirable place to live in.
This could spell disaster for local residents, especially homeowners who moved to the area to avoid the heavy traffic and congested streets found in other parts of the city.
Nancy Beck, a local University City realtor, tells CBS 8 that the move could have devastating consequences for the community. “It will be irreversible, and it will impact the neighborhood that people move here for. They move here from higher density areas to be in a family setting.”
Furthermore, existing infrastructure — i.e. schools, hospitals, and public transportation systems — might be burdened by the increase in new residents. And as a result, California homeowners could experience overcrowding, longer wait times and decreased quality of services.
Protestors Divided on the Issue
Over the weekend, protesters on either side of the argument took to the streets to campaign for their cause. College student Nicole Lilly argues that the new developments could help mitigate the growing housing crisis. “We are going through a housing shortage here in San Diego. We don’t have enough housing.”
Still, homeowners contested the new ruling, pouring into University City on Saturday. In a statement to FOX 5, San Diego real estate agent Gary Kent explained his stance. “People bought homes with the understanding that ‘I am paying more to live in this neighborhood, so I can have a quieter neighborhood’ … The city and state are saying just forget all that.”
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