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Politics

Mayor Todd Gloria’s Housing Plan Rejected by San Diego City Council

In a significant setback, Mayor Gloria’s ambitious housing initiative faces overwhelming opposition in a marathon council session.

In a striking blow to Mayor Todd Gloria’s administration, the San Diego City Council decisively voted down his comprehensive Housing Action Package 2.0, marking a notable failure in his efforts to tackle the city’s housing crisis. The plan, which was a cornerstone of Mayor Gloria’s policy agenda, aimed to increase housing availability across various income levels but faced substantial resistance in a marathon seven-hour council meeting.

Central to the package were measures aimed at diversifying housing options, including incentives for off-campus student residences and accessible dwelling units for individuals with disabilities. Moreover, the plan proposed bold steps like waiving parking mandates for certain developments and rezoning to facilitate affordable housing.

The council meeting witnessed a deeply divided public opinion. Nicole Lillie, a UCSD student, highlighted the urgency of the crisis, recounting the plight of students forced to live in cramped spaces. In contrast, residents like Peggy Frye and Karen Ebner voiced concerns over the potential disruption to neighborhood character and the inadequacy of parking solutions.

A notable point of contention was the proposal to modify the Complete Communities program, allowing developers to build low-income housing separately from market-rate projects. Council president pro-tem Monica Montgomery-Steppe criticized this idea, while Sean Elo-Rivera’s amendment for proximity-based low-income housing construction failed to pass in a tie vote.

Council members expressed unease over the rushed nature of Elo-Rivera’s amendment, leading to a decisive 5-3 vote against the original housing package. The support from Councilmembers Stephen Whitburn, Marni von Wilpert, and Vivian Moreno was not enough to save the proposal.

Adding to the complexity, the city’s planning commission had previously recommended excluding the implementation of SB 10 – a law allowing up to 10 units on single-family plots – from the package, citing the need for further analysis.

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