San Diego City Council Advances Housing and Business Development Despite Democratic Opposition

The San Diego City Council recently decided on multiple ordinances intended to increase housing and business development. It’s certainly no secret that California is one of the most expensive places to live, and our City Council knows it. 

 After receiving multiple proposals for constructing housing development in areas walled off by slow and costly discretionary permission, the City Council proposed a new mixed-use zoning category. The final decision to add a mixed-use development category to the City’s municipal code, the Balboa Avenue Station Area Specific Plan, and the Morena Corridor Specific Plan, was unanimously made in hopes of allocating space for housing development.

The plan aims to take advantage of the established $2.17 billion extension of the Mid Coast Blue Trolley Line, as the zones are located in key transit areas within a half-mile of existing or planned transit stops. 

It took a more divisive vote—that is, 6-3—to approve a new development near state route 54. The Torrey Highlands development, dubbed “The Preserve,” will be an office-based complex with the additional bonuses of a fitness center and cafe, as well as the luxury of 1,088 parking spaces in a new structure. Moreover, each building comes equipped with its own 70-80 subterranean parking spaces. The campus also incorporates 90 short-term bike ranks and 90 long-term bike lockers for the many avid bikers in Del Mar.

However, some City Council members have opposed the development of The Preserve at Torrey Highlands. Councilwomen Barbara Bry, Georgette Gomez, and Monica Montgomery argue that the proximity to the Del Mar Mesa preserve is too close for their comfort. They suggest that the new development hinders the progress of the City’s Climate Action Plan goals. 

Though divisive on many issues, it’s great that our representatives on the City Council are happy to work together to create a better housing situation for citizens. While the three aforementioned Democratic councilwomen nearly stood in the way of productive bipartisanship, the other members of the Council were able to agree on crucial housing and business development that will assist our growing community.