On July 29, the San Diego Network of Town Councils (SDNTC) held a webinar on state and local measures that are directed to the increase of housing by use of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs, or more commonly, “granny flats”). This was a well-balanced presentation during which ADU Coalition (aducoaltion.org) and Casita Coalition (casitacoalition.org) spoke in support of increase in affordable housing and Neighbors For A Better San Diego (neighborsforabettersandiego.org) offered the arguments in opposition.
In brief, state law overrides local zoning rules. It allows and encourages increase of population density in our single-family residential neighborhoods in order to obtain more housing.
The presentation by Neighbors For A Better San Diego showed us that the City of San Diego building codes allow and encourage substantially more density than is required by state law; that we can require the city to reduce its requirements to the lesser imposition demanded by the State; and that we can protect our neighborhoods by bringing our demands to our community/town councils and to the Navajo Community Planners, Inc.
Also on July 29, Kindra Hixon and Jen Ochoa of San Diego Canyonlands led the Friends of Navajo Canyon on a hike through the canyon. This family-friendly event was attended by 20 participants ranging in age from 10 to 73. The event traversed 2 miles of the trail with opportunities to observe and discuss the native plants of the chaparral and coastal sage scrub such as laurel sumac, lemonadeberry, sticky monkeyflower, chamice, and coastal live oak that are critical to the habitat of the birds, mammals, and reptiles that call San Diego home. The group encountered a wood rat’s nest, a red tailed hawk, Western fence lizards, and California quail along with other species.
To learn how to identity poison oak, to discover what is necessary to restore cactus and other native plants, and to keep up to date with what is going on in our canyon go to our website, then “Community Projects” and then “Friends of Navajo Canyon.” And for all of the activities of this wonderful organization, sdcanyonlands.org.
A substantial increase in our urban forestry is our best long-term defense to increasing heat and drought. During our July 27 town hall meeting we introduced the 500 Trees Allied Gardens East Tree Project. In the coming months, representatives of the project will be going from door to door seeing permission from the property owners to plant trees in the strip between the sidewalk and the curb (Google tells me that this is known as a “road verge”). This gift will be at no cost to you with only one condition — your agreement to keep them watered (maybe a little fertilizer from time to time would be nice).
They will also offer you trees for your front and back yards, but you will have to plant those yourself. The project is still under development. For up-to-date information and for a place to sign up in advance go to our website, then “Community Projects” and then “500 Trees – Allied Gardens East Tree Project.”
Our Sept. 28 town hall meeting will be directed to the new compostable materials recycling program that will be initiated in the near future. We will have more information for you soon.
On Saturday, July 10, several Allied Gardens homes participated in a community wide yard sale. It was organized by Melanie Talmadge through the Allied Gardens Residents Facebook Group. Many of our neighbors sold crafts and sent some no longer treasured household items to new use. Our thanks to Melanie. We hope that the Community Council can support her in future events.
Use the “Contact Us” page at aggccouncil.org to get on our email contact list to receive notices of r community activities and organizations. And, of greater importance, to let us know how we can help you support our neighborhood. Our next board meeting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 6:30 p.m. by Zoom. The public is encouraged to attend.
— Shain Haug, president of the Allied Gardens-Grantville Community Council