Chollas Triangle Park closer to fruition
Residents of El Cerrito have wanted a neighborhood park for years and it looks like they may finally get one with the Chollas Triangle Park.
City staff members are finishing a preliminary engineering report for the proposed park (available at bit.ly/3iCv9pM) and will soon initiate the process of procuring a consultant for the General Development Plan. The GDP process is expected to be completed in 12 to 18 months.
A component of the GDP includes public outreach, however, the department will have to take into account COVID-19 health and safety measures and is still reviewing how to proceed.
Finally, the preliminary review the street vacation could occur parallel to the design process and could start at the end of the GDP.
The cost estimate for the park is $6 million.
Navajo Planers seek board member
The Navajo Community Planners, Inc. (NCPI) is soliciting nominations to fill one vacancy in the Allied Gardens membership on the NCPI Board of Directors. The incumbent members are Marilyn Reed, Steve Dahms, and Shain Haug. The vacancy arose with the resignation of the fourth Allied Gardens member.
NCPI is formed and recognized by the City Council to make recommendations to the city on land use matters — specifically concerning the preparation of, adoption of, implementation of, or amendment to, the General Plan or a land use plan when a plan relates to the NCPI community of Allied Gardens, Grantville, Del Cerro, and San Carlos.
The NCPI consists of 16 elected members; four each from Allied Gardens, Del Cerro, Grantville and San Carlos to represent the Navajo communities.
Planning group members shall be elected by and from all eligible members of the community. To be an eligible community member, an individual must be at least 18 years of age, and shall be affiliated with the community as a property owner, who is an individual identified as the sole or partial owner of record, or their designee, of a real property (either developed or undeveloped), within the community planning area; or resident, who is an individual whose primary address of residence is an address in the community planning area; or local businessperson, who is a local business or not-for-profit owner, operator, or designee at a non-residential real property address in the community planning area; only one representative of a particular establishment may hold a seat on the NCPI at one time. The bylaws require nominees for the Board to have attended at least one meeting in the prior year.
In addition to land use planning, NCPI originates and endorses the local use of Development Impact Funds, the funds that are derived from property developments in the area, for public amenities such as libraries.
The application for membership can be found at bit.ly/3gqq4Aj.
Council passes tiny home ordinance
On July 21, the City Council unanimously approved an amendment to the Land Development Code to add Moveable Tiny Houses to the ordinance for Companion Units and Junior Units as a separately regulated use. Movable Tiny Homes provide a lower-cost option that provides flexible housing choices for families, students, the elderly, and people with disabilities to name a few.
During these unprecedented times, it is easy to forget that San Diego still faces a severe housing crisis. The average cost of rent is nearly $2,000 a month and the median price of housing is well over $500,000. With the COVID-19 pandemic causing unprecedented job loss, the housing affordability crisis will only get worse.
In contrast, the average cost of a movable tiny home is only $85,000. A significant portion of households in San Diego can afford a movable tiny house as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). The average cost of rent for a tiny home is $900 a month. A property owner would recover their initial investment in eight years. After that, the rent from the tiny house could help cover their mortgage or other expenses.
“Moveable tiny homes are a great option that naturally increases affordable housing at no cost to taxpayers. It’s a win for the homeowner, it’s a win for the renter, and it’s a win for the taxpayer,” said Sherman.
Councilmember Scott Sherman has been working to approve this ordinance since 2018.
“I appreciate my colleagues support for this important housing reform. We must continue pushing for common sense solutions that result in naturally occurring affordable housing,” said Sherman.
Real estate report on COVID impacts to market
Through its partnership with Alan Nevin, a local San Diego demographic and real estate economist, the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors (SDAR) has released the second quarter 2020 economic report including the impact and outlook of the COVID-19 impact on real estate.
Nevin provides the Association and MLS members with monthly and quarterly updates outlining the market conditions and trends for San Diego County. With the fast-moving news during this health crisis, he has included insights on the coronavirus impact on the local real estate market.
In his recent report, Nevin notes that the inventory of homes for sale continues to run low, particularly for single-family homes under $500,000, which will put additional pressure on the market for condominiums and townhomes. But he adds that things are looking up in other aspects of local real estate.
“I was fearful that many of the pending listings in May might not close, but they did. June was the best closing month this year for (San Diego Realtors),” Nevin said. “Imagine what they would be without COVID. The reality is that prospective homebuyers in San Diego still have jobs and want homes. And July looks like it is going to be equally as strong, going into the month.”
Nevin says it is remarkable that that San Diego has one-third of deaths per million persons than the U.S. as a whole due to COVID-19. “We must be doing something right,” he suggests. While there are many factors in the stark difference in the rate of deaths, Nevin notes in the report that California’s downtowns – particularly San Diego – have less office employment and buildings with elevators compared to a place like Manhattan.
To read more and download the full report, visit bit.ly/39Qo1TC.
Grantville affordable housing projects win awards
The San Diego Housing Federation (SDHF) held its Ruby Awards on Thursday, July 23 online via digital live stream. The Ruby Awards are held annually to recognize extraordinary achievements in affordable housing development, community development, public policy, and housing advocacy and celebrate all those housing advocates helping to achieve this goal.
“Celebrating the 30th annual Ruby Awards comes at an important time as we recognize those who are working to lift everyone up by providing affordable and permanent supportive homes,” said SDHF Executive Director Stephen Russell. “Every San Diegan should have a place to call home, no matter their economic situation or social background.”
This year’s Housing Project of the Year – Rehabilitation went to Zephyr, Affirmed Housing. The Grantville project was recognized as an excellent example of adaptive reuse. Affirmed Housing, HA Builders, and Basis Architecture worked together to convert a rundown Motel 6 and Denny’s into a new community that includes 84 units set-aside for veterans experiencing homelessness and an additional on-site property manager’s unit.
Housing Project of the Year – New Construction went to Bluewater and Stella, Affirmed Housing. The apartments represent innovation in development of affordable housing and offer 160 affordable apartment homes located in the neighborhood of Grantville. Situated on the same parcel, the adjoined communities have been designed to seamlessly blend with one another and the community at large.
For a complete list of winners, visit bit.ly/317Hnj6.