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By Kim Murphy
Murphy and Murphy Southern California Realty 

Real Estate Round-Up: Not building is not a choice


Last updated 9/17/2018 at 10:15am

Last week I attended a workshop on housing affordability. It was an open forum for residents from all communities in North San Diego County to hear from the County of San Diego’s Planning and Development Services.

Previously I shared information about the housing shortage in San Diego County, and throughout the state, and how the state legislature has approved many bills meant to guide communities and provide tools to alleviate the hurdles so more homes can be built to fill the gap between what we currently have and what we need.

Communities have been tasked with building additional “units”. The state legislature has provided incentives or consequences to encourage each community to reach their goals. This is not coming down from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, so if the thought of more housing gives you angst, direct that to the state legislature, not the supervisors or local planning group.

Think of it like your parents (the state legislature) telling you to eat your peas. You wouldn’t turn around and hit your older brother (the county supervisor) for that, you’d eat your peas.

In 2017, the region produced less than one-half of the required unit assessment. The last time the county produced what was needed was in 2005. The county has only produced 9,390 unit in the county since 2006.

Affordability means many things to different people. To those of us that owned homes in the 1980’s, the prices were affordable, but the interest rate of 18 percent, made that well priced home, quite a stretch for many. Currently, we’re experiencing historically low interest rates, but prices for homes is considerably higher.

In San Diego County, homeownership rates are only 55 percent. In the United States, that number is 64 percent. One out of five San Diego County workers live outside the region.

There are many factors that impact housing affordability; available land, the cost of land, development opposition, the permit process and fee and state regulations (CEQA), and labor and construction costs. The county is evaluating goals and policies and is reaching out to the residents for feedback. No new building is not one of the goals.

A few options under consideration are:

● Diversity of residential types, for example, townhomes, cluster homes or accessory dwelling units,

● Mixed use housing units in larger projects, like you see at Horse Creek Ranch, or village dwelling, where residences can be accommodated above street level businesses,

● Concurrency of infrastructure and services with the development. In other words, making sure there are support services like fire, schools, shopping and infrastructure like ingress and egress appropriate to the additional homes,

● Housing near public services, like highways and interstates or near mass transit hubs like bussing or trains,

● Senior and affordable housing near public services including shopping and transit,

● Addressing the processing times for permits, and

● Increasing flexibility in regulations.

There are many other ideas also being discussed. Knowing how diverse the views of Fallbrook are regarding additional housing, why were there only two of us at this open forum from Fallbrook?

I would encourage you to go San Diego County’s website. Get informed, go to a meeting, be part of the solution. Remember, no new building is not a choice. New homes will be built throughout the county and they are not all going to be built somewhere else.

Horse Creek Ranch was a large contributor to the new home count and it fit many of the options above. If you participate, you will have a voice in how and where we grow. Join the discussion, be part of the solution. Maybe, next forum I will see one of you there too.

Kim Murphy can be reached at or (760) 415-9292 or at 130 N. Main Ave. in Fallbrook. Her broker license is #01229921, and she is on the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors.


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