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By Kim Murphy
Murphy and Murphy Southern California Realty 

Real Estate Round-Up: My final thoughts on Measure A and Measure B

 

Last updated 2/12/2020 at 3:20am



I spent last week in Anaheim with the California Association of Realtors Board of Directors. Two topics dominated many of the committee meetings: Fair Housing and Housing Availability. They can be tied together, but that is the subject for another week.

San Diego voters have an opportunity to alleviate one of the issues, that of housing availability, which directly affects affordability. I’m hoping that as a county, we make the right choice. We need housing. I can’t imagine anyone debating me on that.

If we can increase the housing supply, we will ease the affordability problem that exists. Less than 30% of the residents of San Diego County can afford to purchase the median priced home. The Area Median Income in San Diego is 2019 was approximately $86,000. The current median priced home requires an income of approximately $110,000.

So how do we bridge the gap? By building more supply of affordable workforce housing. We’re not talking about Section 8 housing, low income housing or housing for the homeless; we’re talking about homes in the communities that our law enforcement, firefighters, teachers and nurses live in.

Measure A, if passed, will change the way proposed housing developments will be approved. It will take the process out of the hands of the county land use and planning departments and out of the hands of the board of supervisors, all of whom, evaluate the big picture of providing homes for those that currently don’t own one, and place it in the hands of the general voting population. Not your neighbors, but voters from the entire county, will be deciding what is best for your community.

In cities, the city planners and council members make those decisions. Generally, proposed projects don’t go before the voters; the decision is made by the people elected or hired to look at the plan for that community, and then approved, modified or rejected.

If Measure A passes, proposed neighborhoods with more than six homes in the semi-rural and rural areas will be decided by the voters. I don’t know about you, but I’m good at being a real estate broker. I’m not an electrician or a plumber, and I’m certainly not a land use and planning specialist.

Another thing, if you live in Sycamore Ranch, Lake Rancho Viejo, Horse Creek Ridge and many other planned neighborhoods, understand that if Measure A had been in place 30 years ago, it might not exist today. It is because of the current process that those parcels were able to be rezoned to accommodate those neighborhoods.

If changes need to be made there are other ways to accomplish this, but this measure is too far-reaching and will be in place for nearly 20 years.

Approval would saddle our children with this economic stifling referendum. Businesses will relocate when their employees cannot afford to live near where they work. New businesses won’t open shop in San Diego County, for the same reasons. The overall economic well-being will be forever damaged.

Don’t believe me, check out the results of SOAR in Ventura County to see what has happened since they passed that initiative. Both the Democratic and Republican parties say vote no on Measure A. Why? Because they know we need homes and they believe the county staff and board of supervisors are better prepared to determine what that should look like.

Measure B proposes a development of approximately 2000 homes at the Northwest corner of the intersection of Deer Springs Road and Interstate 15. It will be a 100% carbon neutral neighborhood. Every home will be solar powered, and every home will have an electric vehicle charging station in the garage. Deed restrictions exist on the development so that 60% of the homes will be for people at 100% or lower of the AMI; 500 of the homes are designated for law enforcement, firefighters, teachers and nurses, and 10% of the homes are for people at 60% of the AMI or lower, so it will provide housing for seniors and first time homebuyers.

The developers, as part of the approved project, are required to widen Deer Springs Road from the 15 to Twin Oaks Valley Road, which is in dire need of widening.

All of this, and it will replace the huge fire hazard of acres and acres of wild untamed vegetation that currently exists. Think of the Bonsall fire from a little over two years ago. It started in the wild untamed hills and ran right through every structure it encountered. Open space is not our friend when it comes to deterring fires and managing those that occur.

This measure is sponsored by the developer, Newland Sierra, because despite the fact that this development went through the entire process for approval, including the firefighters, and was approved by the board of supervisors, some special wealthy interests decided to oppose it and take it to the voters. These special interests do not care about you or me.

Ask yourself, do your adult children or adult grandchildren live in California? And then ask yourself if they own a home? Or are they priced out of ever being able to have the American Dream for themselves? I hope you will think of everyone in the county that wants the same thing that you wanted 20, 30, 40 or 50 years ago; a place to call home.

Kim Murphy can be reached at [email protected] or (760) 415-9292 or at 130 N Main Avenue, 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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