The abolishment of local control and single family housing in the name of equity
Last updated 10/1/2021 at 3:04pm
When our founding fathers dreamed of creating a country with freedoms and opportunity, a primary freedom was that anyone could own property regardless of their status in life.
They had come from a history of feudal societies where kings owned the land. Portions of the king’s land were managed by a noble class who rented out smaller portions to the peasants, who worked the land and paid them in produce and military service. The nobles, in turn, paid the king.
People coming to the U.S. from all over the world dream of the freedom to work hard and own their own little piece of land. Then, the idea that you and your neighbors can elect local officials to plan your community and that you have the rule of law protecting you is like “living at Disneyland,” as one of my friends from South Africa once told me.
Our ruling class in California (that doesn’t follow the rules they set for the rest of us) is beholden to their party leadership’s ideology and a part of their beloved Green New Deal has come to California – the plan to abolish single family housing. After all, why do you think you should deserve to own your own little piece of land with a house and a yard for your family? Some people can’t afford that, so obviously you shouldn’t have it either. That’s equity.
Immediately after Newsom was safe from recall he signed SB 9 and 10, legislation circumventing local control, planning groups, single family housing and suburban neighborhoods as we know them. SB 9 allows all your neighbors to build apartments on their properties despite water, infrastructure, traffic, schools, etc. Fallbrook and Bonsall may not be affected immediately because we aren’t a city. It appears the legislative language right now refers specifically to areas that are cities. But regardless, we will be affected with traffic and water.
Why are they doing this? The first reason is because we have a legitimate housing shortage that is driving the median price of housing in southern California to over $800k and in San Francisco to $1.3 million. But most cities have affordable housing with more plans in the works to address that issue already. San Diego also eased the building restrictions allowing for more guest houses. As with the water shortage, our local leaders came up with a plan and have been very successful in implementing it, so much so that we use far less water even though we have over 700,000 new residents since we implemented our conservation plans in the 90s. Locally our planning groups have included low cost housing and areas of higher density, but this new law makes it a free-for-all. Why trample on local control that may be a bit slow, but works? It’s because of the word that we hear for every level of life and government right now - equity.
BTW, I thought California had a net loss of population for the first time to other states because of decisions just like this? So who are all these new people beating down our borders ready to take advantage of our little piece of heaven? Do we want to be like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland or Seattle? Chicago? Philadelphia?
Government already owns or controls most of our county land. The last count I heard was that 74% of the land in San Diego County was already owned or controlled by the government. I’m assuming that’s federal and state. If you include the national forests, military bases, schools, government buildings, roads, etc. it’s easy to see. So the idea is to pack people tighter and closer and build upward, rather than outward, so we can all be equal, like in communist Russia or maybe North Korea. It’s much easier to control people who have no property ownership and are all packed on top of each other.
One of the things that struck me when I visited Chicago before the riots was how so many people lived in neighborhoods of high-rise buildings. I’m sure they were nice inside and were conveniently close to work, but they all shared one small patch of grass to walk their dogs. I didn’t see many children playing. There wasn’t much room for that.
When we moved to Fallbrook we were looking for a place where we could raise our family. We wanted room for the children to play, climb trees, dig in the dirt, build bike ramps and chase lizards into the ravine. We wanted to grow our own fruit trees and have our own garden. We wanted to be part of a community that was like-minded with good schools, Village Zoning and the preservation of historic character while bringing more art and culture.
Our planning groups, with help from groups like the Village Association, Land Conservancy, Save Our Forest, the Trails committee, CS81, the historical society and others are the ones who have worked hard, investing time and money to preserve our rural lifestyle in partnership with the county, while also planning for road improvements, apartments and areas of density closer to town.
I’m disappointed that this disaster was the signature bill of Senate leader Toni Atkins (D-San Diego). Maybe there is a payback somewhere.
Hopefully someone will challenge this new encroachment in court and win. We need to stop voting according to negative divisive advertising messages we’re being fed. We need to elect people who value local control, rather than trying to cookie cutter everyone into large impersonal, easily controllable, unhealthy lifestyles for our families and children.