Archives: April 2012
By Corinne Wilson | April 16, 2012 |
Thought I would share something I find interesting regarding formal processes for citizen input in infrastructure planning and the impact of funding deficits on them.
In the City of San Diego, community plans (and related plans for how to finance facilities identified in community plans) are the primary method to enable community planning groups (and residents generally) to provide input on needed projects and priorities. Community plans, per state guidance, are essentially living documents and are meant to define community needs and values and are recommended to be updated frequently.
However, community plans in the City of San Diego are, on average 23 years old. Related financing plans are, on average, 9 years old.
This means the average community plan was “born” in 1990 or so. How have we changed since then?
- The City of San Diego had 200,000 fewer residents.
- We were using pagers, listening to music on portable CD players and the iMac had just been introduced.
- Dances with Wolves had won Best Picture, The Simpsons had been on the air for a year and Friends still had four years before they would “be there for you”.
- And, while you could ride the Trolley from downtown to San Ysidro and to El Cajon, you couldn’t take it to Old Town or to watch the Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium.
There is a small difference between plans for communities funded through development impact fees (on average 28 years old) and facilities benefits agreements (on average 21 years old). Ten community plans are in the process of being updated:
- Uptown (1998)
- San Ysidro and the Tijuana River Valley (1991 and 2000)
- Barrio Logan (1979)
- North Park (1986)
- Greater Golden Hill (1987)
- Midway/Pacific Highway (1991)
- Ocean Beach (1976)
- Old San Diego (1988)
- Otay Mesa (1981)
However, these aren’t the necessarily the oldest. For example, Mission Beach and Carmel Valley date from 1975, Serra Mesa from 1978, and Navajo and Tierrasanta from 1983.
Updating community plans is expensive and requires significant resources. In a conversation with city staff from Chula Vista, they lamented the loss of redevelopment because that was one of the main sources of funds to do planning and outreach. The funding crunch isn’t just impacting getting infrastructure built, maintained or revitalized but is also hampering what we are investing in and how we make those decisions, if our vision is so out of date.
By | April 11, 2012 |
When a bank forecloses on a home and then doesn’t maintain the property, it can become a hazard to the community, a drag on property values in the neighborhood and a drain on city resources.
Norma Rodriguez, a CPI organizer, explained on KUSI TV today how blighted properties owned by banks are costing local governments in San Diego hundreds of millions of dollars for inspections, cleaning up broken glass and other hazards, police and fire calls.
CPI, along with our partner ACCE, has proposed a Property Value Protection Ordinance to hold banks accountable for the properties they foreclose. It would create a registry and fine banks $1000 a day for every property they fail to maintain.
Click here for more information and to read our report on foreclosures in the City of San Diego.
We applaud [San Diego] City Attorney Jan Goldsmith for his plans to hire a foreclosure and loan-modification scams investigator (Business, March 24). This is one way to protect families and our neighborhoods from the terrible impact of the foreclosure crisis and may indicate that the city of San Diego is starting to address this crisis.
A report released last year by the Center on Policy Initiatives and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, “Foreclosure: The Cost Communities Pay,” found that foreclosures are costing San Diego taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars for inspections, maintenance and police and fire calls at distressed properties. Blighted foreclosures also dramatically lower surrounding property values.
Councilman David Alvarez has proposed a solution to address this issue: the Property Value Protection Ordinance. It would hold banks accountable by requiring them to publicly register all foreclosures. Then, if the banks don’t bring abandoned properties up to code, they would be fined $1,000 a day for leaving the homes in disrepair.
Similar ordinances have been enacted in 75 California cities and are helping relieve the taxpayer costs of banks’ neglect. In Chula Vista, for example, the cost-recovery funds brought in enough money to hire five new code inspectors.
San Diego homeowners and neighborhoods need relief right now. We have an opportunity to protect neighborhoods from the most irresponsible banks. That’s why we are urging the Land Use and Housing Committee to move this ordinance forward and into law. – Gabriela Castellaños, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, and Norma Rodriguez, Center on Policy Initiatives