The Solana Beach Junior Lifeguard program may not be assembling in the S. Sierra Ave parking lot in the future. A low-income housing project is being proposed for the current drop-off site for the Junior Lifeguard program:
The three-level building would have a 1,300 square-foot market on the ground floor, and 10 housing rental units above. The site is now a parking lot with 31 spots, used heavily for beach access and for the junior lifeguard program. A lot with some underground parking with 54 spots is proposed.
"The Pearl" will be a mixed-use development, with a small market and ten housing units which can house up to 44 people. Ginger Hitzke is the Temecula-based developer. Her work history includes various "public/private developments", as a Vice President with the Affirmed Housing Group and now, as a lead developer with Community Collective. From her website:
We started our careers working on the most challenging, politically charged rental projects for the lowest income familes (emboldened by the author).
Solana Beach really doesn't have a choice in the issue; the City has to do something becuase this wealth-redistributiuon scheme was mandated by the State of California. The projects are politically charged because this is a classic use of Rotarian Socialism (or crony capitalism). In this case, the State mandates that cities build low-income housing, funded by taxpayers, and politically-favored individuals get the contracts to build that housing stock. Financing is easy for such projects because the rents are usually guaranteed (by the taxpayers) under Section 8 Housing rules. Approvals will be fast-tracked through the Coastal Commission and City zoning because of the State mandate.
While free-market developers, wait for years for project approvals, risk their own capital, and pray that developer financing becomes available from banks, those "politically charged" competitors feed at the public trough with projects which are essentialy arbitrage plays, not entrepreneurship.
Solana Beach Councilman Dave Roberts sees this as an excellent opportunity to add some union card holders (his base) to the Solana beach voter roster:
He said the city has been sued in the past for not offering enough affordable housing, and a project like this would save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in avoided legal fees and allow the city to continue providing services for residents. Roberts said the housing would be an opportunity for police officers and teachers to live in Solana Beach, an area they otherwise could not afford. (emboldened by the author)
Roberts' statement shows his ivory-tower thinking. Cops and teachers usually make more than the income limits of low-income housng rentals unless...
...the fix is already in.
Alternative ideas for this project (since we are mandated to this wealth-redistribution scheme by the State) might include:
- Give Solana Beach residents first right-of-refusal to invest in the project. This project, like all Rotariian Socialist schemes, is a guaranteed profit machine. I'd much prefer that my neighbors make that guaranteed profit so that it is reinvested in Solana Beach businesses and churches. You know...Shop Solana First.
- Search for a Solana Beach developer to build the project rather than a politically-connected outsider. There are a lot of talented builders and developers, in Solana Beach, with better track records, than the Riverside County developer.
- Address the problem presented by the State mandate once. Solana Beach is mandated to build 150 low-income housing units, over the next ten years; this project only addresses 7% of that mandate. You have to ask yourself if this is really the highest and best use of this land and if we can meet the State edict by developing a larger project elsewhere in the City.
- Consider offering preference to disabled veterans. The three wars, our country pursued over the past ten years, has given us a substantially large number of disabled veterans, many of them in San Diego County. What better statement could be made, to the County which houses the largest number of military veterans, than to say that Solana Beach will be the leader of "Operation Home"? Solana Beach should be known as the epicenter for helping our veterans' transition to civilian life.
The wealth distribution scheme, that is low-income housing. is a violation of ownership of private property, as is secured by our Founding Documents. The State of California has seen fit to violate that principle and socially game the system to politcally-favored people. As distasteful as this unconstitutional mandate is, we're stuck with it. We might as well make the best of it, for the benefit of our residents and veterans, rather than feeding the wealth-eating machine.
FOLLOW UP THOUGHTS:
Why Build “The Pearl” in Solana Beach When Buying Existing Resale Housing Would Save Taxpayers Money?
Excerpt: The City of Solana Beach could make a public announcement that it intends to purchase ten homes for less than $550,000, offer a 4% co-brokerage fee, and suggest that it will give preference to short sales or foreclosure situations, My guess is it would be flooded with offers to sell.