The Coast News Group

Council Member Haviland: We have questions. Do you have answers?

Affordable Housing has become a hot-button concern for cities all around San Diego County.  The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has allocated a quota of “affordable housing units” that must be created within each city under their jurisdiction.

Through meticulous attention to detail and wonderfully presented logic, Solana Beach Mayor David Zito and Del Mar City Councilperson Terry Gaasterland mounted an argument to SANDAG that concluded:  1)  The data SANDAG used to calculate these quotas was inherently flawed, and  2) The allotments disproportionally punished smaller cities like Coronado, Del Mar, and Solana Beach to the benefit of unincorporated areas like Bonita and larger cities like Encinitas, Carlsbad, and La Mesa.  In Del Mar, for example, the SANDAG folks failed to calculate the many temporary jobs associated with the racetrack, the County Fair, and Kaboo.

After laying out the evidence, these elected officials presented a clear and convincing case for “small city exemptions”.  If this proposal had passed both Del Mar and Solana Beach would have received much lower quotas.  Unfortunately, it failed to pass by just one vote, and that vote was cast by Del Mar City Councilperson Ellie Haviland!  Do you believe it?!?!  This elected official voted AGAINST her city and constituents on this hugely important issue!  Perhaps coincidentally, Ms. Haviland, her family, and her family trust own approximately twenty rental properties in La Mesa, Bonita, and San Diego County — areas favorably affected by SANDAG’s miscalculations at the expense of Del Mar.

I think we deserve some public answers from Ms. Haviland!  Here are the questions: 1) What was your thought process and logic for voting against the opportunity to reduce this unfair burden placed upon your city by SANDAG (i.e. What the heck were you thinking?)?  2) What is your position on the dangerous bluff resort, as this seems to play right into the developers’ hands? 3) Were the aforementioned real estate holdings properly disclosed to both SANDAG and the citizens of Del Mar?  If not, why not?  4) And perhaps most importantly, when does your term expire and why should any Del Mar citizen even consider supporting your reelection?

Looking forward to your public response, Ellie. I am sure this publication will provide enough space for you to state your case.

Steve Saunders

Solana Beach