The Coast News Group

County housing update given at council meeting

During the Vista City Council meeting on Sept. 11, Michael McSweeney of the Building Association Industry of San Diego gave a presentation from the organization’s perspective about housing in San Diego County. One item he focused on was why the cost of housing in San Diego County was a bit more than the rest of the country.

Since the early 1970s, McSweeney said, housing costs have taken off in a radical, vertical climb.

According to McSweeney, one cause is that there was not enough housing built — it’s a supply and demand issue.

Population growth is another factor. McSweeney cited how in 1971 the San Diego County population was 1.392 million. Today that number has swelled to 3.318 million.

“But what drives the need for housing is job growth. All of you at one time or another in your election campaigns have talked about jobs,” Sweeney told Vista City Council members. “Houses are where jobs go to sleep at night.”

If there is not enough housing that people can afford near their jobs, the result will be a significant commute.

“That’s why over 60,000 people that work in San Diego live in Riverside,” he said.

Days after the presentation, City of Vista Communications Officer Andrea McCullough explained how the city provides opportunities for both market-rate and affordable-housing development prospects in the city. As for jobs, McCullough said that with more than 48,000 jobs across a diverse economic base, Vista is a major player in the economic landscape of North County.

“Jobs in the city increased by 14.5 percent from 2011 to 2016, far outpacing the national growth rate of 8.8 percent during the same time frame,” she said. “As a regional hub for advanced manufacturing, Vista supplies a significant share of the region’s high-value products, helping to fuel the region’s export pipeline.”

McCullough went on to say how the city’s Economic Development Department works to both recruit and retain businesses.

Because business uses change over the years, McCullough noted, the city keeps abreast of current market conditions and business needs. With this data, the city’s business strategies may be modified when appropriate.

Currently, the top growing industries within the city of Vista are manufacturing, individual and family services, restaurants and other types of eateries.

According to McCullough, 12 percent of the employment in Vista has an emphasis in manufacturing.

“The city is recognized as a leader in precision manufacturing and high-quality specialty products,” she said. “Over the past few years, the city has attracted several hotels, a car dealership, and is working with several other businesses to add to Vista’s business establishments.”

McCullough also shared how 54.3 percent of Vista Business Park employees commute less than 10 miles to work.

To learn more about the city of Vista Planning Projects Pipeline, visit