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Why Build “The Pearl” in Solana Beach When Buying Existing Resale Housing Would Save Taxpayers Money?

My little slice of Heaven, Solana Beach, is developing  A $6 million, ten-unit, low-income housing complex:

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.

Naturally, the coastal residents are up in arms about the affect on the neighborhood:

Residents packed the City Council chambers, many complaining that The Pearl would increase traffic, loitering, reduce property values, and wouldn’t mesh with the surrounding blufftop condominiums that line Sierra Avenue.

“The city just seems too desperate to fund the building of 10 units to complete the settlement of a bungled lawsuit regarding the loss of 13 low-income units,” said Mark Tiddens, an area resident.

The Condominium Organization of South Sierra Avenue will vote by Sept. 2 on whether to formally oppose the project. Story poles indicating the outline of the building are now in place at the site, a public parking lot near a beach access.

The morality of redistribution of wealth schemes, and the efficacy of Keynesian stimulii notwithstanding, wouldn’t it just be easier to buy ten listed homes for sale?   I searched for Solana Beach homes for sale, under $600,000, and found 24 active listings. To purchase existing listings meets the ideals of “integrating low-income residents” throughout the community, would be easier to manage, and can be accomplished quickly.

The City 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.

Solana Beach is stuck with the State’s mandate so we might as well get it completed as inexpensively, and as quickly as possible.

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  • 15 comments

    15 Comments so far

    1. JBond August 29th, 2011 7:33 am

      Wouldn’t this just make so much sense!? For some reason it only makes sense to do things the hard/expensive way. Especially in a state that is technically bankrupt! Good call though, I wish we had people in the state that would actually think of viable solutions.

    2. Jim Klein August 29th, 2011 12:25 pm

      Seems to me your post title answers its own question, Brian. When you want to understand someone, look at the business he’s in. Politicians are in the business of taxing and spending; end of story.

    3. Teri Lussier August 29th, 2011 6:17 pm

      What Jim said. The politician’s goal/job is never to save taxpayers money, but to collect it and then spend it. We the People must stop believing otherwise.

    4. Greg Swann August 29th, 2011 10:45 pm

      > The politician’s goal/job is never to save taxpayers money, but to collect it and then spend it. We the People must stop believing otherwise.

      Here’s good news, especially for minds like mine: Almost all of them are strictly rent-seekers, grafters. We are lucky to live in a land largely void of Robespierres. Even the much-maligned Obama seems less a malignancy and more a social disease.

    5. Sean Purcell August 30th, 2011 12:31 pm

      (Take 1)

      I think you’re all missing the point: by building 10 units, the city will be paying developers, contractors, architects and dozens and dozens of skilled workers. They’ll be buying concrete, lumber, windows and hundreds of other materials. Think of the stimulus to the local economy!

      You know, a more legitimate question might be: “Why are they only allocating $600K per unit?” Wouldn’t it make more sense to spend $700K or even $800K per unit? That would be another $7 million or $8 million injected into the local economy. This is investment, plain and simple, and I applaud Solana Beach for doing something to lead their city out of the recession.

    6. Sean Purcell August 30th, 2011 12:32 pm

      (Take 2)

      Where is CAR in all this? Where is NAR? The city of Solana Beach is building these units rather than purchasing them so they can cut out the local REALTORS, and they should be ashamed. CAR should bring this to their “chosen” state legislators and have an emergency bill introduced mandating that local governments be forced to do the right thing and hire REALTORS, whether they are buying OR building.

      Without a licensed, certified and approved REALTOR – preferably one with lots of letters after his or her name to signify excellence – involved in these transactions, how can we be assured of professional protection? The National Association of REALTORS has always stood for homeownership and is the ultimate protector of property rights in this fine nation. They need to get in front of this now, before any homeowner is exposed to unrepresented home occupancy in Solana Beach.

    7. Teri Lussier August 30th, 2011 5:32 pm

      Sean, you made me laugh. Twice. :)

    8. Don Reedy August 31st, 2011 3:09 pm

      Brian and Sean, please, please take your show on the road. You can do Comedy Central one night, CNBC the next, Rosie O’Donnell, Meet the Press and Family Guy as well.

      Hey, Brian’s idea as measured by almost anyone is stellar, worthy of Wayne and Garth, and certainly a subject for reflection and debate.

      Then the particle accelerator injects the politics particle into the debate, and what emerges is an energy killing field that swallows up the debate into the black hole that we know as (fill in your Capitol City or D.C. here).

      Like Teri, I’m still laughing at your take, Sean. But Brian, you’re the straight man who really makes the comedy in this work. :)

    9. Sean Purcell August 31st, 2011 3:28 pm

      “But Brian, you’re the straight man…”

      Ahem… Don, there is no call for ad hominem attacks (or even implications) on this comment thread.

      Whether or not Brian is “straight” has no bearing on this discussion. It’s time we stop judging people, even if they are “out of the closet”… Their thoughts are just as learned and valid as those of the media and the ruling elite.

    10. Sean Purcell August 31st, 2011 3:33 pm

      Sorry, that should have read:

      …even if they are “never been in the closet”…

      I get confused sometimes when I’m browsing through my PC thesaurus.

    11. Don Reedy August 31st, 2011 3:33 pm

      Sean….okay…I’m buying. You, me, the “straight guy”, and perhaps a bawld one as well. Let’s put some meat on those ad hominem bones, or at least some clothes back on the “threads.” Give me a hoot off line to set up a time and place.

    12. Brian Brady August 31st, 2011 10:14 pm

      To date, this comedy duo has only been heard by Sean’s two boys and my daughter. Naturally, their response has been “Can you two shut up? We’re trying to watch a movie” but man, oh man, we do keep each other laughing.

      The material is in plain sight, often on the front page of the newspaper

    13. Jim Klein September 1st, 2011 6:55 am

      Sorry, but you’re all late to the party. It’s already figured out and well under way. If you can get 330 million orange barrels and have them cost 300/week to exist, then you can seize the revenue from the contractors and pay every household in the country 900/week for rent and subsistence. Voila…homelessness and hunger totally eradicated, once and for all. If 900 doesn’t do it, we can start some research projects.

      Then we can all focus on being happy, not to mention crime-free and peaceful, as long as we don’t set up a research project on how all the orange barrels got there. I say, “Lets vote Yes!”

    14. Sean Purcell September 1st, 2011 8:34 am

      Nice try Jim, but I don’t like oranges and I am entitled by the Bill of Rights to a fruit cup made up of fruits I like. So before you go assembling 330 million orange barrels, remember my 1st Amendment guaranteed Right of… Assembly.

    15. Jim Klein September 3rd, 2011 10:09 am

      So passe, Sean. We only have the right to assemble if the assembly doesn’t add value.