CACC & CACPB
working together for our neighborhoods
College Area Update, August 2014
The CACC/CACPB did not meet in August. At our July meeting we heard an interesting presentation on the San Diego Clean Elections Initiative. John Hartley, a member of the Normal Heights Community Planning Group and coordinator of the initiative effort, made the presentation.
The San Diego Clean Elections Initiative is being sponsored by Neighborhoods for Clean Elections, a grass-roots coalition aiming to place the Initiative on the local ballot. The measure, endorsed by the San Diego chapters of the League of Women Voters and Common Cause among other groups, would provide public funding for candidates for Mayor and City Council who agree to a "Clean Elections Pledge." The pledge would require that candidates who opt in to the Clean Elections Pledge refrain from soliciting major campaign contributions from private sources and that they further agree to refrain from spending any of their own money for their campaign. Candidates who do not opt in would be governed by existing campaign laws but would not be eligible for funding under the program.
The San Diego Clean Elections Initiative is modeled after Clean Elections laws on the books in several cities and states. Maine and Arizona have Clean Elections for state candidates. Portland and Albuquerque have enacted Clean Elections for local candidates. Under the Clean Elections model, candidates who pledge to "run Clean" need to qualify for funding.
The idea is to eliminate "crank" or marginal candidates in favor of those who can demonstrate community support. In San Diego, a "Clean" candidate would be required to collect $5 from 500 voters in his or her district to qualify for funding; those proceeds would go into the city’s Clean Elections fund. Candidates would be funded based upon a formula linked to population which would currently provide approximately $90,000 in a primary and $135,000 in a general election. These amounts are, on average, less than half of what successful council candidates have spent in recent elections. It’s estimated that the fund would cost San Diego residents about $6 per person per year.
The initiative is designed to level the playing field for candidates who are not independently wealthy or who don't have the support of major donors such as developers, lobbyists and other special interests. Thus far, the measure has been endorsed by 13 community or town councils, including Broadway Heights, City Heights, Clairemont, Emerald Hills, La Jolla, Linda Vista, Mira Mesa, Mission Beach, Normal Heights, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Rancho Penasquitos, and Rosemont. The College Area Community Council will vote on the measure in October.
Also at the July meeting, the CACC voted to ask San Diego State University to reconsider its decision regarding one of three projects recommended by CACC for financing through the so called "Dollar per Ticket Fund," a fund set up through an agreement with the City of San Diego and the CACC. The fund, which expires in 2017, collects a dollar for each ticket sold for a major event at Viejas Arena, and is designed to mitigate the impacts of arena events. SDSU agreed with the CACC's recommendation for use of the bulk of the funds – about $370,000 for a remote traffic monitoring and control system around SDSU to be used during major events and at other busy times, along with eleven pedestrian countdown timers at College Area intersections around SDSU. At the same time, the University did not approve use of funds for an acoustic impact study, or for a feasibility study for a bike and pedestrian path at the west end of Montezuma Road, called Montezuma Trail. The acoustic impacts of sporting and other events on the surrounding neighborhoods are being handled independently by SDSU. The CACC's request was to reconsider use of the Fund for a feasibility study for Montezuma Trail. A letter has been sent to SDSU with this request.
The next meeting of the College Area Community Council and Community Planning Board will be Wednesday, September 10 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the College-Rolando Library, 6600 Montezuma Road. At that meeting, we will consider, among other things, a request for four-way stop signs at the intersection of Art and Mesita streets, to deal with continuing traffic congestion resulting from parental drop-off and pick-up of students at the Language Academy. The issue is expected to be further complicated by traffic commuting from the new mega-dorm Boulevard 63 located south of El Cajon Boulevard at 63rd Street. The most direct route from that apartment complex to SDSU is along Art Street, a small residential connector street, which is already unsafe for elementary school students attempting to walk to school. Other measures being considered for Art Street are improvements for bike and pedestrian usage and speed bumps. If you have suggestions for improving traffic safety on Art Street, please plan to attend the meeting.
Police Bikes Arrive in College Area
The San Diego Police Department Eastern Division’s C Squad, which patrols the College Area, now has five new bikes to make its patrols more effective.
The specially equipped bikes, which cost $2,000 each, were purchased through a $6,000 donation from Councilmember Marti Emerald’s discretionary budget, and $2,000 each donated by the Alvarado Estates neighborhood association and the College Area Community Council.
CACC Committee activity during FY 2013-14
Most of the work that gets done by any board takes place at the committee level. At our April meeting, we reviewed the Annual Reports from our four standing committees for the fiscal year ending March 2014. The hard working people on these committees are not all board members. Most committees consist of board members plus caring community members who have a special interest in a particular issue in the College Area.
Special Report of the CENRP, 2/26/2014
Ann Cottrell, Chair
Code Enforcement and Nuisance Rental Property Committee
This brief report is to acquaint those involved in the governance of the College Area neighborhoods with the extent of over-commercialization existing in RS-1 (single-“family”) neighborhoods, especially those near SDSU. This over-commercialization is due to the large number of rental homes characterized by high tenant turnover and generally high occupancy, called HTHO rentals. A high concentration of transient oriented rentals creates problems on many fronts including noise issues, parking in front yards and reduced on-street parking, trash and poor property maintenance; in short, deteriorating neighborhoods.