By JOHN LYNN
In the face of a continuing drought, cutbacks in water supplies and calls for water conservation, the state continues mandating housing growth in San Diego County.
In October 2005, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 1233 into law. That act established the state's right to mandate housing "need" based on anticipated population growth. That "need" is apportioned to the various county governments, who then assign portions to their respective cities, who must then find sites to build "dwelling units" on. How many dwelling units total for the county? We're supposed to add 107,301 between 2005 and 2010. And more in the years after that.
So today, San Diego County cities are struggling to accommodate the shares they've been saddled with by SANDAG, and at the same time are begging their residents to cut back on water usage.
And now the governor is telling us to "Conserve or else ..." (NCT, Aug. 19), calling for "the state to reduce per-person water consumption by 20 percent by the year 2020."
We're now facing water rate increases to help us reduce usage. And cities are doing their part to
So I asked my representatives in the Legislature ---- Assemblyman Martin Garrick and Sen. Mark Wyland ---- to answer this e-mail question: "Given the current and forecast water shortage in San Diego County, and given the requested cuts of up to 20 percent in its usage: Have you sponsored any legislation that would provide relief from the state's housing mandate that requires the addition of defined quantities of housing in the county's cities?"
Their answers? None, silence.
Elimination of the state mandate wouldn't stop housing growth in the area when the economy recovers. ... Cities would be free to grow as their residents desire.
We're being conditioned to use less water, not only during droughts, but routinely. And a major reason for that is growth.
If the state is going to continue mandating growth, they also need to find a massive source of water to support it ---- along with the capital needed to expand, repair and improve our infrastructure. And if SANDAG and our local governing bodies can't find the backbone to say "NO" to demanded growth, they should be forced to cut back their use of water and bathe once a week ---- in 4 inches of water. I'll supply the rubber duckies. What's next, sponge baths? More rationing?
It is a serious disservice to the residents of San Diego County to mandate growth in the face of a serious water shortage.
Blogger's note: In 2007 Barth, Houlihan, and Bonds voted against signing a contract with Poseidon for desal water production.