January 13, 2017

Marco Gonzalez, [email protected]

Solana Beach – Hitzke Development Corporation and the City of Solana Beach have successfully defended against residents’ appeal of The Pearl, a 10-unit affordable housing complex located atop a city owned parking lot near the coast in Solana Beach. The 35-page Court of Appeal decision issued December 22, 2016 affirmed in totality a September 8, 2015 decision of the Superior Court.

Neighbors living in the Seascape Surf Estate condominium complex objected to the placement of affordable housing in their upscale neighborhood, but veiled their concerns behind specious claims of increased traffic, parking, noise, and other environmental impacts. These classic “NIMBY” arguments further included arguments that the parking lot where the affordable units would be constructed was originally conveyed in the early 1970’s to the County of San Diego with a restriction precluding anything but public beach parking on the property. The Court of Appeal disagreed with all of the claims, noting that the development would retain the same number of public parking spaces as currently exist.

“We are certainly very pleased with the Court’s ruling and are happy to know that this long-awaited project, which received unanimous approval from both the City Council and the Coastal Commission, can move forward.  We also view this as a victory for the City’s commitment to thoughtful, well-planned affordable housing opportunities for our community.” Solana Beach City Manager Greg Wade.

Ginger Hitzke, the project applicant stated: “If anyone wants an example of why we have a housing crisis in California, this case really tells the story. I originally submitted an application to the City in 2009, and here it is 2017 and I’m finally able to start thinking about a date to start construction. All of this for a mere 10 affordable units in a coastal city.  It just shouldn’t be this hard. We’re very happy to finally have the legal battles behind us.”

Marco Gonzalez of Coast Law Group LLP in Encinitas, attorney for Hitzke Development Corporation and affordable housing advocate noted: “It really is a shame when groups like this misuse our environmental laws to challenge much needed affordable infill housing. We should be using CEQA to fight sprawl into the backcountry, not to obstruct sustainable development that will help to house our teachers, public safety employees, and community service workers.”

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