University Heights residents are criticizing a new eight-story apartment complex.

This project doesn’t need to hold public hearings because it currently complies with authorized zoning and development laws.

SAN DIEGO — University Heights residents are protesting a new eight-story apartment complex that has been approved.

How communities can regain control over zoning for new projects was the main topic of a town hall meeting on Monday night.

However, the city claims that this project has already been given the all-clear since restrictions have been amended to give San Diego more housing.

Many University Heights homeowners expressed their understanding of the need for additional housing in San Diego, particularly affordable housing, but some questioned whether a project of this size was the right course of action.

Cassie Breeggemann, a resident, stated, “We definitely need more housing, but I think they need to be smarter about how they set it up.”

On a street in University Heights where the tallest structure is now three stories high, the idea is to construct an eight-story, 49-unit apartment complex there.

Breeggemann continued, “I think they need to be more cautious about how they go about doing it because it feels out of place.

Evie Standquist argued that instead of adding more houses, parking buildings would be a better option.

Longtime University Heights resident Tiffany Monticino claimed that the neighborhood did not have a voice directly on this construction before it got the go-ahead. “I am big on housing. but I’m not sure that the infrastructure is there to support it,” Monticino said.

“They haven’t really communicated with the people in the neighborhood enough,” she claimed.

Neighbors for a Better San Diego organized a virtual town hall on Monday night to discuss how local communities can take back control of zoning from the federal government.

Lisa Sinclair of Neighbors for a Better San Diego stated, “As you’re well aware, there’s an ongoing and unnecessary assault on single-family neighborhoods, and unfortunately for us here in San Diego, most of this is coming from our own city hall.”

According to the city, this results in “a streamlined approach to creating more affordable housing. It brings more certainty to a project, costs less for developers, and allows housing to be created faster.”

But some locals continue to have concerns.

Who can say for sure if the housing is actually affordable? asked Monticino. The majority of the housing we construct in this area is not affordable.

In addition, the city noted that, in response to a housing scarcity, zoning and development laws had been revised over the previous few years.

According to a city spokeswoman, the public’s input was sought during that process:

“The City is experiencing a housing crisis due to a lack of adequate housing supply, and to address this, the City has taken steps over the past several years to update its land use plans and development regulations to increase opportunities for more homes in neighborhoods with a streamlined approval process.

San Diegans can visit the City’s Planning Department’s website to discover how to get engaged in offering public feedback, the city noted. “We encourage residents to take an active role in providing input when plans and policies are created,” the city said.

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