Number of Seniors is Growing

It’s probably true that seniors are leading healthier, longer lives and will prefer to age-in-place – which will keep a limit on the number of homes for sale and temper any downdraft in pricing.  What is worse is that the resulting back-up will cause others to stay in their current home forever too!

It was asked on Twitter, ‘how could homes prices get cut in half?’ I said, “Boomers die 10x faster”, which got my Twitter account suspended temporarily.  Let’s see if they do it again!

Reader ‘just some guy’ sent in this UT article – an excerpt:

On Thursday, county officials announced that San Diego County has become the first county in the nation to have all 18 of its eligible hospitals receive the Geriatric Emergency Department (GED) Accreditation.

San Diego County is home to a large population of people age 60 and older, and that demographic is projected to continue growing over the next decade. Today, there are approximately 670,000 county residents in this age group, and by 2030, they are expected to surpass 900,000, said Nick Macchione, director of the county’s Health & Human Services Agency.

Seniors are more likely than almost any other age group to visit the emergency room. The county reports that each year, about 275,000 county seniors make ER visits, which leads to about one-third of all hospital admissions. “That is why it’s critically important to have all our hospitals that are eligible be geriatric certified,” Macchione said.

Fire Zone

Here is a wider look at the fire map for Encinitas/Carlsbad.

The blue dot is the location of my listing in La Costa Oaks; a neighborhood of 820 homes built in 2005-2013 (long after the Harmony Fire of 1996).  The newer homes were built on the outskirts of town, so if you prefer a recently-built home, it’s very likely that it’s going to be in the fire zone.

For those who can’t find a traditional insurance carrier to provide fire insurance, there is the California Fair Plan.  Here’s a quote from a Liberty Mutual agent:

Regular homeowners policy (liability, theft, etc.): $1,700 per year.

CA Fair Plan (fire): $3,500-$5,000 per year, depending on the deductible amount.

My sellers’ policy (with fire coverage) with Mercury Insurance is $3,500 per year, so the additional amount with the CA Fair Plan is approximately $3,200 per year if you like a lower deductible.

Homeownership is expensive.  If you want a newer house, it’s likely to be located in the fire zone and be more expensive to insure. If you buy an older home, you’ll probably spend the same or similar amount having to update/improve it every year to bring it up to today’s standard. It’s your choice!

SB 1105

SB 1105 has already passed in the state senate, and is being debated in the assembly. According to C.A.R., it will ‘grant vast, unchecked, taxing and bonding authority to an unelected Housing Agency Board in San Diego which would consist of 6 appointed representatives’. Huh? Anything that resembles a property tax is supposed to be approved by the voters!

This bill, the San Diego Regional Equitable and Environmentally Friendly Housing Act, would establish the San Diego Regional Equitable and Environmentally Friendly Affordable Housing Agency and would state that the agency’s purpose is to increase the supply of equitable and environmentally friendly housing in the County of San Diego by providing for significantly enhanced funding and technical assistance across the regional level for equitable and environmentally friendly housing projects and programs, equitable housing preservation, and rental protection programs, as specified. The bill would require a board composed of 6 voting members who are primary or alternate members of the San Diego Association of Governments, as specified, to govern the agency.

This bill would authorize the agency to, among other things, incur and issue indebtedness, place various measures on the ballot in the County of San Diego and its incorporated cities to raise and allocate funds, in accordance with applicable constitutional requirements, and to issue general obligation bonds secured by the levy of ad valorem property taxes, for purposes of producing and preserving equitable and environmentally friendly housing and supporting rental protection activities, as specified. Among the funding measures, the bill would authorize the agency to impose a parcel tax, a gross receipts business license tax, a special business tax, specified special taxes on real property, and a commercial linkage fee, as defined. The bill would also authorize local jurisdictions within San Diego County to impose a special documentary transfer tax, as specified, and authorize those local jurisdictions to remit proceeds of the tax to the agency to support the purposes of the agency. The bill would require that revenue generated by the agency pursuant to these provisions be used for specified housing purposes and require the agency to distribute those funds in accordance with specified requirements and subject to a specified priority. The bill would require the board to provide for regular financial audits of the agency’s accounts and records and to provide for financial reports.

The bill would require a development proponent for a development funded by the agency pursuant to these provisions to require, in contracts with construction contractors, that certain wage and labor standards will be met, including a requirement that all construction workers be paid at least the general prevailing rate of wages, as specified. The bill would require a development proponent to certify to the agency that those standards will be met in project construction. By expanding the crime of perjury, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would also prohibit the agency from placing a measure on the ballot to raise revenue for the agency unless the agency has entered into a countywide project labor agreement with the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council, as specified.

The bill would include findings that changes proposed by this bill address a matter of statewide concern rather than a municipal affair and, therefore, apply to all cities in the County of San Diego, including charter cities.


Carlsbad Power Plant

The smoke stack and the rest of the Encina Power Station have been demolished.

What does this mean for Carlsbad?

Before agreeing to support the approval of the new plant, the city negotiated an agreement with NRG and SDG&E to help ensure the project would provide the greatest local community benefit possible.

Some of the provisions of this agreement include:

A guarantee that NRG will completely decommission, demolish and remediate the old Encina Power Station site within three years of Encina’s retirement, at no cost to taxpayers.

NRG will turn over to the city several pieces of property surrounding the lagoon and the blufftop across from the plant. NRG will work with the city and the community to create a plan for the site’s future use.

What can go on the site?

The General Plan envisions redevelopment of the Encina Power Station, as well as the adjacent SDG&E North Coast Service Center, with visitor-serving commercial and open space uses to provide residents and visitors enhanced opportunities for coastal access and services, reflecting the California Coastal Act’s goal of “maximizing public access to the coast.”

The Great San Diego Blackout of 2011

The full collection of Smokestack photos:

Unlimited Density and Height

For those who saw the Carlsbad Train Redevelopment and wondered what other apartment houses (and affordable housing) are being built around town, check out this article:


An excerpt:

Construction began this week at 901 West Washington St. in Mission Hills, where developer Soheil Nakhshab is building 54 studio apartments. He likens each unit’s design to a Swiss Army knife, with built-in tables and beds that fold up into the walls.

The project would not have been possible without Complete Communities, San Diego’s most aggressive attempt yet at encouraging high-density housing near public transit.

Approved by the City Council in November 2020, just one month before Mayor Kevin Faulconer and five councilmembers left office, Complete Communities allows developers to build apartments with unlimited density and height if they agree to set aside a much greater share of the homes as affordable housing than would otherwise be required.

The program is designed to withstand political and neighborhood opposition to individual projects, letting developers bypass the Planning Commission and City Council and get building permits directly from city staffers. The result has been swift approval of bigger projects with smaller, less-expensive homes.

Sites zoned for single-family homes are not eligible for Complete Communities, no matter how close they are to public transit.

Nakhshab said his project, which includes no off-street parking, would open up Mission Hills to more young professionals who don’t want the expense of car ownership and can’t afford the pricey single-family homes that dominate the neighborhood.

“What we’re trying to do is give them an opportunity to live in a prosperous, vibrant neighborhood with tons of public amenities at an affordable rate,” Nakhshab said.

San Diego is #1

San Francisco is no longer the nation’s least affordable metro area, being surpassed by San Diego, it’s neighborhood to the south. The latest OJO Labs unaffordability report saw San Diego bypass both San Francisco and Los Angeles to become the nation’s least affordable metro by comparing median home price to local incomes.

The median home sold price in San Diego climbed 14.3% in January to $764,000, bringing the city’s unaffordability score — a ratio of home sold price to median household income — to 8.1.

And despite San Francisco still boasting the most expensive housing stock of any metro in the U.S., a 4.2% home sold price decrease in January on an annual basis actually drove San Francisco’s unaffordability score below 8 for the first time since OJO Labs began tracking the data in July 2021. In January, San Francisco’s unaffordability score fell to 7.9, down from 9.2 last month.

Los Angeles; Mobile, Alabama; Pensacola, Florida; and Boise, Idaho metro areas rounded out the top five least affordable metro areas in the U.S.

Unaffordability score is a ratio that’s derived from monthly median housing prices and median household income. The higher the score, the more unaffordable a metro area is for a household making the median income. Median home price data is drawn from local multiple listing service sold data and median household income is derived from 2016-19 census data.


Moving The Dip

The South Carlsbad Coastline Project is stirring a lot of interest from people at the prospect of transforming 60 acres of city-owned land along the 101 Coast Highway. City planners held a virtual public meeting Monday to discuss the vision and hear ideas from people who live in Carlsbad.

“We really want to start with, ‘What’s the overall vision?’ We want to let people imagine what they want this space to be,” said Kristina Ray, spokesperson for the City of Carlsbad.

In May of 2020, the City of Carlsbad acquired grant funding for over $500,000 from the California State Coastal Conservancy to design a plan that would increase resilience to rising sea levels. Part of this effort would involve relocating South Carlsbad Boulevard further away from the coastline.

“We want to create more space for people, move the road over to the east a little bit, and you would free up like 60 acres worth of land,” said Ray.


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