AFC? not with this attitude


In case you missed it, former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders was on NBC San Diego’s ‘Politically Speaking’ segment last saturday afternoon with Gene Cubbison. While the segment itself was fine, there was one particular quote that had us here at DBRDS scratching our heads thinking ‘did he just say that, so care-free, like there is just nothing we can do about it’?

Its not so much what the former Mayor said, we deal with it everyday in our profession, its more how he said it. Sounding simultaneously defeat-us & content that ‘this is just the way it is’ was soul crushing. I mean, we all know the legislative passion California has for requested report, on report & red tape on red tape to get even the most minuscule of projects through the system…but for our former leader to simply shrug his shoulders as if to say there is nothing we can do about it is just wrong.

San Diego calls itself ‘America’s Finest City’, but with this attitude, we will continue to do nothing but simply rely upon our great weather for our AFC title. We will continue to fall behind the rest of the state, the country & the world when it comes to dynamic public spaces & buildings, developing for civic & cultural value & the opportunity to become one of the worlds great cities. We will be content with mediocrity, rather than think outside the box for fear of the process getting in our way.

More than anything this city needs dialogue. It needs proactive community leaders that want to see San Diego evolve for the better through our next 100 years.

This is just not good enough. San Diego deserves better.


  1. Glenn Younger

    When projects spend lots of time and money on community outreach, then are still sued, it makes you think that it may not be worth the effort. We have a community that uses the court system to further their agenda. These are just the facts that Jerry said publicly. We have groups who have become so good at using the existing laws to tie things up that to do things you really do have to plan for the delay and be willing to fight (the sometimes frivolous) lawsuits or court challenges to move ahead. Sad but true.

    The impact of a conforming building built onto a lot zoned for it’s type of use being challenged means that we do not have a local planning and zoning system that is workable. Then add CEQA, the Coastal Commission and the variety of ways there are to stall projects at the State level and it is amazing that large projects get build at all.

    Currently there is little or no penalty to those who challenge and delay a project even if they then lose the the case based on the facts. That is what allows this type of “challenge everything” attitude to continue IMHO.

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