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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: California Democrats have no idea how to increase housing

Chula Vista single family houses
New single-family homes are under construction in Chula Vista, Calif., on Jan. 31.
(John Gibbins / San Diego Union-Tribune)

To the editor: Your editorial encourages California legislators to take aggressive action to improve the availability of housing. Problem is, much of the blame for the lack of sufficient new home construction can be attributed to the same political body that you want to help fix this.

My wife and I had plans to build a new home in Big Bear Lake, Calif. Having already lived in the area for five years, we know it well. But in a recent meeting with our architect, we were warned that because of the many state zoning changes, both the city of Big Bear Lake and the county of San Bernardino were confused about new regulations and had different interpretations.

The issue of required solar panels is also unpredictable. We own a second home in Carlsbad, for which we purchased panels many years ago. Initially this was financially beneficial, but then the utility changed the reimbursement for the power we generated.

In addition to building a new home, we also planned to rent out our existing Big Bear home — yes, increasing the housing supply.

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Under the current governor, the obvious solution for people who cannot afford housing in California is to move to a less costly state. The Democratic leadership is clueless about increasing the housing supply.

Dan Dreblow, Big Bear City, Calif.

..

To the editor: “The cost to build new housing is too damn high”? What kind of housing?

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This reminds me of Elon Musk’s claims about Tesla cars: Public demand is overwhelming; the only problem is too many potential buyers can’t afford the car.

My dad, a World War II veteran, bought his first (and only) house in what was then the community of Rivera in 1949. It had two bedrooms, one bathroom and 700 square feet. There was no landscaping, and the kitchen had linoleum floors and metal cabinets. This was a typical house in our area.

Slashing the “impact fees” charged to developers only nibbles at the edge of the problem and undercuts local cities and school districts. Maybe legislators can find some way to incentivize market suppliers and customers toward the equivalent of basic economy cars instead of Teslas.

Bob Wieting, Simi Valley


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