There’s a lot to get done and no shortage of challenges looking ahead in 2020, said District 1 City Council member and Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry.
Bry, who is vacating her seat this fall in a bid to replace termed-out San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, said she will have two primary goals this year: getting the city to enforce its existing municipal codes regarding short-term vacation rentals, and keeping San Diego land-use local.
“My focus now is on enforcing our existing city municipal codes,” said Bry, adding, “The city attorney issued a memo two years ago saying short-term rentals are illegal in residential neighborhoods. That’s my position.”
SB 50 in Sacramento is attempting to promote more statewide housing by relaxing parking and other building restrictions within transit-oriented zones. Of that, Bry said, “I will oppose any state legislation that would determine what gets built in our neighborhoods.
“Our updated community plans show where more density is allowed. I don’t believe abolishing single-family zoning is going to achieve our housing objective. Nor will approving SB 50 build one more unit of affordable housing.”
Bry intends this year to “introduce legislation requiring that all new residential projects, whether ministerial or discretionary, contain language already vetted and used in our [city] municipal code, [stating] that non-owner occupants must reside on the premises for a minimum of 30 consecutive calendar days.”
Added Bry, “I’ve been very upset that developers are now turning apartments into short-term rentals.”
Bry added her proposed new amended housing ordinance “will only apply to new apartments that get built.”
In answer to SB 50, Bry intends to propose a first-time homebuyer bond program.
“We need some sort of a tax credit for low-income renters in infill neighborhoods,” she said. “I’m trying to look at viable ways of helping to get more people into housing, into home ownership or rentals, that they can afford in transit-priority neighborhoods in the urban core.”
Bry noted she’s “very excited” about the prospects for Enhance La Jolla, La Jolla’s new Maintenance Assessment District that became active in October 2019, to actually enhance La Jolla.
“I’m excited about what they’re already doing, and about their long-term vision for the Village,” she said. “Doing errands in the Village, I can see their big push on picking up trash, etc.”
Bry said her “laundry list” for La Jolla capital improvements includes: repaving of Girard from Pearl to Genter, repaving La Jolla Parkway, blacktopping La Jolla Rec Center, providing two shuttles to move people throughout the Village from a remote parking reservoir, and funding ongoing Scripps Park Comfort Station improvements scheduled for completion in FY 2023.
A non-career politician, Bry said her reason to run for mayor is the same as it was to run for City Council.
“It’s been an extraordinary experience,” she said. “I want to make a real difference in this city.”
While noting a council member is only 1 of 9 voices, Bry added, “I’ve had the litmus test of being a council member. Now I want to take the next step.”
Bry pointed to her opposition to SoccerCity as one highlight in her political career. “My goal is to keep this [stadium renovation] moving along and to have a time set for closing escrow, so we can get this project started, build a new stadium and a river park and other great things,” Bry said.
At the grassroots level, Bry said her office will “continue our goal of providing constituent support services with the revenues that come in.”