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The Growth Issue

July 17, 1988

In reply to a letter in which a reader complains that a housing cap would drive up the price of housing in San Diego, I would remind her that, in the past year, housing prices have risen nearly 12% despite the fact that, even with the Interim Development Ordinance, more than 13,000 units were constructed.

There is a strong possibility that price increases would occur under any circumstances. It is up to the City Council to encourage low-cost housing, which is encouraged under the Quality of Life Initiative.

As far as I'm concerned, slow-growth advocates have already won, even if their measure is defeated, since they have forced a very reluctant City Council to seriously address the growth problem, which for the first time has decided to place a measure on the ballot that will probably contain some type of building cap.

No measure will satisfy everyone, but hardly anyone can deny that all of San Diego will eventually suffer if there is no attempt to control the runaway growth.

It's obvious that everyone pays for this growth through the cost of having to provide added services that are not picked up by developers or new residents. We see the effects of previous growth in added costs for sewers and other infrastructure in heavily overpopulated areas.

One way that the City Council can help low-income families is to award incentives for remodeling homes in the older sections of the city and to give preference to affordable new-housing permits. Controlled growth is an attitude on the part of all segments of the private and public sectors.

BYRON SLATER

San Diego

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