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San Diego City Council Candidate Questionnaire on San Diego Housing Issues
— District 2 Candidate Answers —

Neighbors For A Better San Diego emailed a questionnaire on San Diego housing issues to every candidate running for the 2022 San Diego City Council election.

 

We've grouped candidate responses by District. The following responses are from District 2 candidates.

Council District 2 Candidate List:

Jennifer Campbell   (has not responded)

Joel Day   (has not responded)

Mandy Havlik*

Linda Lukacs*

Lori Saldana   (has not responded)

Daniel Smiechowski*

*Completed and submitted survey

The following instructions were given to candidates:  If elected to the City Council, housing will be a key issue for you to address. So that voters can better understand your perspectives and positions, we are asking all candidates for City Council (Districts 2,4, 6, and 8) to complete this housing and development questionnaire.


The following topics are covered in this questionnaire: infill development in single-family neighborhoods, infrastructure funding, and development and transit.


After you complete the questionnaire, we will also offer you the opportunity to attend a town hall meeting in your district, hosted by Neighbors For A Better San Diego.

Q1 Candidate's Name:   (We've grouped all candidate answers under each question)


Q2  Candidate for District Number:  2


Q3  By indicating “yes” below, I acknowledge that the results of this survey will be published by Neighbors For A Better San Diego:

Mandy Havlik:  Yes

Linda Lukacs:  Yes

Daniel Smiechowski:  Yes

 


Q4  Should SB9 developments be allowed in Very High Fire Hazard Severity zones?  (Click for full question)

Mandy Havlik:  No

Linda Lukacs:  No

Daniel Smiechowski:  No

 


Q5  Should the City Council restrict the number of ADUs allowed in Very High Fire Hazard Severity zones?  (Click for full question)

Mandy Havlik:  Yes

Linda Lukacs:  Yes

Daniel Smiechowski:  Yes



Q6  Should San Diego’s ADU regulations be revised to match the state limitation of one ADU and one JADU on a single-family property?  (Click for full question)

Mandy Havlik:  Yes

Linda Lukacs:  Yes

Daniel Smiechowski:  Yes

 


Q7  Would you support changing the standard of measurement [for the Transit Priority Area] to actual walking distance, instead of the current “crow flies” distance?  (Click for full question)

Mandy Havlik:  Yes

Linda Lukacs: Yes

Daniel Smiechowski:  Yes


Q8  In his January, 2022 State of the City Address, Mayor Gloria said he will implement SB10. Do you support implementation of SB10?  (Click for full question)

 

Mandy Havlik:  No

Linda Lukacs:  No

Daniel Smiechowski:  No

 


Q9  If you responded "yes" to the prior question, what, if any, restrictions would you place on SB10 developments?

Mandy Havlik:  (No additional comment)

Linda Lukacs:  (No additional comment)

Daniel Smiechowski:  If we are going to make land available, lease it for a specified time and when the time is up it belongs to the City.


Q10  Should San Diego collect all allowable fees on ADU and SB9 development?  (Click for full question)

Mandy Havlik:  Yes

Linda Lukacs:  Yes

Daniel Smiechowski:  Yes


Q11  Given that the San Diego City Council voted 8-1 to override Proposition H and divert voter- supported infrastructure funding back into the general fund, how should San Diego pay for its infrastructure needs?

 

Mandy Havlik:  Our infrastructure is inadequate and in disarray throughout our communities and Infrastructure needs to be the number one priority for our city. It is a travesty that our infrastructure has been neglected for this long. I would prioritize our infrastructure projects and the funding for them. The city council needs to follow the law and the will of the people and establish a dedicated infrastructure fund.

 

We need to make immediate investments into our lacking infrastructure and into traffic safety mitigations that are waiting to be funded or installed throughout our communities. This will allow for more connected and safer communities.

Infrastructure projects put San Diegans to work with high- paying jobs and improve the quality of life for all San Diegans.

Our city knows that our aging and crumbling infrastructure desperately needs to be maintained and replaced. We need to be proactive instead of reactive. With prudent planning we can pay for, upgrades and replace our aging infrastructure before it fails.

San Diego is known for our inadequate and crumbling roads and infrastructure due to decades of neglect. We need to hold our city leaders accountable and put San Diegans to work and adequately fund and fix our infrastructure.

Linda Lukacs:  San Diego needs a prioritized, long term, fiscally responsible strategic plan that addresses our failing infrastructure. We need to start investing in our infrastructure by partnering with non-government entities and ensuring that we maximize our return on the infrastructure investment by planning for the future.

 

Identification of areas of wasteful spending is critical. A collaborative effort by City departments can help in preventing inefficient and costly revisions and remaking of projects.

Additionally, we need to ensure that San Diego receives the maximum federal and state funding for infrastructure projects.

Daniel Smiechowski:  by getting rid of the Mayor and the sitting City Council



Q12  Should San Diego fund bike lanes with DIFs instead of prioritizing parks and other public improvements?  (Click for full question)

Mandy Havlik:  No

Linda Lukacs:  No

Daniel Smiechowski:  No



Q13  How specifically should the city incentivize housing on transit and commercial corridors?  (Click for full question)

Mandy Havlik:  I do not believe the city should be incentivizing building near transit centers when our current transit infrastructure is woefully inadequate, underutilized and not economical. The city does not have any mechanism to enforce or ensure the residents living in these transit areas will utilize public transit.

Linda Lukacs: The City should be working with State and Federal governments to provide tax credits and capital gain deferrals. Establish a sustainable Transit Oriented Community fund for public and private investors which may include lower interest rate loans for qualified developers.

Daniel Smiechowski:  The City of San Diego ought to promote tiny homes suitable for singles with all amenities. The rents would be very low with a possible option to buy with some accrual of past rent to mortgage. Very small electric cars would be prioritized within these developments.
 


Q14  Please elaborate on any of your answers or your vision for how to manage San Diego’s growth, address housing challenges, and create a more livable and equitable city.

Mandy Havlik:  Our #1 asset is the coastal region. We are blessed with stunning beaches and two great bays with the finest weather for outdoor sports and recreation. It is the foundation of our reputation of being at the forefront of California's classic 'cool' outdoor lifestyle.

Instead of continuing to commercialize our coastal public lands and walling off the coast from residents and tourists alike, we need to turn direction and seek to expand access and opportunities to enjoy our coast for everyone.

Unsustainable and predatory housing policies are destroying natural spaces scattered through our community in the name of affordable housing. The city is pushing our community from our single-family homes into high density housing with a known lack of parks and open space that is required to grow happy and healthy neighborhoods. We are not going to build our way out of our affordable housing crisis.

The community is not getting the respect it deserves and the lack of transparency and values in our current city leadership is appalling. We need to do more to gain consensus from the community rather than from those who donate to our political campaigns. We need to have policy brought forth from community members, not just from corporations.

I will protect the 30-foot coastal height limit. I will protect our coastal access. I will advocate for and build parks and open space. I will bring accountability and transparency to City Hall. I will be honest with community members and will not ignore their requests for help.

Linda Lukacs:  Growth is necessary for a City to thrive while preserving our neighborhoods.
It is premature to plan development and housing projects that increase density when our current infrastructure cannot accommodate the growth.

ADUs and development projects in very high fire risk areas, if done properly by utilizing fire resistant materials and strategies such as perimeter barriers, could realistically lower the risk of fire hazard. Infrastructure must be in place prior to any development, specifically water sources and alternative traffic routes.

Daniel Smiechowski:  Today the price of housing is spiraling out of control because City Hall is owned by the developers.

The solution to bringing down hosing costs is a charter change that prohibits the sale of City owned land. The City of San Diego will regain control of housing costs when it controls the land that is starting point for all real estate value. Every time this City rezones property a developer makes millions and buys more City council men to continue the process.


The developers tell us the more housing they built the more it will bring down the price of housing. The politicians tell us that increased density for politically connected developers will solve the problem. I say HOGWASH!!


It is poor public policy to sell City owned land. Today, the most successful and financially sound government entity in San Diego County is the San Diego Unified Port District. It is totally self sufficient without charging taxes. The reason for the success of the Port District is The Port it is prohibited by its charter from selling Port District land.


The wealth of San Diego is not in the physical structures that we build on our land, it is in the underlying land and how we zone the land. For the last half century, City government has been making developers wealthy by changing zoning and density for projects owned by politically connected developers.