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University City community divided over city's housing plan

Supporters say the plan will help fix the housing crisis, but the plan faces significant community opposition.

SAN DIEGO — The City of San Diego is drawing up a plan to build more housing in University City. The University community plan update would build more high-density units.

Supporters say the plan will help fix the housing crisis, but the plan faces significant community opposition.

Those in favor of the city’s plan and those opposed to it held separate rallies Saturday in University City.

Protesters are pushing back against the city's plan to build more housing, saying it is not reasonable for their community.

"It’s just the enormity of the density they are proposing," said San Diegan, Nancy Powell.

The city’s original proposal called for as many as 56,000 units. The updated community plan would add between 30,000 to 35,000 housing units.

Those against the plan say it would increase the city’s population exponentially, compromise critical infrastructure and worsen traffic and parking in the area.

The long-term development plan aims to double the number of jobs in the city’s top employment center.

Many against it call the city’s plan unreasonable.

"We’re not against reasonable development. We just don’t want multi-story, multi-unit two of those on the same property," added Powell.

However, those who support the plan say more large-scale development is needed to address the housing crisis.

"University City is a major employment center and we want to give people the opportunity to live near where they work by doing so we’re reducing their commute which is improving their quality of life, its improving equity so that everyone of all income levels can afford to live near their work place," said Rachel Graham, with the nonprofit Our Time to Act United.

Graham addressed concerns over the traffic gridlock the new development could cause.

"We just completed construction of the blue line trolley extension and that’s seen immense ridership. So people’s opportunities to get in and out of University City and within University City is greater than ever," she said.

Graham says increasing public transportation is one way San Diego can takes steps to address the climate crisis.

She adds that the plan would also create more affordable housing options. But those against it say the new housing would be anything but affordable.

"It's not affordable. trust me, they have to put in a very small number of units at low rates, and the rest of the market rate is outrageous. And then they say affordable housing. One of the quotes we saw was 600 square feet $3,300 a month. That's not affordable," said one San Diegan.

The plan is set to be finalized later this year.

WATCH RELATED: University City residents worry about massive growth planned for their community (Oct. 2022).

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