Cut to the Chase
Articles on

Pub. Date Title Subject
SDDT 2/24/03 Irrational planning... on rails
The politics at issue here are the politics of big-money and good-old-boyism involved with so-called “Light Rail Transit” (LRT) planning in our region. There's nothing really “light” about LRT in terms of either the costs or time it takes to deliver.
SDDT 2/17/03 Great cities, great planning... and San Diego
The following are comments presented to the Land Use and Housing Committee on February 12, 2003, concerning General Plan Update Work program for the Planning Department. The group's purpose is to update the General Plan and Community Plans to become consistent with the Strategic Framework Element, aka “City of Villages.”
SDDT 11/02 Balancing Progress With Preservation
The following is a condensed version of remarks from a speech I made to a San Diego Chamber of Commerce audience, entitled “Balancing Progress With Preservation.”
SDDT 10/14/02 Reinvent planning

How did they plan great cities before we had fancy computers to draw colorful maps? Are cities planned better since? These questions were brought into focus recently when I attended a meeting where developers were presenting their ground-truthing for the County's General Plan 2020 update.

SDDT 9/25/02 In pursuit of good growth

What do soccer moms, bored teenagers and weary commuters have in common? They are identified as just a few of the "victims of sprawl" in "Suburban Nation," a book by leading new urbanist designers and implementors: Andres Duany, Elizatbeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck.

SDDT 9/1/02 City of Parks or City of Parking?
I do not disagree that this "Strategic Framework Element" for the General Plan contains some good language. But good language that is not enforceable and sets no standards is just that: pretty prose and nothing more.
SDDT 8/5/02 Housing Hysteria
Unprecedented discussions about San Diego’s unaffordable housing have taken place since a July 2001 City Council direction that staff create proposal for a "flexible inclusionary housing program with incentives."
SDDT 6/12/02 Plan before power
Bills are being pursued in the State legislature ... to give more land-use power to the San Diego Association of Governments by establishing it as the official, state-mandated regional government.
SDDT 5/27/02 Protect What Merits Protection
On May 1, 2002, Watt Commercial Properties had workers chop down three mature jacaranda trees in downtown San Diego.
SDDT 2/25/02 Fired Up
The history of California’s beautiful landscapes has been greatly shaped by the awesome power of fire.
SDDT 12/17/01 Leadership with Sprawl Vision
While most people would find solace in some swatches of remaining rolling hills and open space, each of those remaining private undeveloped areas of any size has plans and projects already permitted and/or in the pipeline.
SDDT 10/29/01 Lower costs doesn't equal more affordable This is a Cut to the Chase "special edition" in the sense that it's a rebuttal to a commentary by Steve Doyle, President of the San Diego Building Industry Association. For those of you who didn't seen it, I include it, followed by my response.
SDDT 9/10/01 Flat-Earth Thinking in Our Time

I'm fed up with big-airport boosterism. Study after study after study has piled up on putting a new international airport in the San Diego region. These studies provide easy targets for "Golden Fleece" awards from the San Diego County Taxpayer's Association.

SDDT 8/27/01 It takes a region The foreseeable problems identified by RGEC - continued declines in quality of life due to sprawl, loss of open space, funding and infrastructure deficits, pollution and traffic - are unlikely to be solved until some accountable regional decision-making body is established to enhance the current limitations and biases of the SANDAG "agency-by-memo" structure.
SDDT 7/16/01 Santee Folly Square Is there anything in this project that makes it oriented toward the trolley - other than the name? I think not. When you look at the site plan, it's dominated by parking, parking, parking. It's basically one-story, big-box, car-oriented retail: a poster child for "infill sprawl."
SDDT 6/18/01 Pollitics Higher taxes or higher traffic? Which would you choose? The problem is, we are getting both.
SDDT 6/1/01 Guidelines for Future Development The city of San Diego Planning Department is all honked-up in its production of an amendment to the General Plan, something blandly called the Strategic Framework Element.
SDDT 2/23/01 Regional questions

If regionalism is the answer, what's the question? And who's asking it?

SDDT 7/16/00 Who Wants It? City of San Diego General Plan and Growth Shell Game
SDDT 8/7/00 Biotech vs Biology? Problems and solutions of energy deregulation
SDDT 7/10/00 Ask the Mayoral Candidates Politics, Environment and The Mayor
SDDT 7/3/00 Market Failure Affordable housing
SDDT 5/15/00 Blame Game Wetlands vs. Roads
SDDT 4/24/00 Rationale for Regionalism Smart Growth & regionalism
SDDT 4/10/00 Smart growth showdown Assumption of Smart Growth
SDDT 4/3/00 Sprawlitics County rezone of agricultural preserves
SDDT 3/13/00 Putting up  What would a great transportation system be like?
SDDT 1/21/00 Sprawl schools Schools vs. affordable housing
SDDT 11/26/99  Influences Past and Future Growth/sprawl -- the Top 10 influences in American cities
SDDT 11/22/99  Growth Politics Urban planning/sprawl -- Fanita Ranch
SDDT 11/12/99 Road to ruin  Public weighs in on bad roads
SDDT 10/20/99  Solving Sprawl How and why about sprawl
SDDT 10/18/99  What Fuels These Mortals Be Oil overdependence & fuel economy
SDDT 10/1/99  Ways to Go Solutions & the paradox of auto-mobility
  Civic Infrastructure Public participation
SDDT 7/19/99 More of the same  
SDDT 6/7/99 Political Infrastructure Thinking regionally
SDDT 5/31/99 Civic Salad Smart growth
SDDT 5/3/99 Still Smarting Smart growth
SDDT 4/3/99 Planning to fail Fees for smart growth
SDDT 3/29/99 Grow Getters Smart growth?
SDDT 3/22/99 Course correction  Business & Sustainability
SDDT 3/15/99 Better not Bigger Myths of growth
SDDT 3/8/99 Driving Evolution Green cars & trucks
SDDT 3/1/99 Growtesque Dysfunctional growth
SDDT 2/22/99 Global Growth Population growth
SDDT 2/15/99 Minds over Matter How much stuff do we have?
SDDT 2/8/99 Lanes to nowhere Congestion & sprawl
SDDT 2/1/99 Special Studies Mission Bay Park
SDDT 1/25/99 Grow Up San Diego Population growth
SDDT 1/18/99 Mismatch? What kind of growth?
SDDT 12/7/98 Sustainable Water Future State water blueprint
SDDT 11/30/98 Giving Thanks Carmel Mountain Preserve
SDDT 11/9/98 Ballot Box Reality Review of election results
SDDT 10/26/98 Sprawl Wars  Responsible growth?
SDDT 9/14/98 Sprawling America Suburban sprawl growth
SDDT 9/7/98 Cultural Evolution Building vs stopping projects
SDDT 8/24/98 Trickle Down Housing Affordable housing
SDDT 8/17/98 Putting a Price on Mom Ecology, economics & growth
SDDT 8/10/98 Trip to Tomorrowland Disneyland & trarnsportation planning
SDDT 7/27/98 Car Redux Grwoth & traffic
SDDT 7/20/98 21st Century Infrastructure: Builders Wanted Science, environment & growth
SDDT 7/6/98 Planning Happens Planning & growth
SDDT 6/22/98 A Tale of Two Developments Growth & development
SDDT 6/15/98 Political education Transit connections missing
SDDT 5/15/98 Get out of gridlock Sharing the road
SDDT 5/8/98 Quite a vision or Growing Up? Urban growth/open space
SDDT 5/1/98 Growth vs. evolution Sustainability
SDDT 4/27/98 Time for a New American Dream Voluntary Simplicity
SDDT 4/3/98 Smart Taxes Tax pollution,reward enterprise
SDDT 3/16/98 A bay in the hand is worth a bunch to Busch, or
Givin' away the bay
Mission Bay Park
SDDT 3/2/98 Going, Going, Gone Endangered biodiversity
SDDT 2/23/98 All Wet Local flooding issues
SDDT 2/16/98 Meet the Enemy Population growth
SDDT 2/2/98 Phase This, or Dumb or Dumber? SR-56 & growth
SDDT 1/26/98 Prescription for Decongestion Needed Freeway congestion
SDDT 1/12/98 Fields of Dreams, or People Politics The ballot initiative process
SDDT 1/12/98 Growing the Future Our addiction to growth
SDDT 12/29/97 In with the new Year-end summary
SDDT 12/22/97 Responsibility Relief Regulatory relief politics
SDDT 12/8/97 Tyranny of Choice or The Terms of the Deals Downtown dealmaking
SDDT 11/17/97  Wets up? Wetlands protection