Clairemont residents voice concerns about proposed affordable housing project

SAN DIEGO -- Residents in Clairemont voice their concerns during a community planning meeting Tuesday about a planned affordable housing project.

San Diego County officials said the goal is to build multi-family residential units on Mount Etna Drive where the former San Diego County Crime Lab now stands.

According to a "frequently asked questions" document provided by San Diego County, half of the units would be dedicated to help those who are in need -- including people with special needs, mental illnesses, substance abuse issues and those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

The county said it is looking "favorably upon proposals that include a mix of seniors, military personal, and veterans as well as workforce and middle income housing".

“There’s not a proposal right now that is before the public and so we don’t have a number of units that we can talk to right now,” David Estrella, director of the Housing and Community Development Services and Health and Human Services Agency, said.

The Clairemont Coalition on Homelessness is backing the project.

“The county’s plans also would possibly include a component of supportive housing for populations like veterans, or domestic violence victims and we would love to see these components of a project come to Clairemont,” Emily Cottrell, with the organization, said.

On the other side, a number of residents fear a high-rise full of people would not only lead to parking and traffic issues, but hurt the quality of life.

“The view and the flow of the neighborhood would be greatly upset,” concerned resident Stuart Johnson said.

“Changing the height requirements to 65 feet would put a 65-foot-tall building overlooking directly my backyard,” Carrie Little said. 

County officials said at this time they are talking to several developers about the future of the property. If the plan is accepted, construction could start by late 2020.

11 county properties are currently being reviewed for potential affordable housing developments.

Click here to view the Affordable Housing Site Assessment Summary Table.

During Tuesday's Clairemont Community Planning Group meeting, residents were told the initial public comment stage would be extended by county officials.

A public scoping meeting will take place September 25 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the County Operations Facility at 5500 Overland Ave.