SAN DIEGO — Protests relating to a new California measure that allows for more dense housing took place across San Diego neighborhoods Saturday.

SB 10, which was signed into law by Governor Newsom in 2021, was passed as a means to address issues of housing availability by expanding development options for local governments in certain areas.

The bill does this by allowing cities and counties to pass an ordinance for zoning up to 10 homes in transit-rich areas or “urban in-fill sites,” which are places zoned for residential use that are mostly surrounded by urban parcels.

Critics of the measure — many of whom gathered at Saturday’s protests — have concerns about the future of single-family neighborhoods.

“Everybody wants to live here, (but) we can’t accommodate everybody,” Gary Kent, a San Diego real estate agent, told FOX 5. “People bought homes with the understanding that I am paying more to live in this neighborhood, so I can have a quieter neighborhood … The city and state are saying just forget all that.”

If San Diego governments chose to use the zoning changes SB 10 allows, those opposed to the measure worry that parking availability will decrease, while increasing traffic with greater housing density.

“These are things that are going to disrupt the fabric of our community,” a Clairemont homeowner, Diane Shutt, told FOX 5. it will make it difficult for people to continue to live here.”

Some also expressed concerns that the changes to zoning will make it harder for people to buy single-family homes.

“With the current plans, it feels more like I will be a lifelong renter and not the owner of a single-family home that would be best for raising my future family,” said a UCSD student and University City resident, Michael Kozma.

Supporters of the use for SB 10 for re-zoning certain areas stressed during Saturday’s demonstrations that this will help with the overall lack of housing across the county.

“What this is really about is not protecting anything, this is about excluding people,” said a supporter of SB 10, Ryan Clumpner.

Clumpner owns a home in Clairemont. Some of his neighbors, he said, have built accessory dwelling units (ADU) on their properties.

He said that Clairemont is a great location to make a point, as more housing options have added benefits to neighborhoods like his.

“I think they’re wonderful,” Clumpner said. “They look straight into my yard (and) I don’t care. I have wonderful new neighbors who are renting that ADU. I see no problem with it.”

“This is a matter of whether we are a welcoming community or not,” he continued.

The City of San Diego has plans to implement SB 10 locally, as part of the San Diego Housing Action Package 2.0.

Changes consistent with the state measure would encourage development of “missing middle” homes by allowing additional development on certain parcels, as well as require a portion of all developments to be set aside as deed-restricted affordable homes.

On the website describing the Housing Action package, the city said in part: “This initiative will also incentivize and promote new home opportunities in all communities that San Diegans of all income levels can afford.”