I have just read the puff piece on Stephen Whitburn which was published in your February 2022 issue and I feel compelled to respond.
You heap praise on Mr. Whitburn for “his effort to serve his community,” but I live in his community and everything he has done, is doing, is damaging my community.
The most destructive program supported by Mr.Whitburn is the “Homes for All” initiative, which purports to be the magic solution which will create masses of new, affordable housing, by allowing developers free rein to build as many units as they want in older neighborhoods that have, until now, been zoned single-family. The new regulations remove virtually all restrictions, while also eliminating permit fees for developers, without requiring that any of the housing produced should be permanently affordable. Early results already show that the housing being produced is market-rate, not affordable, so the de-zoning (and destruction) of older neighborhoods will only result in developer enrichment, not affordable housing. The group “Neighbors for a Better San Diego” has been campaigning against these changes, trying to reason with, amongst others, the members of the City Council, like Mr. Whitburn. Mr. Whitburn, a member of the Land Use & Housing Committee, attended a meeting at which about 4 hours of impassioned, well-informed, fact-based testimony was presented to him, in an effort to have him consider supporting a handful of very reasonable amendments to the city’s new developer give-ways. Mr. Whitburn refused to budge, without offering any factual basis whatsoever for his position.
More recently, it has come to my attention that Mr, Whitburn, apparently acting on his own initiative, has sought to significantly loosen restrictions on retail outlets for cannabis sales, such they could be located in much closer proximity to schools, daycare centers, churches and other sensitive locations. Also part of his plan is to increase the hours of operation for cannabis outlets in San Diego. It is extremely ironic that Mr. Whitburn purports to be concerned about substance abuse, while initiating and pursuing the weakening of restrictions on the sales of drugs.
One can only wonder whose interests Mr. Whitburn really supports. Certainly not the interests of the majority of his constituents, but very possibly the interests of his donors.