SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A plan to convert a motel in the South Bay into transitional housing on Wednesday was dealt a big blow.
Earlier this year, the city bought the Super 8 Motel on Palm Avenue with the idea of turning it into a facility to help low-level drug offenders, but residents pushed back.
On Wednesday night, residents scored a big victory after the Otay Mesa Nestor Community Planning Board unanimously denied recommending a conditional use permit for the transitional home – two abstained.
“This is the South Bay. We are stuck with all the riffraff. We are tired of that,” said Gabriel Uribe, Otay Mesa Nestor Community Planning Board member.
The city said there would be 24-seven monitoring, security, counseling and services. After Prop 47 was approved, knocking down some non-violent felonies to misdemeanors, it contributed to more people on the street, amplifying the homeless housing crisis.
City staff said, “The city’s choice was to satisfy the goal associated with homelessness and provide affordable housing.”
The South County Economic Development Council said the project will hinder the revitalization efforts on Palm Avenue into the south beaches and Coronado.
“This project which is a great program but absolutely horrific location is going to be a determinate to encouraging and turning around the rest of Palm Avenue,” said Cindy Gomper, CEO and president of the South County Economic Development Council.
If approved, by October of next year the motel could be a transitional house for low-level criminals.
Families protesting the project said they understand it is needed, but not in their neighborhood.
City Council is expected to vote on December 13th. Council Member David Alvarez who represents the district was the lone vote against purchasing the hotel for transitional use.
City staff and the attorney refused to comment after the meeting – only referring News 8 to the communications department.
The city reports transitional smart homes are in all City Council districts except in District 1) La Jolla area, District 5) Rancho Bernardo area and in District 8) where the proposed housing would be – in Nestor.