Solana Beach may seek affordable housing near beach

Posted at 5:18 PM, Mar 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-14 21:22:16-04

SOLANA BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) - Solana Beach is one of San Diego County's most expensive places to live, but it has no affordable housing.

Now, the City Council may pursue turning a part of the City Hall parking lot into a 19-unit mixed-use affordable housing complex. The council could vote Wednesday to issue a request for proposals for development of the site, with the hopes of selecting a company to build it by September. 

City Hall, by the way, is across the street from steps that lead to its famous beaches. 

"It'd be like winning the lottery," said Christian McDonough, one of the hundreds of people who work in Solana Beach's tourist-facing businesses, but can't afford to live there. "If you're in the service industry, you're most likely not living in Solana Beach."

This would be the city's second attempt to add affordable housing. In 2014, the council approved a 10-unit complex called The Pearl, down the block from City Hall. It is still awaiting financing after surviving a legal challenge, developer Ginger Hitzke said.

Richard Earle, who rented a blufftop condo for more than a month, said he supports the idea of affordable housing, but said it wouldn't solve the larger problem.

"It's going to turn into a gong show for 5,000 applicants and we're going to say, here's the lucky 20," Earle said. 

Zillow reports that the average rent in Solana Beach is $4,837 a month, up 4.7 percent from a year ago.