Families 'devastated' city could tear down Sunset Cliffs homes

Posted at 4:39 PM, Sep 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-21 20:36:16-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Down a dirt path only accessible from the picturesque Point Loma Nazarene University, you'll find the house Erin Corbin grew up in.

"This was my bedroom," she says, pointing to a window on the south side. "And now it's my son's bedroom."

Corbin says in between she's hosted her best friend's wedding, built mosaics in the front yard, and planted Christmas trees — all above a million dollar view of Sunset Cliffs.

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But that house is now on the city's chopping block.

"I mean, we're devastated," Corbin said. "We love this place."

Corbin's family is renting the two-bedroom house from the city, on land that is technically part of Sunset Cliffs Park. The city wants to tear down that house, and three others on the parkland, to restore the natural habitat.

A city spokesman says the city charter only allows city parks to be used for parks and recreation and housing.

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The plans come as the city strives to add homes in a supply crunch, not destroy them. 

"It's not going to serve anybody any better," said Jason Burns, who rents a cottage on the parkland. "It's just going to displace us from our homes, and make us have to find some high-priced rent."

But it's not totally a done deal.

The homes were built before the city acquired the park, and the city needs to determine whether they are historic. Corbin says the one she's lived in was used by the theosophical society.

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"We're trying to prolong our stay here," she said, noting she is thankful for the time at the home already. "It would be great, I've always thought, if we could stay at least until our son's out of high school."

Corbin says she has seen city workers cutting down nearby trees and doing pipe work.

The city still is doing an environmental review for the overall project and future decisions would be made at public hearings, with dates to be determined.