SAN DIEGO (CNS and KGTV) - San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob unveiled proposals for affordable housing and fire protection Tuesday during her annual State of the County speech.
Jacob said now is ``no time to play small ball,'' as the county needs affordable housing while protecting residents from the biggest natural threat, wildfire. With more than 60,000 homes at risk in the county, ``we must find some balance in this battle,'' she said.
Since the 2003 Cedar Fire, the county has spent $500 million for on suppression efforts such as purchasing more trucks and hiring better-trained firefighters, Jacob said.
``Hope for the best, prepare for the worst and allow more housing -- that's the challenge,'' she said.
Jacob said that next month, she and Supervisor Jim Desmond will propose that the county's efforts include requiring better housing materials.
The county must strengthen fire-safe councils and fuel reduction efforts, and push state and federal leaders to eliminate environmental reviews required for brush removal, she said.
Jacob added that there needs to be improved mapping to identify high-risk communities, along with housing dispatchers under one roof to improve response time and save lives.
When it comes to affordable housing, Jacob said the county must add another $25 million to its fund, which could mean 1,000 more homes in the region.
The board recently approved a policy that encourages homeowners to build so-called granny flats on their property, offering more housing for seniors, veterans and homeless people, Jacob said.
The county could also offer permit-ready building plans, which would save residents money, she said.
Jacob said the county is encouraging low-middle income housing with several projects, two of which are underway, for a total of 453 homes.
Other proposals included improved mental health treatment, caregiver funding, and energy provider choices.