Escondido, CA
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The inconsistencies of control

Just about the time I think there is nothing more to say about this CV-19 along comes a situation of the inconsistencies in how our lifestyles are being controlled. What hasn’t changed is the physical distance of six feet that we are supposed to maintain along with wearing a face covering such as a mask. Well, except if you are in a protest march or a rally. We are now hearing of the rise in the number of cases in some states and in 14 days we shall see if anything of note comes about as a result of the recent mass gatherings.

While shopping at various supermarkets I have noticed the inconsistencies. Vons has removed the directional arrows in the aisles as has Aldi. However, Vons still does not allow us to bring in our own bags but Sprout’s, Walmart and Aldi do. Sprout’s still monitors how many people are allowed in the store—maintaining a waiting line outside with a door guard keeping track and admitting one person at a time as people leave the store. I found it interesting that Sprout’s and Walmart use one door for enter only and one door for exit only while at Vons we can choose which door. How about someone publishing a matrix of what to expect at every retail store. Ahh, so fun to go shopping.

The gym is another story. Last week they were allowed to be open and at LA Fitness we had to approach the entry wearing a mask and maintaining the six foot separation. When it was my turn I had my temperature taken then proceeded inside with the caution to maintain separation. No problem. Today, Monday, following the above procedure I was instructed that new state guidelines dictated that the mask must be worn during the workout period—which was not the case last week. I guess it is OK except that my glasses keep getting fogged up even after I pinched the mask to surround my nose a little closer.

Another topic of discussion the past few years actually has been the need for affordable housing. This is best achieved when there is ample supply. Eco 101 teaches about supply and demand. Beginning in the 1960’s, millions of homes were being built all over the country. Southern California was booming especially in flatland Orange County. The aerospace industry was popping, creating thousands of jobs. As a result of all the homes being built the prices were affordable including rental properties.

All that changed when in California new state and local restrictions to building created an increased cost to a new home. Point Loma Nazarene University conducted a study a few years ago and it was determined that over 40% of the cost of a home is due to government regulations. Then you add that some jurisdictions prohibit certain developments adding to the further decline in supply as this City Council did last year when they denied the addition of housing on Parking Lot #1 downtown.

In one breath the council says housing is needed downtown to put feet on the street as an economic driver for all the downtown businesses. Then when the opportunity was presented to meet the stated goals they denied the development. Now there is a proposal to review the Downtown Specific Plan to potentially create more housing opportunities. I was a member of the original DSP committee finalizing the plan in 1993 to create a mix of commercial and residential properties and a council member approving an update in 2012. I urge caution in removing first floor retail.

Just a few words regarding a newer buzz word ‘live/work spaces.’ Over 100 years ago downtowns were built with a ground floor business and residential above where many of the business owners lived, so you see this is not a new concept. It worked then and it will work now. After WWII Mr. Levitt began developing a town of affordable homes on Long Island beginning the move to the ‘burbs.’ Guess what, now we are going back to pre-WWII by going back downtown. Again, not new.

Here you go. SIP GAZ. I have no idea but I hope that doesn’t refer to gasoline.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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