Our Readers Write: Scripps Coastal Reserve, proposed property sales tax

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Letters to the editor


Reopening Scripps Coastal Reserve is best for everyone

I appreciate the Light’s coverage of UC San Diego’s ongoing unexplained closure of Scripps Coastal Reserve without a permit required under the California Coastal Act, and I am encouraged by reading the many follow-up letters to the editor that demonstrate how much this reserve means to the community (“Coastal Commission investigates as Scripps Coastal Reserve at UC San Diego remains closed,” July 27).

In addition to UC San Diego’s legal obligation to reopen the reserve to its previous daily hours, I believe the university is also ignoring the incredible value that public access provides to the university itself. The reserve is vital for students, as it is the only natural reserve that is easily accessible to those living on campus without cars, and it is a truly spectacular one. The sweeping coastal views from well over 300 feet above Black’s Beach are arguably the most dramatic in the county.

A view from the Scripps Coastal Reserve is pictured March 2, 2020, shortly before the reserve's ongoing closure began.
A view from the Scripps Coastal Reserve is pictured March 2, 2020, shortly before the reserve’s ongoing closure that began with the COVID-19 pandemic.
(David Lebowitz)

It was the place where I came to discover and love nature when I was a student at UC San Diego, and the reserve provided me with a necessary balance to the stress of college life. The same is true of many of my friends and of generations of UC San Diego students.

Especially with the dramatic expansion and concentration of student housing along the university’s western edge, reopening Scripps Coastal Reserve will play a vital role in achieving Chancellor Pradeep Khosla’s vision of “the transformation of the UC San Diego campus into a live, learn, play community.”

David Lebowitz

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Proposed tax on expensive property sales is needed to address housing insecurity

The proposed real estate transfer tax would fund help for the homeless, prevent evictions, teach renters their rights and build affordable housing. But some in the real estate industry claim taxing high-end home sales isn’t needed (“Proposed San Diego ‘mansion tax’ would unfairly affect La Jolla property owners,” Guest Commentary, Aug. 24, La Jolla Light).

That just isn’t true.

This modest 1.75 percent to 2.25 percent tax would apply to expensive property sales over $2.5 million across San Diego. While the comparable Los Angeles tax did not produce as much revenue as expected, L.A. still receives millions more to tackle housing insecurity. San Diego needs that kind of dedicated funding.

Past San Diego spending for housing affordability is ad-hoc or tied to grants or changes with each budget cycle, but this [tax] creates a sustainable source of funding.

Housing insecurity harms public health and safety all over the city. La Jolla should be part of the solution. It is practical and ethical to ask those selling their houses and benefiting the most from San Diego’s housing price boom to pay a small share.

With over 8,000 homeless people, San Diego must solve the interconnected housing and homelessness crises. This tax provides key resources to uplift the whole community.

Saad Asad

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What’s on YOUR mind?

Letters published in the La Jolla Light express views from readers about community matters. Submissions of related photos also are welcome. Letters reflect the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of the newspaper staff or publisher. Letters are subject to editing. To share your thoughts in this public forum, email them with your first and last names and city or neighborhood of residence to You also can submit a letter online at The deadline is 10 a.m. Monday for publication in that week’s paper. Letters without the writer’s name cannot be published. Letters from the same person are limited to one in a 30-day period. See the full policy at ◆