Axios San Diego

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Hey, it's Monday. Let's get this week started off right!

  • Today's weather: Coast โ€” Mostly sunny with highs in the low 60s. Inland โ€” Mostly sunny with highs in the mid-60s.

Situational awareness: Don't forget about the solar eclipse happening at 11:11am. And make an extra-special wish โ€” it might just come true!

๐ŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to Axios San Diego member Florence M. McGee!

Today's newsletter is 895 wordsย  โ€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Gloriaโ€™s Point Loma pivot hasnโ€™t satisfied shelter opponents

The H Barracks site for the proposed safe parking lot. Photo: Andy Keatts/Axios

Mayor Todd Gloria last week pivoted away from building a large, controversial shelter in Point Loma to pursuing a safe parking lot there instead.

Why it matters: The shift โ€” which was announced along with plans for a 1,000-bed shelter โ€” won't end a standoff with residents who organized against the Point Loma proposal, but it could provide parking for 200 vehicles in which people are living.

  • The city currently operates four lots where people living in cars or RVs can park overnight, with access to restrooms, services and treatment.

What they're saying: "I consider it a battle that has been won, but the war isn't close to over," said Derek Falconer with Point Loma Cares, a nonprofit group formed to oppose the shelter proposal.

  • Gloria said the city will still reserve the option of building a shelter at the site, though it will shift its focus to turning it into a parking lot.

State of play: That site is called H Barracks โ€” 5 city-owned acres between the airport and Liberty Station.

  • Gloria said the proposed parking lot would serve the large population of people living in oversized vehicles in the Peninsula area.

Fine print: In February, San Diego reached a $3.2 million settlement in a long-running lawsuit over city rules against parking oversized vehicles and living in vehicles.

  • That settlement prohibits the city from enforcing those laws if it cannot provide "reasonably available nighttime parking."

The intrigue: Falconer said nothing has materially changed, since the city could still consider building a shelter structure at H Barracks.

  • He said his group will scrutinize the H Barracks plans to "find places where we can make the process more painful and more expensive for the city."
  • The group will sue to block the project unless the city forms a working group to discuss alternatives, Falconer said.

What's next: Gloria's pivot away from building a 700-bed shelter at H Barracks depends on his plan to instead open a 1,000-bed shelter in Middletown, but the City Council still needs to approve that proposal.

  • That approval process begins with an April 18 committee hearing. It's unclear how the city's plans could again shift if the City Council doesn't sign off on the Middletown shelter.

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2. Most mortgage offers go to first-time homebuyers

Share of mortgage offers made to first-time homebuyers in 2023
Data: LendingTree; Note: Mortgage offer refers to any type of mortgage offered to a LendingTree marketplace user by a LendingTree lender; Map: Axios Visuals

First-time homebuyers received 73% of mortgage offers in California in 2023 โ€” among the highest in the country, per a recent LendingTree report.

Why it matters: It's one more sign current homeowners are still feeling the golden handcuffs effect of not wanting to give up existing low-rate mortgages.

By the numbers: Nationwide, 65% of mortgage offers went to first-time homebuyers in 2023, per the report.

Between the lines: However, fewer people overall were taking out mortgages in 2023.

  • "First-time buyers simply appear to make up a larger portion of a relatively small pool of buyers," senior economist Jacob Channel says.

Zoom out: The largest share of offers went to first-time buyers in high-cost areas, including New York, California and New Jersey, where current homeowners are especially reluctant to give up their mortgage rates, per the report.

The big picture: This is the least-affordable housing market for first-time buyers in more than four decades, Axios' Emily Peck reports.

  • The monthly cost of a typical mortgage rose to 40% of a buyer's household income last year, the highest rate since the 1980s, per Capital Economics.

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3. The Lineup: Catch up quick

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

๐Ÿฅผ The county medical examiner takes up to six months to determine a cause of death in San Diego because of a backlog that officials say largely owes to a surge in fatal drug overdoses โ€” mainly from fentanyl. (Union-Tribune)

๐Ÿ  Seven thousand San Diego households lost home insurance when American National became the latest insurance firm to leave California. The company attributed its decision to extreme weather. (10 News)

๐Ÿค Rachel Morineau, a community-engagement director at a South Bay service provider, will serve as an interim councilmember for Chula Vista through the end of the year, filling out the remainder of the term that Andrea Cardenas resigned. (KPBS)

4. Sips & Snacks: ๐Ÿฃ ๐Ÿถ Sushi and sake at Temaki

The spicy tuna crispy rice, edamame and sake bombs at Temaki Bar. Photo: Kate Murphy/Axios

North County residents should consider Temaki Bar in downtown Encinitas for their next happy hour or date spot for sushi and sake.

Dig in: The spicy tuna crispy rice starter, served with chili garlic and citrus ponzu sauce, is a menu highlight.

  • Yes, but: The curated hand roll sets with chilled, fresh fish over warm rice are the stars at this small sushi bar.
  • Dre's Pop N' Rock hand roll (Pop Rocks, bang-bang shrimp and mango) is $5 during happy hour (3-5pm Monday-Thursday) and pairs well with a $5 sake carafe.

The vibe: A few blocks from the ocean, sit chef-side at the chic-yet-casual space decorated by bold and colorful graffiti art.

  • The made-to-order rolls are served one at a time and meant to be eaten immediately, which isn't hard.

More details and April specials

5. Share your solar eclipse photos

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

If you get a glimpse of the solar eclipse in San Diego County, or you booked an Airbnb elsewhere for a better view, we want to hear from you!

Hit reply to this email and send us your best photos of the sky or shadows during this celestial event. We'd love to share them with our readers!

Give back

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We're grateful for your trust and continued readership.

Our picks:

๐Ÿฅ Andy is still reeling from watching Trevor Baptiste go 25-2 in faceoffs Friday as the Seals secured a home playoff game.

๐Ÿ€ Kate is so impressed by coach Dawn Staley and the undefeated Gamecocks. Iconic.

This newsletter was edited by Carly Mallenbaum and copy edited by James Gilzow.