San Diego

Military Families Struggle for Say in Tierrasanta Community Planning

Military families in Tierrasanta say they feel left out of planning for their community’s future.

The Tierrasanta Community Planning Board only allows them one representative, but that representative cannot vote.

Samantha Carlson and her baby Emmett love Tierrasanta. They’ve been on a long waitlist just to live in the Lincoln military housing there. “We love the community. We love our neighbors, we love everything that's close by. We waited a while to get here so we don't plan on going anywhere,” Carlson tells NBC 7.

She says she was surprised to learn the military community doesn’t get a vote on the planning board. “Well, as military families we might only be here for a temporary amount of time but doesn't discount our vote or our opinions or how we feel about the community,” Carlson says. “So I think it's important that we're included."

Board President Jan Whitacre says they've tried to reach out to the military community for years, but they never appointed a representative. Whitacre says even though the representative wouldn't have a vote, they would a say in how the community is shaped.

In response, the city of San Diego is promising staff help to make sure the military community is heard. It released a statement saying in part:

"It is essential that community planning groups acknowledge the importance of all voices within the community and facilitate an environment where all segments of the community can come together to discuss issues.”

The planning group typically meets once a month at the Tierrasanta Recreation Center.

“As somebody who does like to participate in voting options, and does want to be a part of the community, I think it's important that the oversight is looked at."

The planning board president says so far one person has expressed interested in the position and the president is working to get that person appointed.

The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 17.

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