An affordable housing development for veterans in Poway was voted down by the Poway City Council Tuesday,
The City Council voted against the new Habitat for Humanity housing project, set to be built on a vacant lot zoned only for affordable housing.
The Mayor of Poway said the community supports veterans, but in the end, could not support the project proposal put in front of them.
"We have roughly 20 parcels around the city and we would gladly provide those parcels to the right project we just don't have the ability to throw a bunch of money on top of that," said Poway Mayor Steve Vaus.
Neighbors initially complained the project would be too big. As a result Habitat for Humanity scaled down the development. However, the cost of the project then went up.
The $800,000 price tag for the City of Poway would have been spread over a period of years for the 22 units.
Vaus said the decision came down to an additional cost to the city they did not expect.
"For me the biggest question was, can we handcuff all of our affordable housing projects just to make this one happen, is that the right thing to do, and for me the answer was no," he said.
Poway City Council Member John Mullin told NBC 7 San Diego that he is at a loss after years of work.
"We had a number of veterans come up to say how much they would look forward to joining the Poway community it is heartbreaking to me that they won't have this opportunity without this project," he said.
However, some residents in the area, who did not wish to be interviewed on camera, said they worried about an increase in traffic if the project were to go through.
A City study found traffic would not increase significantly as a result of the project.
Veterans disapointed with the vote said they feel as if the move is simply a way of denying them affordable housing options.
"I don't think the country does enough for us and I thought I lived in a place, in the city of Poway, which holds veterans very high," said Veteran and Poway resident Thomas Farrell. "You know, we have a beautiful Veterans Park here, but for us a lot of us, we are just disheartened now."
Mayor Vaus says he is talking to another Veteran's group about the possibility of creating another project the City can afford.
Another City activist told NBC 7 the land has been zoned only for affordable housing - and zoned for 10 more units than the most recent plan called for.