Real Estate Matters – BLOG

Real Estate Matters!  

Ask James- Real Estate Matters is a new BLOG where visitors to the RTB website can ask James LaMattery any questions that they’d like.  This is an effort to keep complete transparency in the community as to who I am and what my motives are for helping my community, sitting on the Ad Hoc Subcommittee for the Morena Specific Plan, and going door-to-door in our neighborhoods.  Posts can come from any geographical area and need not be limited to the issues on this website.  Please be patient after you post your questions as all comments on the website have to be manually approved by one our designated moderators, due to the high volume of visitors, website trolls, and spam artists constantly attempt to game the site with spam, pornography, self-interests, etc.


This is a personal blog. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity unless explicitly stated. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.



James LaMattery

9 thoughts on “Real Estate Matters – BLOG

  • James,
    When the questions was asked about removing the Land Use and Zoning portion from the Morena Corridor Specific Plan this was the response, “Unfortunately it is not within our office’s power to direct the Planning Department to the reverse their decision on land use”. My question is, doesn’t Councilwoman Zapf sit on the Board of the Planning Dept? If that is the case doesn’t she have a say in putting it back into the MCSP?

  • The question was never answered, she gave no reason at the meeting as she knew I would publish it and it would be on record. She may still be on Land Use for the City Council, I will double-check, but she had the power to instruct Planning to hand back Land Use and Zoning for recommendation by the Subcommittee, which was formed for that reason.

    She merely listened to the Planning Director explain that they wanted it to be included in the CCPGs update, now that they have funding for the Community Plan Update- which they said they had funding for in July but didn’t announce it until November December when Prinz muddled it at the last minutes of a Subcommittee meeting in November at which time I and David Potter immediately protested, Margie Schmidt, the Chair mysteriously didn’t protest it. I or David, can;t remember which, then made a motion to send a letter of protest to the Planning Dept, Lorie Zapf and the Mayor.

    Margie wrote a lame one, and we put teeth in it before it was sent off. We didn’t hear back for months, and I asked for the meeting with Zapf alone to discuss it. When I went to the meeting on Dec 16th and it was full of Planning Dept heads and her aides, I knew the answer already. She gave no reason for siding with planning.

  • The only reason we got an answer, BTW, was because I sent her and her staff the post I published after 5pm, giving her a fair chance to review what I was about to publish, and to respond. She refused to respond to me, but another community member sent her an email asking if the 30ft height limit was protected, and Lorie’s staff came up with the statement she put on her official website. Please note their “Unless…” clause and what it means by reading my meeting notes. I will be discussing this further at my “Real Estate Matters” series on March 7th at Andres Restaurant, and what we can do to force Zapf to give a reason for not protecting us as she promised.

    Her term ends in 2018, so she is hoping to push off anything on record until then, and the Planning Dept said that they won’t finalize the Community Plan Update until approximately 2020. But no worries, we have something planned that will force Lorie to face her constituents and answer for her actions (or inactions) in this case. Please keep watching our email alerts and if you are not on the email list, please make sure you subscribe.

    When I asked Lorie during the meeting why she wasn’t instructing the Planning Dept to protect the 30ft limit like she promised in her campaign flyer to get elected, an aide jumped up, whispered in her ear, and then Lorie “excused herself” to go to another meeting so that she could avoid being on record or giving a reason why she was siding with the Planning dept.

  • As a fifty year resident of Western Hills, Bay Park and Bay Ho I applaud your courage and determination in bettering our community. I am a candidate for SD City Council, District 2 which includes Bay Ho, Western Hills and Bay Park. Unfortunately and with perfect candor and truth, my name is not politically correct and a huge liability. This despite the fact that my Father owned five homes in Clairemont during the Mid Seventies and I continue to be engaged in San Diego Real Estate. I had mentioned at the last CCPG meeting that the more candidates the better in running for the D2 seat and therefore encourage you to run, Mr. James Lamattery. The concept of a town hall is nothing new going back to the founding fathers and your solution despite your good intentions can only be remedied at the ballot box. Except, the political process itself is rife with corruption and cronyism. Why should any politician or candidate listen and act upon your heartfelt concerns when they are propped up with nearly a half million dollars or more in campaign funds much of which comes from outside the District. We are being played as fools. My candidacy for D2 will not go down without a fight and a hellacious fight it will be in our community’s honor. I am sincerely, Daniel “Danny” Smiechowski God bless all of us!!!

    • Daniel,
      We are played only as fools when we allow ourselves to be. I will not run for D2 Councilmember, nor for Mayor as some have asked me to do. I appreciate the well-intended compliments, but my role is not as an elected official. What I’m doing is what every American citizen should be doing at this time: becoming “statesmen.”

      The City of San Diego Planning Dept is attempting to get what they want (density and height) by taking it away from the Subcommittee formed for the purpose of finalizing it. The subcommittee, like it or not, is the only official voice of the community that will be on official record as to recommendations to approve or reject density and height issues.

      It is now time for every citizen to work within the system that exists. With our issues in BP, Bay Ho, Overlook Heights, and now the entire Clairemont Community Plan Area, it is imperative that each resident become a “statesman” of sorts.

      Far too long, we as citizens, have elected our representatives and then expected them to do the right thing. Accountability is something that citizens are empowered to complete with regards to campaign promises unfulfilled.

      I play a much more important role for the community I love by becoming the “statesman” I should be. So, accountability is something I’m now taking on with Councilmember Lorie Zqpf.

      Daniel, please attend my first part of a Series of speaking engagements that I will be holding for the community and the entire Clairemont Community Plan Area (which includes SR-52, to 805, to Tecolote Rd to Morena Blvd) during the next three years as the Planning Dept has anticipated this length of time to update the entire Community Plan that hasn’t had an update since the 1960’s.

      I hope that through the speaking series (“Real Estate Matters”) that I will be able to help folks sort our the “planning speak” that the Planning Dept uses to get their way, and the “political-speak” that politicians (in our case Councilmember Lorie Zapf) uses to deflect, dodge, or dispel her real position on the issues.

  • Please note that sometimes I log in as James LaMattery (James) or ADMIN on these posts.
    A message was sent to a community member from Lorie Zapf’s office which stated: “Thank you for reaching out to our office about the decision to
    remove Land Use and Zoning from the Morena Corridor Specific Plan.
    Unfortunately it is not within our office’s power to direct the
    Planning Department to the reverse their decision on land use.”
    This is technically true, but the whole story is that the letter protesting removing the Land Use and Zoning from the Subcommittee was sent to the Mayor as well as Councilmember Zapf. You can go to the index on this site to read the letter that was sent-it is the first item showing.
    Councilmember Zapf’s duty to her community was to get with Mayor Faulconer and discuss the issue. San Diego is the “Stong Mayor” form of government. So, if Lorie had our backs, she would have gone to the Mayor and asked him to instruct the Planning Director to give back to the Subcommittee what was taken from them. Please read my meeting notes as to why it was important for the Subcommittee to finish its findings and have them included in the Draft Plan of the Morena Specific Plan. That Plan, if allowed to finalize would have resolved the 30ft height issue once and for all, byt City Planning wants to control it- height and density.
    BTW, when I began asking these types of questions, Lorie abruptly used the excuse to leave the meeting to go to another meeting- effectively avoiding questions as to whether she ever spoke with Mayor Faulconer on the Land Use issue. This is why the need for a Town Hall is mandatory.
    We have time to petition Zapf to go to the Mayor on our behalf, but I’m asking the community to wait on the final petition until more residents are informed of what’s going on.; Many are coming to the party late, and I need to help people sort this boring planning-speak into language they can understand.
    I will attempt to do so with the first meeting at Andre’s Resturant on March 7th, 6pm.
    If you can remember, the former Planning Director, Bill Fulton, left San Diego and went back to his teaching job in Texas because the Mayor wasn’t supporting his attempt to “New-York” San Diego.

  • We are a gaggle of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done an impressive task and our entire neighborhood will probably be thankful to you.

  • I replied the email “Review-Last Night’s Meeting” dated 3/8/17 from and was chastised for not posting my comments here for all to see, so here they are.

    The email was titled “Review – Last Night’s Meeting” but there was no review. It listed several questions, but no answers – only that a video was coming. If I didn’t sit through the meeting in person, I’m not likely to sit through the video. Why spend an hour or more when the answers to the questions in the email should only take a few minutes?

    If you want to meet people to gather real estate leads, this might be a good approach. However, if you are trying to educate people on what can be done, just say what can be done. Make it short, to the point and helpful. A long email that tells me nothing does not entice me to attend a meeting.

    • I wrote Ted and told him he was absolutely correct about the email sent out! Yes- it should have been a review of the meeting! So, because I’m headed for a property showing appointment, I’ve asked Erin and Fran to write a review of the meeting to post on and send out via FaceBook.

      Ted, I didn’t chastise you, I was trying to explain that I’m now headed back to my full-time job as a realtor in Bay Park, Bay Ho, Overlook Heights and the greater Clairemont Area. As I do this, I’m slowing transitioning all responsibilities and operations to the RTB Committee. I’m so glad that you decided to come to the BLOG and post your comments here, as I explained in my email to you, I no longer have the time to repeat answers that folks have, and the BLOG is a great way to handle this.

      I’ve also made it clear since the beginning, that I felt my involvement with the Planning issues facing us was a great mix of my business activities as a licensed Real Estate Broker who understands the often boring and confusing planning process, with my need to get my name in every household in the Linda Vista and Clairemont Plan Areas. I had to put aside my proactively seeking listings for the past 3 years to do so. Now it is time that I return to my work, but I will still act as a guide and spokesperson for RTB and the community at City Council and SAANDAG Board of Director’s meetings when necessary.

      I will be going door-to-door this summer, like every good agent should do, to list and sell homes, but with the value-added feature of providing something the community wants from me- information. As we progress through the now ongoing Clairemont Community Plan Update, I have committed to giving up my Tuesday evenings to walk people through the planning process and how they can participate in it effectively. So much disinformation can fly about so I will help folks sort fact from fiction, and hopefully, they will take more of an interest in what is being planned in our neighborhoods. As Mark Twain said, ‘Rumor is half-way round the world before truth gets its boots on!”

      Many residents have relied solely upon RTB’s email alerts and updates, and this is a time-consuming effort that we had hoped building the website and BLOG could circumvent. It’s time now for our community to get more informed and more active and this BLOG was created for that purpose.

      PS- You have been a long-time supporter, have offered for us to use your flagpole if we needed to fly an RTB flag, and were one of the first to pass out flyers and march in the Balloon March of Sept 27th. If you took my response to you as a chastisement, please forgive me, I consider you a great friend and didn’t mean for it to come off that way. Your friendship is what I consider to be “community.”
      Thanks again for all you’ve done personally for your community.

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