San Diego planning commission approves housing policy reforms

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California Construction News staff writer

The San Diego Planning Commission has approved new housing policy reforms that go to the Land Use & Housing Committee on Sept. 21 and then to city council for final approval.

“San Diego’s housing crisis is separating families, contributing to homelessness and endangering our economic future,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “We must continue to do everything we can to build more homes that San Diegans can actually afford, and this Housing Action Package would add 10 new tools to the toolbox.

“This is a huge win for those who struggle with the high cost of living and all San Diegans who benefit from a healthy and balanced housing economy. I look forward to presenting these policies to the City Council for its consideration.”

Reforms:

  1. Fighting for Environmental Justice in Communities of Concern: Harmful land uses, such as wrecking and dismantling motor vehicles, would no longer be allowed to continue after a transition period if the land has been rezoned for homes or mixed-use development as part of a community plan update in the Promise Zone.
  2. Addressing College Student Home Insecurity: Allows development of private, dorm-style student homes near transit and near universities and colleges and ensures they are affordable to low-income students.
  3. Affordable Homes for Those at Risk of Homelessness: Encourages creation of single room occupancy homes with shared kitchens and bathrooms, particularly at the very low-income level. This is a housing option primarily for seniors, people with disabilities and people vulnerable to becoming homeless.
  4. Preventing Displacement and Preserving Existing Affordable Homes: Promotes the preservation of affordable homes, protects residents from displacement caused by new development and complements the new Residential Tenant Protection Ordinance.
  5. Housing People, Not Cars: Implements Assembly Bill 2097 and gives residential and commercial builders within a half-mile of a major existing or planned public transit stop the flexibility to build appropriate number of parking spaces.
  6. Homes for Seniors and People with Disabilities: Encourages the development of accessible dwelling Units (ADUs), which are secondary housing units on the same lot as single-family homes that are accessible for people with disabilities by amending the  PDF icon ADU Home Density Bonus Program.
  7. Putting All Government Land to Good Use: Provides public agencies greater flexibility in developing homes on publicly owned land by increasing allowed densities and allowing affordable home developments on premises zoned as commercial or residential.
  8. Building Family Homes in Places with Good Schools and Job Availability: Streamlines regulations to remove barriers to constructing family homes, encourages the development of middle-income homes and allows for affordable homes to be located in areas with good job and school opportunities and a clean environment.

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