Council OKs Faulconer’s ‘Complete Communities’ housing, transit plan

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San Diego City Council

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego City Council approved Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s “Complete Communities” plan Monday, which incentivizes housing near transit and is intended to connect San Diegans with safe and convenient mobility options.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer

“For far too long our underserved and minority neighborhoods have been neglected when it comes to new infrastructure,” Faulconer said.

“We will now prioritize and reinvigorate those neighborhoods through this initiative because we cannot truly prosper as a city until every community is complete. Our Complete Communities plan incorporates much of what our residents say they want — more housing near transit, more mobility options, and more public amenities like parks that strengthen a neighborhood. Now we have the ability to put those ideas into action and build a better future for all San Diegans,” he said.

The plan is a package of initiatives intended to strengthen communities and neighborhoods for the future. The focus includes complementary planning strategies that would incentivize development near transit and help bring neighborhood benefits to accommodate a growing population.

“I’m happy to have worked closely with community members and the mayor on an initiative that helps shape a better way to uplift older communities that have been left behind,” said City Council President Georgette Gomez. “Complete Communities is a milestone program that recognizes inequities in San Diego; addresses our climate crisis by promoting smart, transit-oriented development; and creates more affordable housing. Today is a great day for San Diego’s future.”

The plan is divided into two facets: Mobility Choices and Housing Solutions.

Mobility Choices focuses on delivering infrastructure improvements in underserved, city-designated “Communities of Concern” and achieving San Diego’s Climate Action Plan goals. Its top goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased mobility options within communities.

The Housing Solutions program includes the an affordable housing program for mixed-income projects and the protective anti-displacement and tenant protection policies.

It is an optional affordable housing incentive program that is intended to provide new affordable and market rate housing near transit, preserve existing affordable rents and establish a new way to fund neighborhood amenities. It will set aside resources for preserving affordable housing and investing in active transportation and park amenities within Communities of Concern.

The incentives will include investments in neighborhood amenities, such as parks and plazas. The goal of the program is to add approximately 8,000 more homes per year.

The housing program also implements California’s Sustainable and Affordable Housing Act, which allows cities and counties to offer floor-area ratio-based affordable housing incentives within one-half mile of a major public transit stop.

“This bold, comprehensive ordinance will streamline incentives and result in an increase of desperately needed housing and parks in our communities,” Councilman Scott Sherman said. “Future councilmembers may need to tweak some aspects of this measure, but it takes us in the right direction.”

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