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San Diegans To Decide On Raising Affordable Housing Limit

Photo by Andrew Bowen

The San Diego City Council listens to Halla Razak, director of public utilities, during a meeting, Nov. 17, 2015.

The San Diego City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to have San Diegans decide whether to raise a lid on the number of affordable housing units in which public agencies can be involved.

If approved by voters in November, a limit on the number of affordable housing units the city and other public entities are allowed to help develop, construct or acquire would increase by 10,000 units to a total of 38,680. A 2011 study by the San Diego Association of Governments estimated that was the number of low-cost housing units that would be needed in the city by 2020.

According to city staff, only 3,247 more affordable housing units can be constructed under the current limit.

A second proposed ballot measure that was to be considered at the council meeting — it would establish a business tax on marijuana outlets if recreational use is legalized in the state — was returned to staff for additional language review. The proposal by Mark Kersey is scheduled to come back before the council next week.

The expanding November ballot will also include a pair of citywide initiatives, one of which would raise hotel room taxes to fund part of a stadium-convention center annex project for the Chargers. The other would direct the future of tourism funding and bar an expansion of the current convention center.

Also, voters countywide will vote on a San Diego Association of Governments measure that would raise sales taxes by a half-cent to pay for infrastructure projects.

Next week, several other city measures in addition to the marijuana business tax could be placed on the ballot, which already includes at least 17 statewide propositions.

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