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Quality of Life

San Diego Council To Consider Affordable Housing Code Changes

Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks in front of the San Diego City Council, June 12, 2017.
Andrew Bowen
Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks in front of the San Diego City Council, June 12, 2017.

The City Council Tuesday will consider dozens of regulation changes that Mayor Kevin Faulconer contends will help increase the supply of housing, lower development costs and promote smart growth.

Some of the proposed changes would build on the state's required 1978 Affordable Housing Density Program, which allows developers to build more housing units than typically permitted on a given project, provided some of the units are affordably priced. But Faulconer is proposing changes that would go beyond that program and offer further incentives for developers to provide affordable homes.

RELATED: Faulconer Urges Council To Pass Affordable Housing Code Changes


Among the changes are offering a 10 percent density bonus for projects not going beyond the maximum permitted building footprint and allowing a 100 percent density bonus for "micro-unit" developments that do not go beyond the permitted building footprint.

"We need more housing that people can actually afford and the changes we're pushing for are aimed at making that a reality," Faulconer said. "We want to put the dream of homeownership back within reach for San Diego's working families and the way to do that is by increasing supply and lowering costs as much as we can."

Faulconer said San Diego's growing population is struggling to find an affordable place to live in the county, which has a median home purchase price in excess of $500,000.

Faulconer is also pushing for 47 updates to the Land Development Code that would streamline the project review process and hopefully increase production, he said.

Among the changes are the sing of regulations to create more live/work developments, where housing and commercial enterprises are both located; creating parking exemptions for some historic structures; changing parking requirements for developments near transit centers and changing ground- floor height limits in mixed zones to 13 feet, which would allow the construction of three-story buildings in zones where they are currently not allowed.


The proposals are the latest in Faulconer's Housing SD initiative and were teased during his State of the City address earlier this year.

Since last June, the city has made the following several changes as part of the initiative — expediting certain affordable housing permits, changing the municipal code to promote the construction of so-called granny flats, and creating a streamlined environmental review process.