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City Council Unanimously Approves Plan to Increase Housing Capacity in Mission Valley

Community Plan Update Calls for Major Infrastructure Improvements And An Additional 28,000 Homes to be Built in Mission Valley Over Next Few Decades

San Diego – With the goal of building more housing and improve affordability, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer won unanimous City Council approval today for the latest “Housing SD” reform – a major update to the Mission Valley Community Plan that outlines the neighborhood’s plan for future growth in anticipation of an additional 28,000 homes.

This is the 15th land use plan update under Mayor Faulconer following a decade in which the City only completed a single community plan update. Including today’s vote, the recent updates have combined to increase housing capacity citywide by nearly 74,000 units.

“We need to build more housing and these community plans serve as the catalysts for construction as we plan for the future,” Mayor Faulconer said. “We’re tackling this housing crisis from all angles, with reforms to speed up development and remove the hurdles that block new housing, to make sure that our children and grandchildren can raise their families here in San Diego.”

The approved plan amends the original 1985 Mission Valley Community Plan to account for changes in demographics, demand for housing, commercial development and ensures alignment with the City’s long-term goals, including its landmark Climate Action Plan.

The Mission Valley planning area encompasses approximately 3,211 net acres and is located near the geographic center of the City of San Diego. Surrounding the San Diego River, it is bounded by Friars Road and the northern slopes of the valley on the north, the eastern banks of the San Diego River on the east, the southern slopes of the valley on the south, and Interstate 5 west. The community is now a regional center of office, hotels, retail, and a growing residential community, connected by the San Diego Trolley.

The new plan follows a series of updates to several outdated zoning laws allowing for more high density and mixed-use development around transit areas. Additionally, the plan creates capacity for approximately 28,000 more homes than what currently existed under the originally adopted plan in 1985. The new update will work to increase mobility choices with residents having access to alternative forms of transportation with newly constructed bike lanes and the proximity of the trolley.

The new plan works in tandem with the proposed stadium redevelopment program that is consistent with the initiative approved by the voters for development by San Diego State University.

The Mission Valley Community Plan Update achieves the following:

  • Accommodates a growing population to provide new housing choices for San Diegans.
  • Strengthens commercial and business opportunities in the area.
  • Addresses the infrastructure demands of the neighborhood’s growing population.
  • Identifies improvements for safe and accessible travel, helping to keep the City on track to achieve our Climate Action Plan goals.

The Mission Valley update is just the latest as Mayor Faulconer’s administration continues a record pace for community planning, with five more updates underway. The City Council will consider an update to the Kearny Mesa Community Plan in the coming months.

In the last year, Mayor Faulconer has won City Council approval for several reforms aimed at increasing housing supply, boosting affordability and promoting smart growth. Highlights include:

  • Parking Reform: Eliminated parking requirements along new housing developments in transit priority areas, reducing development costs while encouraging usage of alternative forms of transportation.
  • Streamlined Regulations for Companion Units: Resulting in a 375 percent spike in applications, making it easier and more affordable to permit “granny flats” and other companion units.
  • Reduced Fees: Updated the Affordable, Sustainable, Infill Development Program to eliminate fees for projects building 100% affordable housing in the city.
  • Streamlined Project Reviews: Changed the municipal code to speed up the approval process.
  • Permanent Supportive Housing By-Right: Updated the municipal code to allow for a streamlined process to construct housing with accompanying supportive services for homeless San Diegans.
  • Transitional Housing By-Right: Included in the 12th Code Update, it eliminates burdensome regulations placed on developers to encourage more projects by right. These projects are designed to help formerly homeless individuals.
  • Affordable Housing Density Bonuses: The added incentives go beyond what the current state law mandates to help spur the development of affordable housing for seniors, military personnel, former foster youth, disabled veterans and homeless individuals.
  • Commercial Flexibility: Flexibility to allow interim ground floor residential or office where commercial retail is typically required through a Neighborhood Use Permit.
  • Mixed-Use Zoning: Created six new land-use zones that allow projects to include a mix of residential and employment uses. The goal is to provide flexibility for builders to meet market demands and locate more housing near jobs.
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