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Mayor’s Latest Housing Reforms Headed to City Council

Proposed Code Changes Include Allowing Churches to Utilize Parking Lots for Affordable Housing & Streamlining Approval Process for Senior Living Facilities

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 - NEWS RELEASE

SAN DIEGO – The latest round of Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer’s “Housing SD” reforms that would allow affordable housing to be constructed in church parking lots and streamline the process for approving new senior living facilities are moving forward.

The City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee today voted to forward the recommended changes, also known as the 12th Code Update, to the full Council for consideration.

Under Mayor Faulconer, the City has implemented significant reforms to increase housing affordability, spur construction, lower costs and promote smart growth. Previous reforms include eliminating parking mandates in transit-priority areas and increasing housing capacity by updating community plans at a record pace.

“We’re tackling the statewide housing crisis from all angles to create more affordability for working families struggling to make ends meet,” Mayor Faulconer said. “We have church leaders asking how they can help and these changes will give them the opportunity to build affordable housing in the communities they serve.”

Previously, churches and religious institutions were required to provide a certain number of parking spaces based on church capacity. With these code changes, qualifying churches could choose to build affordable housing units in their parking lots to better utilize large areas of the property that are typically unused during the week.

Additionally, proposed changes to the municipal code would allow continuing care retirement communities to be permitted in zones that allow multifamily housing and as a conditional use in single family residential zones. Other changes include:

  • Housing Development Process Improvements: Removal of the requirement of an additional permit for multifamily residential development that involves arranging to accommodate underground parking.
  • Changes to Capital Improvement and Public Project Criteria: Projects that meet new site development permit requirements and have CEQA review can be processed by right and projects within the Coastal Overlay Appealable Area are reduced from a Process 5 to a 2.
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