San Diego Mayor, Kevin Faulconer, introduced his plan to address the issues with the San Diego housing market. The mayor`s solution? More houses.
Faulconer says that having more houses will make it more affordable for the average San Diegan to buy a home.
It`s the whole concept of supply and demand, the question is how do we increase supply? Faulconer proposed two policies according to Voice of San Diego, “adding funding to existing efforts to make them more effective, and the ever-popular streamlining of regulations, restrictions and processes to reduce costs. (The word “streamline” appears 20 times in the mayor’s policy blueprint.)”
Here are the main things that the mayor wants to do in order to accomplish his initiative:
Increasing the Amount of Development Blueprints and Decreasing the Size
Faulconer`s budget moved money around so that the planning department would have access to more resources in order to update older blueprints for city development, A.K.A “community plans”.
The rationalization behind it is that out-of-date plans do not represent the current circumstances such as traffic or desirability. The problem with this is that developers then feel the need to take on projects that do not fit with existing restrictions. The restrictions require that builders get special exemptions which require environmental review, thus increasing costs.
Another part of this plan is to find smaller areas within communities and update the growth plans in those areas. Planning Director, Bill Fulton stated at a Council committee hearing back in November that, “rather than doing a comprehensive community plan update, we’re finding more and more that the community is mostly built out, so a comprehensive update might not be needed, so we can update only the areas that are likely to see lot of change.”
Less Parking for Transit-Friendly Buildings
Most city leaders are calling for new development in areas close to San Diego`s “urban core,” according to author Andrew Keatts of Voice of San Diego. New homes would be built in established neighborhoods close to transit options, residents would no longer need a car. Decreasing parking requirements would allow for a decrease in the housing cost and increase building.
The plan also states that the city could implement a fee instead of mandating developers to build the current required parking structures. The fees paid to the city would go toward “community parking solutions.”
Developers often complain that the process of getting a projects approved takes too long. In an effort to streamline this process, Faulconer suggests that there should be a single project manager for every project in order to assist the applicant in the process.
Another way to streamline is to redo San Diego`s internal tracking system for permits and allow to developers to submit plans online.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Mayor Kevin Faulconer`s new plan to better the San Diego housing market?