Until now, mixed-use projects have required a lengthy discretionary approval process in San Diego. That could change with a zoning change given preliminary approval by the City Council this week.
"The San Diego City Council Monday tentatively approved an amendment to the city’s municipal code to add a sixth development zone category aimed at spurring high-density housing developments near public transit and employment areas," reports Ken Stone.
The zoning code change adds a sixth category to the city's zoning code: "mixed-use." The new code designation joins open space, agricultural, residential, commercial, and industrial in the municipal code.
"Mixed-use zoning will be available for developments that are primarily residential or employment-based. Secondary uses for mixed-use developments include residential space, employment space, offices and retail units," according to Stone. "Mixed-use developments that face the public right-of-way or a private drive or plaza will also be required to include building-front additions like bay windows, balconies and awnings."
Stone quotes Councilmember Vivian Moreno in the article, who backs the potential of the zoning change to make it easier for developers to create walkable communities.
"For developers seeking to rezone their current projects into the mixed-use category, city staff said the wait time to process a rezone is roughly 12-18 months, based in part on the speed with which developers return required paperwork to the city," according to Stone. Meanwhile numerous developers have sought this kind of development in recent years, only to encounter this long discretionary approval process.
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