Inclusionary Zoning Vetoed in San Diego

One of the more pro-development mayors in the country won't approve an ordinance that would expand the reach of affordable housing requirements for new development.

2 minute read

September 18, 2019, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


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Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

"Mayor Kevin Faulconer said Tuesday he will veto new city regulations focused on requiring housing developers to build more low-income units, siding with the local business community over labor leaders and other supporters of the new policy," reports David Garrick.

The San Diego City Council narrowly approved an inclusionary zoning ordinance this week, by a vote of 5-4. An additional vote is necessary to override a mayoral veto.

Mayor Faulconer based the decision to veto the ordinance while siding with "economists and builders" that oppose the policy on the grounds that "will have the unintended consequence of leading to less affordable housing, not more," as explained in the words of an email from Faulconer spokesman Gustavo Portela, as cited by Garrick.

As for the details of the ordinance approved by the City Council, Garrick explains the ordinance in context of the city's existing policies:

The proposed law would require developers to reserve 10 percent of units in every project for people making 50 percent of the region’s median income or less, but the law would provide multiple alternative ways to comply with that requirement.

The city’s existing policy requires developers to make 10 percent of the units in a housing project affordable to families making 65 percent of the median income, so the proposal would drop that to 50 percent.

San Diego has been busy in 2019, approving and considering regulations intended to spur development in the city, including parking requirement reform and a new density bonus for affordable housing development. Mayor Faulconer has also called for new building heights in transit-adjacent development

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 in The San Diego Union-Tribune

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