Former San Diego Mayor Leaves Pro-Development Politics Behind for Recall Race

While Mayor of San Diego, Republican Kevin Faulconer made a name for himself as a prominently YIMBY politician. He's abandoned those views now that he's running for Gov. Gavin Newsom's spot in the state's recall race.

August 12, 2021, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


An image of stadium seats at Petco Park in San Diego, with new buildings under construction nearby in the background.

andy / Shutterstock

Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer once made news by calling for the city to become a YIMBY city, and San Diego pursued and implemented a number of pro-development planning initiatives during his final years in office. Before he termed out in December 2020, Faulconer was at the helm of a city unbundling parking requirements, exploring the elimination of height limits, and upzoning for mixed-use development near transit (Faulconer also vetoed an inclusionary zoning ordinance approved by the City Council in 2019).

On the campaign trail in the recall race that could potentially replace California Governor Gavin Newsom, however, Faulconer has promised to veto SB 9, a bill under consideration in the State Legislature. Andrew Keatts reports on the story, citing recent comments made by Faulconer.

“When we see some of these pieces of legislation that want to eliminate single-family zoning in California, that’s wrong,” Faulconer said at a recall debate last week. “I will veto that.”

According to Keatts, Faulconer was referring to SB 9, "which would allow for two homes on every single-family zoned lot and let property owners easily split their lots in half, allowing up to four homes on an area previously reserved for one."

The bill is "a top legislative priority of groups like California YIMBY and the YIMBY Dems of San Diego County," explains Keatts, but apparently, not for a YIMBY mayor who owes some of this notoriety to his past pro-development accomplishments.

Monday, August 9, 2021 in Voice of San Diego

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