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City of San Diego Makes Incentives Available for Affordable Housing Projects in Coastal Areas


Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022



SAN DIEGO -- Home builders can now apply for affordable housing incentives in the City of San Diego’s beach communities following today’s action by the California Coastal Commission to certify the City’s Complete Communities program in the Coastal Overlay Zone.

Complete Communities includes planning strategies that create incentives to build homes near transit, provide more mobility choices and enhance opportunities for places to walk, bike, relax and play.

“These programs have been in place outside the Coastal Overlay Zone since the City Council adopted them in November 2020,” said the City’s Planning Director Heidi Vonblum. “We’re excited these programs are now available citywide, providing opportunities for more homes and jobs to be located both outside and inside of the City’s Coastal Zone. We’re particularly excited for the coastal areas since they tend to have fewer affordable home opportunities.”

Complete Communities: Housing Solutions is an opt-in program that incentivizes the construction of affordable and market rate homes in multi-family and mixed-used commercial areas located near transit. At the same time, it aims to invest in neighborhood amenities such as parks and plazas.

In order to participate and receive project incentives, developers must provide a minimum of 40% of the homes available to moderate, low, and very low income residents; replace any existing affordable units that are removed; construct a promenade or pay into a fund for neighborhood amenities; and meet other requirements that help achieve the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) goals.

Complete Communities: Mobility Choices is a program that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet CAP goals through increased mobility options within communities. The program was created when the state required the City to analyze transportation impacts based on reducing vehicular travel. The program ensures active transportation infrastructure, such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities, are invested in the areas where vehicle miles traveled can effectively be reduced. Investments are particularly focused in Communities of Concern, where the need for these facilities is the greatest.

The City Council adopted both initiatives in November 2020 with the expectation that the Coastal Commission would review impacts to the Coastal Overlay Zone. Prior to today’s certification, the Coastal Commission worked with the City to include minor revisions, including the potential for additional traffic analysis near coastal access routes and during busy beach travel times.

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