San Diego City Council grants approval to municipal code making - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

San Diego City Council grants approval to municipal code making it less expensive to build homes

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SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — On the same day the Board of Supervisors gave initial backing to a plan to create a special county fund for affordable housing, the San Diego City Council Tuesday granted final approval to municipal code amendments designed to make it less expensive to build homes and granny flats.

According to a city staff report, eligibility will be expanded for a program that allows for deviations from certain design standards.

The new eligibility criteria include projects that:

  • have at least 10 percent of the units reserved for low- or very low-income families;
  • are located in the federally established San Diego Promise Zone or a transit priority area;
  • propose a higher density than allowed in a community plan; and
  • voluntarily incorporate certain sustainable development standards.

The goal is to reduce the time needed to acquire permits, thereby lowering construction costs.

Related Link: County board approves $25 million trust fund for affordable housing in San Diego

The proposal was approved unanimously.

A separate item to ease the way for homeowners to construct granny flats was approved 8-1.

The structures can be conversions or additions to existing residences or garages, or an entirely new structure built on a property. They can be up to 1,200 square feet, but no more than half the size of the existing structure if attached to it and would not be subject to additional water or sewer fees.

Additional parking will be required if certain conditions are met, including proximity to public transportation. The city also added a junior unit category, which sets rules for structures up to 500 square feet in size.

"Many of these units in District 1 could be lived in by school teachers, police officers, firefighters — people who do not qualify for a low-income affordable unit but who, if they could live in the community in which they work, could walk to work,'' said Councilwoman Barbara Bry, who represents pricey Carmel Valley, La Jolla and University City.

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