Councilmember Stephen Whitburn unveils Land Use & Housing Committee’s 2021 Work Plan

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Council President Pro Tem Stephen Whitburn, committee chair, presented the 2021 Work Plan for the Land Use & Housing Committee. The homelessness crisis is front and center in the plan, and the Committee will seek solutions focused on housing and behavioral health care.

In his comments to the committee today while unveiling the plan, Whitburn said he is confident San Diego will end the widespread homelessness that exists today.

“We are in a unique position to move this city forward,” Whitburn said. “For the first time in years, we have a council and a mayor with shared goals and a determination to work together to achieve those goals.”​

The Committee will work with the San Diego Housing Commission and local nonprofits to advance these solutions.

The work plan was developed by President Pro Tem Whitburn after receiving input from other Committee members including Vice Chair Sean Elo-Rivera and Councilmembers Joe LaCava and Vivian Moreno. It also addresses pressing issues such as the housing crisis and ensures that the City’s land use regulations help build a better San Diego.

Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to financially affect many San Diegans, the Committee will work to support renters by protecting them from eviction and addressing violations of the current eviction moratorium, which was recently extended.

“Thanks to the leadership of our Mayor and City Council, our eviction moratorium is still in effect. However, it is imperative for this Committee to continue taking the lead on keeping families in their homes to avoid further exacerbating our current public health and economic crises,” said Whitburn.

Whitburn said the Committee looks forward to monitoring the allocation of $92 million in federal and state emergency rental and utility assistance that the City recently secured that will be administered by the San Diego Housing Commission. The distribution should help all renters struggling due to the pandemic and be inclusive of immigration status. Landlords should also see relief from non-payment of rent during the pandemic.

Regarding housing, the Work Plan prioritizes the preservation of existing affordable housing and creating new affordable units while increasing housing stock overall. This includes bringing forward new policy solutions to incentivize the addition of single room occupancy units, micro units, and accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

Finally, updating the City’s cannabis ordinance and its permitting requirements will be a priority of the Committee.

“The needs of the community should be reflected in our zoning and in more equitable and inclusive participation in the cannabis industry,” said Whitburn.​

Whitburn made it clear that the Committee’s actions will be guided with an eye on equity for all San Diegans.

“As we move forward with this Work Plan, I know this Committee will ensure that every decision we make is viewed through an equity lens. Our city must constantly bear in mind all of the communities that we serve,” said Whitburn.​

The full Land Use & House Committee 2021 Work Plan can be found at http://bit.ly/LUHWorkPlan. The Committee meets one to two Thursdays per month at 1 pm.

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