MTS updates policy to develop empty parking lots into affordable homes

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System Board of Directors unanimously agreed Thursday to change its joint development policy to redevelop empty and unused parking lots into affordable housing.

Public transportation advocacy group Circulate San Diego recommended the change in an April report detailing how MTS has at least 57 acres of land and parking lots that could be repurposed into about 8,000 new housing units.

San Diego City Councilwoman and MTS Board Chair Georgette Gomez did the most to help guide the policy change into becoming reality, Circulate San Diego representatives said.

“We applaud Chair Gomez for championing this major victory,” said Circulate San Diego Executive Director Colin Parent. “The new policy incorporates our recommendations and will help the region alleviate the current housing crisis.”

Representatives from local housing advocacy groups Housing You Matters and the San Diego Housing Federation joined Parent and Circulate San Diego in asking the MTS Board to accept the recommendations.

The press release announcing the decision from Circulate SD is below:

 Today’s vote is a response to the release of a report in April by Circulate San Diego titled “Real Opportunity.” Circulate’s report provides detailed recommendations for how MTS can stimulate the creation of as many as 8,000 new homes adjacent to transit stations. The report also includes new research demonstrating that a large number of parking lots owned by MTS are substantially under-utilized.

“We applaud Chair Gómez for championing this major victory. The new policy incorporates our recommendations and will help the region alleviate the current housing crisis,” said Colin Parent, Executive Director and General Counsel for Circulate San Diego. Parent also authored the report “Real Opportunity.”

Circulate San Diego was joined at the MTS Board meeting by affordable housing advocates to support the agency adopting updates to its joint development policy to allow their under-utilized parking lots.

The following advocates were among those that joined Circulate San Diego in calling on MTS to amend their joint development policy so that more homes can be built near transit:

  • Colin Parent, Circulate San Diego
  • Mary Lydon, Housing You Matters
  • Stephen Russell, San Diego Housing Federation
  • Andrew Malick, Malick Infill Development
  • Gabe Gutierrez, Circulate San Diego

Pictures from the event are attached to this release.

About Circulate San Diego
Circulate San Diego is a regional non-profit organization dedicated to advancing mobility and making the region a better place to move, work, learn, and play. Our work focuses on creating great mobility choices, more walkable and bikeable neighborhoods, and land uses that promote sustainable growth. For more information, go to

Categories: Local San Diego News