City Council Okays Part of Faulconer’s ‘Complete Communities’ Plan – Rejects Parks Section Due to Unanswered Questions

by on November 10, 2020 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

On Monday, Nov. 9, the San Diego City Council voted to approve the housing section of Mayor Faulconer’s “Complete Communities” plan but rejected the section on parks because there were just too many unanswered questions.

In a 7 to 2 vote, with Vivian Moreno and Mark Kersey dissenting, the council approved the housing section which would give incentives to developers to build more housing units if they agree to boost transit options near a project or if they add amenities like parks or promenades nearby.

The council approved the incentive for adding transit options, which include bike lanes and pedestrian upgrades, and the incentive for adding amenities like parks and promenades by 8-1.

Councilwoman Vivian Moreno supported all the proposals but wanted any decisions on the plans to wait until the new city council, which takes its seats with 5 new members on December 10 – a mere month away. She said:

“A policy of this level of importance that significantly changes existing city policies should not be rushed and passed at the last minute during a lame-duck period. I believe this should be vetted by the new mayor and voted on by the next council.”

A similar argument had persuaded Council President Georgette Gomez to push off any decision by the current council on San Diego’s electric and gas franchise agreement.

The parks section was rejected by a 5 to 4 vote, with Moreno joining Kersey, Chris Cate, Barbara Bry and Jen Campbell in opposition. Bry said, “This plan is not ready for prime time.” She added that there are many questions about the parks proposal, which would replace the city’s standard of 2.8 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents with a new points matrix based on equity, community access and several other factors.

Initially, Faulconer’s “Complete Communities” plan met with a lot of opposition with most criticism being leveled at the parks section. Since then, City planners made several adjustments to the proposals this fall in response to community feedback and complaints. As per the San Diego Union-Tribune:

One example is an effort to prevent gentrification. The developer incentive requires developers to offer at least 75 percent of new units they build in low-income “communities of concern” to existing residents of the area.

In-coming Mayor-elect Todd Gloria was reassuring when the U-T said he supports the goals of the complete communities proposal, but has concerns about changes to height limits and other elements. “Gloria said he and the new council can make adjustments if problems arise. And Monday’s 5-4 vote to delay approving the parks funding proposal will allow Gloria and the new council to help shape that proposal.”


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