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2022 Year-End Briefing

Together in 2022 we made San Diego a better place to live, work, and move around. As we close out the year we want to celebrate some incredible wins and let you know how we are setting the agenda for land use and transportation policy in the region in 2023.

Individual and Corporate Members fuel Circulate San Diego’s work to advocate for safe streets, improved transit, and better land use policy. With your support we are making San Diego a better place to live, work, and move around. 

Circulate is known as the go to organization for land use and mobility policy, and to be at the forefront of innovative and practical solutions. To ensure our continued success and meet the demands of increasing costs we are adjusting our membership dues starting on January 1, 2023.

We are giving our current members the opportunity to renew early and save! Renew your 2023 Corporate Membership by December 31st and pay the 2022 membership level price, but get all the great benefits in 2023. Check our our Corporate Membership and Individual Membership  pages for more details.

 In 2022, Circulate worked to:

Enhance safety for youth and older adults. This year, our planning team engaged hundreds of young people and older adults about how to bike and walk safely. We partnered with organizations like Father Joe’s Village and the San Diego Unified School District, to conduct transit, biking, and walk field trips. We worked with jurisdictions like National City and the County of San Diego to improve the built environment for their residents.

Reform community planning. In 2022, we won a major victory in our efforts to reform Community Planning Groups (CPG). The reforms are a major breakthrough after of years of advocacy led by Circulate San Diego. Circulate released its report “Democracy in Planning” in February 2018. That report was followed by a grand jury report, recommendations from the City’s Land Use and Housing Committee, and several legal memos from the City Attorney and Circulate San Diego, all calling for reforms. The many years of work, can be read on our website.

Expand policies that build more affordable housing. In April, we published Home Run for Homes, a major report on housing affordability. The report details the success of San Diego’s Affordable Homes Bonus Program (AHBP). The AHBP builds upon California Density Bonus Law, and allows developers to build more homes if they agree to dedicate a portion of a new multi-family project as affordable.

Pass parking reform. One of the major takeaways from our Home Run for Homes report is that local parking reform did not undermine affordable housing production. We testified in Sacramento and worked to pass AB 2097, which eliminates parking minimums near transit.

Make transit more efficient for more people. In October, we published Fast Bus! highlighting cost-effective ways to advance public transit and hit our equity, climate, and economic development goals. Bus riders are essential members of our community, but long bus trips mean riders have less time to spend with their families, at school, working, or having fun. Making the bus run faster means giving people their lives back.

Ensure housing near transit. Initially opposing the City of San Diego’s proposal for “Sustainable Development Areas” (SDAs) due to concerns that the proposal would violate the city’s obligation to affirmatively further fair housing by reducing capacity in high opportunity areas while increasing it in low opportunity areas. Before the final vote, we spoke with City staff and the final version addressed many of our concerns and affirmatively furthers fair housing by adding more opportunity for new housing in exclusionary, high resource neighborhoods.

Demonstrate better pedestrian infrastructure. The planning team coordinated with UCSD to create a demonstration project for those who move around the campus. The area selected had ongoing issues with pedestrians traveling along the new pedestrian mall which has resulted in conflicts with car traffic.

Improve North County transit.Designed a bilingual survey for transit and non-transit users with the North County Transit District.

 We have some big projects coming up in 2023.

You can support this work by renewing and increasing your membership, joining as a report or campaign sponsor, and sponsoring our annual Momentum Awards.

Making the Most of the Mid-Coast. With the completion of Mid-Coast Trolley extension, the San Diego Region has a oncein-a-generation opportunity to grow its biotech economy, connect homes to jobs, and to address climate change. Circulate San Diego is publishing a report (Making the Most of the Mid-Coast) and launching an advocacy campaign for the City of San Diego to adopt a robust update to land use rules in the University Community Plan (UCPG). Look out for the report in January 2023.

Moderate-Income Density Bonus Legislation. Circulate is sponsoring important state-wide legislation to incentives moderate-income housing production. As sequel to our important Affordable Homes Bonus Program (AHBP).

Affordable Homes Playbook. Circulate’s second report in 2023 will offer proven best practices to implement state housing legislation, focusing in affordable density bonus, SB 35, accessory dwelling units, and development impact fees. The report will show best practices to implement state housing reforms that have a track record of success, and which are politically viable for local officials to adopt. The report will complement California’s initial legislation, and burgeoning efforts by state agencies. It will provide the missing piece for those local governments that are willing to do the right thing, if they had the tools, and political cover to act.

Continue to engage residents to make our streets safer. In 2023, our planning team is expanding our efforts to engage more folks in street safety. With long standing partners, like the Office of Traffic Safety, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the County of San Diego we will offer e-bike rodeos, demonstration projects, safe routes to school plans, and much more.

I’m proud of our creative team of mobility planners and advocates, who stepped up to meet the challenge of 2022.

With your continued support and help we will continue advocating for improved transit, safe streets, and affordable homes.