Intro Spotlight: Kim Kantrud

In keeping with our tradition of interviewing new team members, we asked our new Assistant Planner, Kim Kantrud, a few questions so that you all can get to know her!

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Letter: Recommendations for "Spaces as Places" Program

Circulate San Diego submitted a letter offering support and suggestions for the forthcoming "Spaces as Places" program. This new and innovative program is an opportunity to transform San Diego's streets into vibrant community spaces. The draft “Spaces as Places” plan includes streateries, social curbs, promenades, and private outdoor dining. In order to ensure the best possible outcomes for our communities, the City should:

I. Prioritize Existing and Planned Transit, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Improvements;
II. Ensure that Uses of the Right-of-Way are Safe;
III. Create a Streamlined, Efficient Process; and
IV. Allow a Broad Spectrum of Placemaking Projects that are Open to the Public.
V. Ensure that Design Restrictions are Minimal

Read the full letter here. [pdf]

Letter: AB 1401 Does Not Undermine California's Density Bonus Law

Circulate San Diego submitted a letter of support for AB 1401. Specifically, the letter counters the argument that the bill would undermine California's density bonus law. San Diego’s experience shows that density bonus usage continued to rise even after eliminating some residential parking minimums.

In 2019, the City of San Diego eliminated minimum parking requirements for residential developments within transit priority areas. In 2020, San Diego’s density bonus program produced more affordable and market rate homes than it ever had before. Many of these projects are located within transit priority areas. While a number of other factors could have caused this increase, it is safe to say that parking reform did not reduce density bonus usage.

Moreover, the data shows that San Diego's density bonus program has been highly successful in generating both market rate and affordable housing. Read the full letter here. [pdf]

Letter: Support for City of San Diego’s 6th Cycle Housing Element

Circulate San Diego submitted a letter in support of the City of San Diego's 6th Cycle Housing Element. San Diego’s proposed Housing Element includes more than enough zoning capacity in its Adequate Sites Inventory to meet State guidelines, and contains ample city-wide programs that increase development capacity. San Diego’s housing policies have become a model for California. Last year, the most significant housing production bill signed by Governor Newsom was Assembly Bill 2345, which was modeled after San Diego’s extremely successful Affordable Homes Bonus Program.

Failure to certify the Housing Element would remove key funding sources for affordable homes. Moreover, it would punish a jurisdiction that has been a leader in the State for adopting pro-homes policies, which would be counter to the purpose of Housing Element Law. Read the full letter here. [pdf]

Letter: NAVWAR Site Redevelopment EIS

Circulate San Diego submitted a comment letter in response to the Navy’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Navy Old Town Campus Revitalization. The proposal is a bold and welcome contribution to the future of the built environment in San Diego. The Navy’s preferred proposal will bring thousands of new homes, large amounts of office space, and secure a permanent home for an important piece of our national security infrastructure. 

The location is prime for new development, with regional transit access via the Old Town Transit Center, including access to both UTC and the Downtown jobs centers. The site is located within the Midway-Pacific Highway planning area, where the City of San Diego’s voters approved an elimination of a longstanding height limit, and the community plan calls for infill growth.

Circulate San Diego supports Alternative 4, the most dense development and the Navy's preferred alternatives. Circulate also gave detailed recommendations that the Navy establish requirements for affordability, parking, and transportation that reflect the region’s goals. Read the full letter here. [pdf]

Letter: Support for AB 1401 Residential and commercial development: parking requirements

Circulate San Diego submitted a letter of support for AB 1401, which would eliminate local minimum parking requirements for both residential and commercial buildings in transit priority areas. By reducing the over-building of parking, this bill would reduce traffic, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, reduce the cost of housing to renters and homeowners, and improve the prospects of small neighborhood businesses fighting to survive during the pandemic.

On-site parking reduces the housing supply by taking up space that could otherwise be used for additional apartments. Providing on-site parking is also very expensive, costing $30,000 to $75,000 per space to build. This cost is passed on to renters and home buyers, regardless of whether they own a car. In fact, a recent study by Santa Clara University, researchers found that the cost of garage parking to renter households is approximately $1,700 per year, or an additional 17% of a housing unit’s rent.

This bill does not prohibit property owners from building on-site parking. Rather, it gives them the flexibility to decide on their own how much on-site parking to provide, instead of requiring compliance with a one-size-fits-all mandate. Read the full letter here [pdf].

Farewell: Danielle Berger

In keeping with our tradition, we ask our team members to share a few last words about the great work they have done and their experience with us.

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