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Circulator - 8/9/2019

Check out this week's featured stories:

1. Safe Streets for All Bike Ride

2. California Western Law Review publishes “City-Wide” article by our Executive Director Colin Parent 

3. Moderate Income Bonus Program Adopted After Years of Advocacy from Circulate San Diego 

4. CPG Reform Update 

5. Are Cities Designed for Women? 

Safe Streets for All Bike Ride 

Last Sunday, 300 San Diegans who support safe streets for all participated in a bike ride organized by a coalition including Circulate San Diego, BikeSD, San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, Climate Action Campaign, and City Heights Community Development Corporation. The ride was a huge success! San Diegans, especially young families, want protected, separated bike lanes that make them feel safe on the road. 

The ride went along 30th Street and Orange Avenue, ending at Teralta Park in City Heights. We were stationed at Teralta Park to greet the droves of cyclists and took fun pictures of cyclists supporting safe streets! Funding for Circulate’s program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

View more pictures here. 

California Western Law Review publishes “City-Wide” article by our Executive Director Colin Parent 

Last week the California Western Law Review published an academic article authored by our Executive Director and General Counsel Colin Parent. The piece titled “City-Wide: A strategy for Sustainable Growth,” is available online here. 
Over the last few years, Circulate San Diego has been guided by a theory of change that land use reforms are more easily adopted when they are applied city-wide. This is in contrast to many other approaches that try to focus change through community plan updates, or even updates for subsets of community plans.   

We have focused our advocacy on city-wide changes like affordable homes bonus programsparking reforms, and other programmatic policyOur successes have been numerous, proving the value of a city-wide approach. People have taken notice. Even Mayor Faulconer’s Housing-SD plan largely focuses on city-wide changes.  

In this recently published piece, Parent outlines the thinking behind Circulate’s theory of change. He examines how city-wide policies create the right political economies for reform. In contrast, land use reforms on smaller geographic scales are more likely to attract effective opposition from anti-housing forces and the defenders of the status quo. The piece also discusses recent experiences with land use reforms in San Diego, and lessons policymakers and advocates can draw both locally and in other regions.  

Moderate Income Bonus Program Adopted After Years of Advocacy from Circulate San Diego  

Last week the San Diego City Council adopted a Moderate Income Bonus Program advocated for by Circulate San Diego. This policy will create new incentives to build mixed income homes near transit. 

Due to our advocacy, the program allows developments to receive up to a 75 percent bonus above base density if they dedicate homes for low and moderate income families.  

The program was initially proposed by Mayor Faulconer’s administration in 2017 as an incentive to create homes at 150 percent of area median income. The proposal raised some concerns by housing advocates including Circulate San Diego that it would undermine existing incentives to create homes for less affluent households. Circulate was able to secure an amendment to allow the program to “stack” on top of the existing affordable bonus program, which earned our support. Still, those amendments did not mollify all critics, and the policy stalled in committee. 

This year Circulate proposed a package of new amendments designed to address the program’s critics. All of those changes were adopted in the Land Use and Housing Committee. Our advocacy successfully un-stuck the policy, and it was adopted unanimously by the City Council.   

This victory is a win for housing at all income levels. It also reflects Circulate’s sustained ability advocate for win-win policies for both affordable and market-rate homes. 

CPG Reform Update 

Last week, amid #Housingmageddon, the City of San Diego Rules Committee heard a proposed ballot measure relating to Community Planning Groups. The Committee was hearing a proposal to amend San Diego’s City Charter to address the fact that CPGs are an outlier for the City’s advisory committeesAs detailed in our legal memo, the Charter requires that advisory committees created by the City Council may only include members appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. The current practice of CPG elections is not in accord with the City Charter and the proposed ballot measure seemed to be acknowledging this inconsistency.

The City Attorney announced at the hearing that their office is undergoing an extensive analysis of the legal concerns raised in our memo. They expect to share the results of their analysis by the end of the year. This important update demonstrates that our legal analysis is being taken seriously and has merits. Circulate continues to advocate for CPG reform to democratize community planning. The next step is for the City Council to form a Citizens’ Committee to bring together stakeholders and provide recommendations for CPG reform.  

Are Cities Designed for Women? 

How do you feel when walking at night? Is lighting adequate in your neighborhood? Does your perception of safety affect your decision to walk, bike, or take transit once the sun comes down?  

Circulate San Diego is hosting its fourth women’s walk of the summer on August 15th at 7:30 PM in Pacific Beach. Come share your thoughts and experiences with the built environment in the Pacific Beach neighborhood.  

WHEN: August 15, 2019 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm 

WHERE: Amplified Ale Works Kitchen + Beer Garden, 4150 Mission Blvd #208, San Diego, CA 92109  

Google map and directions 

 There will be a particular focus on women's perceptions of safety, however, all are welcome! 

 For more information and to RSVP, click here.  

 Special thanks to our Corporate Members: 

Their support allows Circulate San Diego to go "above and beyond" to advance our mission to create excellent mobility choices and vibrant, healthy neighborhoods. Your firm, company or employer can find more information on our Corporate Membership page.

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