The first components of the City of San Diego’s Complete Communities initiative will soon go before the full City Council following a majority vote on June 24 by the Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee.
The Complete Communities initiative is a multifaceted package of policies aimed at facilitating equitable, healthy and sustainable neighborhoods across San Diego. Those policies will not only help achieve the City’s climate action goals and tailor state legislation to San Diego’s needs, but more importantly they prioritize focused equitable investments in improvements where the greatest needs exist in communities.
“The way that we currently plan has contributed to inequitable investments in our neighborhoods,” said Mike Hansen, the City’s planning director. “This program begins to prioritize our resources where the needs are greatest, while putting us on a path to achieving our climate goals.”
Communities of Concern are identified in the City's Climate Equity Index as census tracts with low to very low access to opportunity, focusing on communities that face greater barriers to improve their quality of life. Since the 1980s, fees collected to fund sidewalks, libraries, parks and other neighborhood amenities have largely been spent outside of Communities of Concern. This initiative proposes that at least 50% of the two new funding sources would be dedicated solely toward recreation and mobility investments in Communities of Concern.
Together, this initiative will also:
Create incentives to build more affordable homes near transit;
Provide more mobility choices to meet our climate goals;
Deliver neighborhood benefits where we need them most.
These policies are based on continuous feedback from multiple public hearings, online surveys and public feedback. Because of the many years of extensive public outreach that went into the General Plan and Climate Action Plan, and forward-thinking action taken by previous City Councils, this City Council will now be able to implement the vision in those plans with Complete Communities. Strategy 3 of the Climate Action Plan specifically calls for reducing vehicle miles traveled, improved mobility options and strategically planned land uses near transit.
To turn his One San Diego promise into City policy, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer is encouraging the City Council to support the Complete Communities package.
“For far too long our underserved and minority neighborhoods have been neglected when it comes to new infrastructure,” Faulconer said. “We are now prioritizing and reinvigorating those neighborhoods through this initiative because we cannot truly prosper as a city until every community is complete. This will help build stronger, more connected communities and improve quality of life in neighborhoods across the city.”
No date has been set yet for the full Council hearing on the Housing Solutions and Mobility Choices components.