By Scott Sherman | District 7 Dispatch
The city of San Diego is currently facing a severe housing crisis. Monthly rent and mortgage expenses continue to rise, forcing younger generations as well as seniors to move out of San Diego to more affordable regions. To help fix this, the City Council adopted a measure making it easier and more affordable for homeowners to build secondary units on their property.
One of the fastest and least expensive options to increase housing in San Diego is to make it easier to build granny flats. With these new incentives, and removal of expensive fees, San Diego residents will find it much easier to build new affordable units.
The unanimous vote will waive Development Impact Fees, Facility Benefit Assessment Fees, and General Plan Maintenance Fees for the construction of “companion units,” otherwise known as accessory dwelling units or granny flats.
In addition to the council vote, Mayor Kevin Faulconer also directed $100,000 to the Public Utilities Department to cover the cost of Water and Sewer Capacity Fees for the remainder of fiscal year 2018.
Companion units provide a great housing option in the city that we desperately need. The unanimous vote by the City Council moved us one step closer to increasing the number of these units by reducing the burdensome fees. In addition to this measure, I will soon be bringing forward a companion unit toolkit providing three different designs that will help homeowners easily navigate the development process.
While these are important step, there is much more work to be done. More than 70 percent of San Diegans cannot afford to buy a home at the county’s median home cost of more than $550,000 – making San Diego one of the least affordable markets in the country. I am committed to continue working on this important issue.
— San Diego City Councilmember Scott Sherman represents the District 7 neighborhoods of Mission Valley, Grantville, Allied Gardens, Del Cerro and San Carlos.