Housing Commission approves affordable housing development at Famosa lot
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 07/09/19 - 07:05 AM | 2473 views | 1 1 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) has determined that a controversial five-acre lot at Famosa and Nimitz boulevards in Point Loma is suitable for development of affordable housing.

In a letter to Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Council members, the SDHC wrote: “The study determined this property, also known as Site 428, is feasible. … No specific development design or plan has been created or proposed for the site at this point in time. The feasibility study utilized a preliminary site plan to determine whether or not 78 affordable rental housing units could be developed … Based upon the determination from this feasibility study, SDHC will release a request for proposals within 60 days to obtain proposals from developers for a potential affordable rental housing development at this site.” 

SDHC said in its letter that since no specific development design or plan has been created or proposed for this site at this time, that the specific population and income levels that would reside in such a development have yet to be determined.

Peninsula Community Planning Board chair Robert Goldyn said: “The PCPB has not taken an official position on this. If a position is drafted, it will be done at long range planning committee and presented to the board at a later date.”

Added Goldyn: "The SDHC’s request for proposals will include a requirement that prospective developers obtain feedback from PCPB and the community, including preferences, regarding the potential development of affordable housing at this site. SDHC recommends that community members share their comments with SDHC by sending emails to Site428@sdhc.org."

Goldyn noted additional opportunities for public comment on the project “will be available ‘if’ a proposal is selected for a potential development.”

Proposed development of the five-acre site in Point Loma has been a lightning rod for controversy and debate in the Peninsula since it was first proposed. It has led to community protests and a petition-signature collection drive.

Opponents of the project have said they will petition the city “for a zoning change for the five-acre parcel to become parkland or open space.”

The parcel across from Bill Cleator Park had previously been converted for public use as a makeshift bicycle pump track. Some neighbors emphatically said no then – and now – to reusing the property, owned by the SDHC, for affordable housing.

Some residents have contended the project would be overly impactful adding to traffic, congestion, parking and densification in the area.

SDHC said it will evaluate responses during the request for proposals process seeking a suitable developer for the five-acre site.

“If, through this request for proposals process, SDHC selects a proposal for a potential development of this site, such development will be subject to further reviews and approvals that will provide opportunities for additional community input and City Council review,” added SDHC in its letter to the City. “Before development can occur at this site, a proposal would be presented to the PCPB and would need to obtain director-level approval from City of San Diego’s Development Services Department and approval for street vacation from the Planning Commission and City Council.” 

Added SDHC: “The need for additional affordable rental housing in the City of San Diego is well-established. SDHC values public participation and input in the creation and preservation of affordable housing that is needed in communities throughout the City of San Diego to address the city’s housing crisis.” 

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Geoff Page
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July 11, 2019
I find it interesting that there were no statements from the Save Famosa Canyon group that has been very vocal about preserving the open space. There is no doubt that this development is distressing to them and I would expect they have an opinion.
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