In my column last month, I talked about SB 50, a pending housing bill in Sacramento that would have virtually eliminated R1 zoning (single-family zoning) in various areas throughout California by replacing R1 zoning with R4 zoning (multi-family dwelling units). Sacramento keeps pushing forward with ideas on increasing population density mostly in developed areas. Those are the easiest areas to build-out, they say, since the infrastructure is already in place.
With SB 50, nearly any residential street in San Diego County could have a single-family home torn down and a four-unit complex constructed on the lot. Other concerns were that parking space requirements would be reduced as well as setback requirements so that structures could be built right up against the sidewalk. In late January, SB 50 was not advanced in the Senate and the bill died — for now.
However, just as the potential passing of SB 50 has ended (for a while), a local bill has now been created for San Diego that somewhat mirrors SB 50. Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his team have created the “Complete Communities Housing Solution and Mobility Plan.” This bill does much of what SB 50 would have done — increases building density throughout the city.
This bill only affects parts of the city of San Diego and the City Planning Department will soon be releasing maps and parcel addresses of which neighborhoods will be affected. We already know that the plan has different density zones depending on location and, yes, College Area is affected.
Currently, 1,966 acres of College Area would have increased density and taller height limits under the plan. If you own property within College Area, be prepared to have your community height limits, setback requirements, and maximum density levels overridden by Faulconer’s Complete Communities Housing Solution and Mobility Plan. Also, since Mayor Faulconer’s proposed plan will be implemented with special legislative permits, no community groups can provide input or approve or reject the projects.
It appears that closer to SDSU, the plan shows very high-density allowances via a Transit Priority Area. It seems other parts of College Area would have a density score of four, allowing a building’s square footage to be up to four times the lot size. So, for example, a 2,000-square-foot lot could have an 8,000-square-foot building constructed. With the mayor being term limited out of office, some I talked to said he wants to run for a higher office, perhaps governor of California, and by passing this increased density plan, he could claim to have solved San Diego’s housing crisis. I will keep an eye on this issue going forward and keep you updated.
College Area real estate market
The 92115 local real estate market continues to boom. The median sold price has risen almost 5% year over year in the College Area to $586,750 for a single-family property. The story currently is that there is very little inventory available for buyers!
Inventory of homes for sale is down 47% year over year to just 31 properties, which represents just one month of inventory — an extremely low number. Days on market is a ridiculously low 22 days. If you are interested in buying or selling in this market, call me for a no-obligation chat on my suggestions for achieving success.
—Sarah Ward is a Realtor with College Area Realty. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 858-431-6043.