San Diego waterfront. Courtesy of

The Civic San Diego Board of Directors on Wednesday approved a Community Benefits Policy, which establishes guidelines that staff will consider when working on publicly funded projects to make sure the projects have positive impacts on their neighborhoods.

Civic San Diego staff will use the policy, developed after several months of public meetings, to evaluate projects proposed for downtown San Diego, City Heights, Encanto, Southeast San Diego and other communities included in former redevelopment areas.

The policy calls for promoting the development of mixed-income housing; helping the recruitment, training and retention of local residents to work on projects; contracting with local businesses; expanding, retaining and relocating local businesses; developing the youth workforce; sustainability; and arts and culture.

Civic San Diego was created three years ago to replace the Centre City Development Corp. and Southeastern Development Corp. when the state abolished the redevelopment process. The agency handles design issues and permitting in certain neighborhoods of the city.

“Our core mission is creating positive economic activity in our neighborhoods,” said Civic San Diego President Reese Jarrett.

“This new policy assures all publicly funded projects going forward are evaluated to ensure we maximize opportunities that respect San Diego’s diverse communities and priorities, foster job growth and create housing and public infrastructure improvements that promote a strong quality of life for residents and businesses.”

Agency staff will present the policy to the City Council’s Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee in June.

— City News Service

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