Granny flat
A “granny flat.” Image from San Diego’s Companion Unit Handbook

The San Diego City Council on Tuesday approved Mayor Todd Gloria’s “Homes for All of Us” package that includes support for new California housing initiatives.

The plan implements Senate Bill 9 to allow homeowners to subdivide their lots, allowing up to four units to be built on a typical single-family lot. It also amends the city’s “granny flat” ordinance to make it consistent with the new law.

“The failure to create new homes to accommodate the population growth we have long known was coming has been disastrous for our families, regional economy and quality of life,” said Gloria. “I thank the City Council for approving this sensible package of reforms to meaningfully address our housing shortage.”

The 8-1 vote, with only Councilmember Marni von Wilpert opposing, comes at a time when many wealthy California cities are seeking ways to circumvent the new state law to impede housing development.

“While our housing crisis cannot and will not be solved overnight, ‘Homes For All of Us’ will help us turn the tide on an issue that is impacting so many San Diego families,” said City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera.

The package also has incentives for building affordable homes on city-owned land and near transit facilities, and for creating live/work units.

Many residents who attended the meeting spoke against the measure, saying it would change the character of neighborhoods and encourage developers to buy up properties.

But the package had wide support from the business community, including the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Building Industry Association of San Diego County.

“Addressing the housing shortage is key to supporting our thriving economy and is one of the chamber’s top priorities. Mayor Todd Gloria’s ‘Homes For All of Us’ initiative will provide all San Diegans more opportunities to live and work here, at a time when we need every innovative idea in the toolbox to build more housing quickly and efficiently,” said Angeli Calinog, a policy advisor for the chamber.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.