City Nixes Density Bonus Plan

By Kristin Harms

At the Uptown Planners meeting on Tuesday, December 1st, City Planning staff announced that the proposed Density Bonus Plan, or Incentive Zoning Program, will be removed from the Uptown and North Park Community Plan updates.

This is great news for residents of University Heights, who overwhelmingly opposed (96%) the density bonus plan at a community meeting in October, attended by a record 115 residents.  As presented by me and Bill Ellig at this meeting, the plan would have allowed developers to “provide public infrastructure and amenities such as parks, plazas, additional public parking within business districts (in exchange) for increased residential density or additional building height.”

Under this plan, the number of housing units in University Heights could have increased by up to 100% by 2050 despite the fact that SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments), projects only a 38% increase in housing units in UH by 2050.

Community Supports Existing Density and Height Limits

UH-Land-Use-Areas-of-Concern_10-15

We presented several other land use areas of concern at the meeting and asked attendees to vote on density ranges and maximum building heights for 6 key areas in University Heights, as shown in the map above. The vast majority of residents voted to keep land use densities and building heights at moderate levels, while still allowing for growth consistent with SANDAG projections:

Density

  • 97% support a density range of 0-29 du/ac for Area 1
  • 89% support a density range of 0-29 du/ac for Area 2
  • 84% support a density range of 0-29 du/ac for Area 3
  • 76% support a density range of 0-44 du/ac for Area 4
  • 62% support a density range of 0-54 du/ac for Area 5
  • 87% support a density range of 0-29 du/ac for Area 6

Height Limits

  • 95% support a height limit of 35 feet for Area 1
  • 90% support a height limit of 35 feet for Area 2
  • 87% support a height limit of 35 feet for Area 3
  • 76% support a height limit of 50 feet for Area 4
  • 67% support a height limit of 65 feet for Area 5
  • 92% support a height limit of 35 feet for Area 6

Thank You!

Many thanks to all of you who submitted letters and emails to City Planning staff about the proposed density bonus plan and community plan update. Community advocacy does work!

We will keep you updated as the Community Plan moves forward through the approval process.

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