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September 15, 2021

Getting Traction with San Diego City Council

San Diego City Council takes a first step towards revising its ADU code.

Over the past several months, NFABSD has met with Mayor Gloria, all nine council districts, and numerous planning and community groups to educate San Diegans on the extent to which San Diego's 2020 ADUs regulations unnecessarily and unjustifiably exceeded state requirements.

As a result of this activity and the pressure that you, the residents of San Diego, have put on our elected officials by signing our petition, writing and calling our mayor and councilmembers, and showing up to present your views at community meetings, we are starting to see action. This week District 9 Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera released a memo outlining proposed changes to San Diego's ADU code, many of which were directed at the concerns that have been raised by NFABSD.

We thank Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera for taking this first step; however, there are major differences between the changes outlined in the memo and what NFABSD considers necessary to address the problems with current ADU policy. We will be detailing those differences in a subsequent update, and we will continue to push the mayor and City Council to bring San Diego's ADU code in line with the state's guidelines.

Note that our petition specifically has asked for a moratorium on the bonus ADU provisions while the code is revised, particularly in Transit Priority Areas. While we have not yet been successful in halting the permitting of bonus ADUs (that is, ADUs in excess of the single ADU allowed by state law), we have made significant progress towards permanently revising the code, which is the ultimate goal.

We thank our supporters, without whom we would not have gotten the attention of the city. We still have a long way to go, but we have overcome the political inertia of our elected officials not wanting to retrace the steps of past administrations. Now we must continue the fight to shape the scope and nature of those amendments so they will better protect our neighborhoods from ADU projects that are out of scale with single-family neighborhoods. We will get there with your continued support.

You can read more about our proposed code changes (with further links to our full proposed code markup) here:

Councilmember Elo-Rivera's memo is posted here:

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