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East County News Service

Photo via San Diego County News Service

May 29, 2023 (San Diego) – To address the housing crisis in San Diego County’s unincorporated areas, Supervisors last week approved 22 actions aimed at helping renters and homebuyers.

The changes are designed to deliver different types of housing faster by reducing and guaranteeing review times for housing plans and permits. This will provide builders with certainty during the development process for both market-rate developments as well as affordable housing projects.

The board also approved information technology changes that aid project tracking, transparency, and increased communication, guidance tools and support.

Planning & Development Services Director Dahvia Lynch says these actions “reinforce the County’s commitment to improve housing opportunities in our area. We look forward to offering faster review times, greater efficiencies, and more support to our housing applicants so they can build the homes we desperately need in our community.”

Government-funded affordable housing, emergency shelters, workforce and infill housing stand to benefit from Supervisors’ actions. The County will also be offering pre-approved plans for single family homes and accept tiny homes on wheels as an approved housing option.

There also will be extra professionals to make sure applications are complete and correct when submitted. In addition, projects needing septic tank approvals will have dedicated assistance to conduct safety reviews more efficiently.

The recommendations were generated by a multi-department County working group and shaped by stakeholder input. The working group included Planning & Development Services, Public Works, Environmental Health & Quality, County Counsel, County Fire, Housing & Community Development Services, Purchasing & Contracting, General Services, and the Office of Economic Development and Government Affairs.

The actions are part of the County’s ongoing response to the region’s housing affordability crisis.

Efforts also are underway at the County to create a roadmap, or Housing Blueprint, to guide ongoing response. People are encouraged to review the Housing Blueprint and provide comments before it is presented later this year to the Board of Supervisors.  

In recognition of efforts to date, the County has received a Prohousing designation from the State. This is awarded to cities and counties that implement zoning and land use policies that favor development, accelerate housing production timeframes, reduce housing and production costs, and provide financial subsidies.

More detail on this item can be found here.

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Bureaucracy rules

I had a friend who wanted to have a garage built near his house in a a rural unincorporated area. He had to make many trips to the city in the process of getting a permit -- for a garage! So good luck in taming the bureaucrats and streamlining anything.