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Mayor Kevin Faulconer wants to eliminate mandated parking for multi-family housing near transit hubs in hopes a regulatory rollback will spur more affordable housing developments and encourage San Diegans to rely less on cars.

The goal: Let the housing market, not existing requirements to provide parking, dictate what’s needed.

Lisa Halverstadt dug into the mayor’s proposal and talked to city officials, developers and experts about its potential impact. Most emphasized that Faulconer’s regulatory proposal is unlikely to lead developers to stop providing parking spots altogether in the immediate future but it could be a gamechanger over the long haul.

Faulconer’s pitch marks his latest effort to try to encourage more home-building and meet long-term goals laid out in the city’s Climate Action Plan.

Faulconer’s team hopes to send the measure to the City Council this spring.

  • State lawmakers introduced a slew of bills this week to try to address the state’s housing crisis.  One of those bills, introduced by San Francisco Democrat Sen. Scott Wiener, would bar cities from hampering dense housing projects within a half mile of a transit or jobs hub. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that SB 50, an updated version of a failed measure Wiener pushed last session, would also axe minimum parking requirements for those developments.
  • Faulconer on Thursday announced that homeowners and businesses working on home repairs can now apply for repair and improvement permits online, according to Times of San Diego.

Gompers Teachers Lobby for Union

A group of teachers at Gompers Preparatory Academy charter school in Chollas View are trying to unionize amid concerns about unequal pay and mandated work during holiday and summer breaks, among other issues.

If the state approves the teachers’ proposal, the Union-Tribune reports, Gompers would become one of just a handful of unionized charter schools in the county.

Not all teachers at the school are on board with the push to unionize and earlier this week, some spoke out before the San Diego Unified school board took a rare step to approve a resolution encouraging Gompers staff and administration to “to engage with their organizing employees in a lawful, respectful and productive way.”

Scott Lewis previously looked into the what happened after Preuss School, a La Jolla charter, unionized in 2017 and found little drama followed the decision. What did follow were changes to the contract process for teachers and a new a step-and-column pay program similar to those in many school districts.

Lewis also delved into an increasing push to put a moratorium on new charter schools and the complicated politics surrounding those schools in a recent podcast interview with Democrats Lorena Gonzalez and Nathan Fletcher. The couple has three children enrolled in charter schools – and Gonzalez would like to see a moratorium on new ones – but she also said those schools don’t necessarily have to be “anti-union.”

The Story Behind Pueblo Sin Fronteras

A group of U.S. and Mexican volunteers who coordinated the first caravan has been a crucial player helping draw thousands of Central American migrants to the border.

In the process, the Los Angeles Times writes in a new profile of the group, known as Pueblo Sin Fronteras or People Without Borders, has drawn both praise for its efforts to aid those migrants and criticism for imperiling them.

The Times explains the history behind the group, which initially led classes for day laborers about workplace rights after its founding in 2009, and the group’s more recent effors to aid migrants in Tijuana.

VOSD’s Maya Srikrishnan for months tracked members of one of the group’s caravans, documenting Pueblo Sin Fronteras’ efforts to help the Central American migrants and the group’s experiences once they made it to Tijuana.

News Nibbles

  • A county government-supported Alzheimer’s Response Team now aiding East County seniors could expand to other regions, KPBS reports.
  • The Union-Tribune reports that half of the county’s school districts need aid to improve services for at least one student group per annual state rankings released Thursday.
  • The New York Times traces back the decline of California GOP to former San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson, who as governor in 1994 pushed a ballot measure that aimed to prevent undocumented immigrants from receiving state services, including health care.
  • The state building commission signed off on a new mandate Thursday that all new California homes be outfitted with solar starting in 2020, The Associated Press reports.
  • Six months since former District Attorney candidate Bob Brewer was nominated to serve as San Diego’s U.S. attorney, The Union-Tribune reports that the longtime litigator is still waiting.

The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, and edited by Sara Libby.

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