The Oceanside City Council on Wednesday raised the city’s in-lieu fees from $8.96 per square foot to $20 per square foot with a two-year phase-in.
In-lieu fees are fees that developers can pay instead of including affordable units in their developments. Before Wednesday’s decision, Oceanside had one of the lowest in-lieu fees in the county.
The council was in favor of raising the fee, but city staff warned against raising it too much, sparking criticism from residents and the Housing Commission who said the fee needs to be higher to pressure developers into building affordable housing units.
Staff and councilmembers, though, said higher fees often have the opposite effect – they can drive away developers altogether.
San Diego Inks a Deal to Someday Ink a Deal to Develop the Sports Arena
The city of San Diego and the development team selected to redevelop the area around the Sports Arena came to an agreement this week on the terms for them to negotiate a final deal for the project sometime in the next two years, the Union-Tribune reported Thursday.
Mayor Todd Gloria in September selected and the City Council confirmed a redevelopment proposal from Midway Rising to turn the city owned property underneath and around Pechanga Arena into more than 4,000 homes, a new arena and public space.
Now, the city and Midway Rising have until December of 2024 to agree to a deal that would stipulate lease payments the developer would make to the city for the land, and the components of the project. The developer’s previous bid was made before it could survey and study the property for environmental or infrastructure issues that could complicate the design and substantively change the project.
The framework for negotiations, though, stipulates that the final deal will “substantially conform” to the winning bid, which had to comply with a state law that prioritized low-income housing on public land. The agreement says there needs to be at least 2,000 homes for low-income residents, which was part of the developer’s winning pitch. The agreement also says the city needs to approve any attempt for a member of the development team to transfer their role to another party that wasn’t part of the bidding process.
Gloria’s selection of Midway Rising generated significant controversy this fall over a $100,000 donation that Brad Termini, CEO of housing developer Zephyr, Midway Rising’s lead, made to an independent committee supporting his mayoral election in 2020. But the Council approved his selection, and the passage last month of Measure C, removing the Midway area from the city’s 30-foot height limit on new development in the coastal area, allowed the city to take one more step towards a redevelopment.
In Other News
- Smoke where you get ‘em: National City to host county’s first cannabis lounge, where patrons can order and consume marijuana products inside a business. Art and food trucks also promised. (Union-Tribune)
- Oceanside City Council OK’d a 146-unit apartment complex despite the city’s planning commission vetoing the project earlier. The developer appealed to the council, who critics of the project decried for making contributions to most of the councilmembers’ campaigns. The size of the project grew by a third due to the state’s housing bonus for projects that reserve enough units for very-low-income individuals. (Union-Tribune)
- Escondido has a new mayor, challenger Dan White who ousted incumbent Paul “Mac” MacNamara by about 3 percentage points. (Union-Tribune)
- And Chula Vista elected a deceased man, the former deputy city attorney, who died during his political run for city attorney. There will be a special election to replace him. (CBS 8)
- National City City Councilman Ron Morrison has secured victory in his mayoral run after serving three decades on the city council. (Union-Tribune)
- Scientists at Scripps Research in San Diego began the first clinical trials of a possible AIDS vaccine. (KPBS)
- Voter turnout last month came in at 54 percent, and 90 percent of the 1,043,490 ballots were mail-in ballots, City News Service reports. That turnout number is down significantly from the 83 percent turnout in November of 2020 – unsurprising, as presidential elections draw more voters to the polls – but it’s also lower than the 65 percent turnout from 2018, the last midterm election. It’s above the 44 percent voter turnout from 2014, the previous midterm election.
- The San Diego Padres, once again, acquired one of the best living baseball players to play baseball for their baseball team that plays here in San Diego, which is nice. (Union-Tribune)
The Morning Report was written by Tigist Layne, Andrew Keatts and MacKenzie Elmer. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.