By Rachel Dovey.

By rewarding density and frequent public transportation, are the distributors of California’s new transit-oriented development fund incentivizing smart growth or hurting the cities with the greatest need?

It’s a question being asked in San Diego, where transit-oriented development can’t seem to take off. Since 2012, the region’s planning agency has come under fire (andlitigation) from environmental groups, housing advocates and even Attorney General Kamala Harris for its freeway-centric approach to longterm growth. Now, with a new pot of cap-and-trade funds on the statewide table, cities have the chance to beef up their affordable housing and alternative transportation networks — an opportunity that San Diego’s metropolitan area could desperately use.

But according to some advocates, the region’s transit-housing nexus may be too weak to even qualify for a fair share of those funds. Which brings us back to that original question. Should the state cut San Diego a break and meet the sprawling metropolis where it’s at?

That’s essentially what the San Diego Association of Governments, SANDAG, would like to see.

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Read the full story at Next City.