Several architects who shouldn’t have qualified for a program that fast-tracks development projects benefited anyway, including some with ties to Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
By Andrew Keatts.
For the last decade, San Diego has been ignoring its own restrictions on who can benefit from a program that fast-tracks development projects.
A handful of connected architects has been the primary beneficiary of the city’s decision to overlook its own rules.
The city lets developers pay extra to fast-track their projects, but to qualify they need to provide something beneficial to the public – like affordable housing, or homes with low-greenhouse gas footprints.
In 2003, the so-called sustainable expedite program was created to help developers get projects approved faster if they generated half their power from renewable energy, a boon to solar panels long before they were as financially competitive as they are now.
But program eligibility requires projects to include at least four housing units, to encourage dense development.