Mayor Todd Gloria initiated a project that he claims will reduce inequity in infrastructure investments.
“Because of our outdated method of financing infrastructure projects, some of our communities are being left behind,” said the Mayor of San Diego.
He stated that the project “Build Better SD will break down barriers to doing more in our communities by allowing us to prioritize investments in areas where the needs are greatest.”
According to Gloria, when private projects are built, the Development Impact Fees (DIF) are what real estate developers pay for new infrastructure improvements, such as libraries, streets, and other public spaces.
The fees collected go to 43 separate neighborhood funds and these funds cannot be shared between neighborhood lines. Many of these individual amounts of money are insufficient to fund the planned improvement projects, resulting in a current combined total of $222 million in unspent funds.
Under the Build Better San Diego plan, infrastructure needs would be examined throughout San Diego, not just a few neighborhoods, and funds would be directed to high-priority and priority projects.
On March 10, City Planning Department staff plan to hold a virtual public forum to provide more information about the initiative and receive feedback, and residents can also provide input via an online survey in English or Spanish.
Councilmember Joe LaCava said he supports the project because "our oldest communities need a new approach" to infrastructure investments.
Acting Planning Director Heidi Vonblum said, “Infrastructure serves our entire city. It does not respect community boundaries, and our infrastructure funds should be available to align with this reality."