New rules could limit some apartment construction

A local developer is planning to build more than 30 apartments on a slope in Golden Hill to help feed San Diego's desperate need for more housing.

He got his application to the city just in the nick of time.

That's because new zoning laws that recently went into effect would have cut his project in half.

It's part of a larger plan to make sure Golden Hill doesn't lose its charm, encouraging new housing to be built in other ways.

The Greater Golden Hill Community Plan would limit what some residents consider to be overbuilt apartment projects on Broadway. But it also calls for 2,000 more homes. Those, however, would come in the form of more duplex-like structures and mixed-use complexes in other areas of the quaint neighborhood. 

"Part of the community plan update’s land use review was consideration of appropriate density and zoning given the community’s experiences with development that is out of context with traditional character and out of scale with its surroundings," a city spokesman said in a statement.

But some residents like Javier Jimenez say curing low supply of apartments wins out. His rent just rose $75 a month, he says because there aren't enough homes.

"We need more," he said. "I see people looking for apartments in the area every day." 

The city says developers can get bonuses to make their projects larger by adding affordable units.

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