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San Diego County's push towards transportation hubs

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Posted at 6:22 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 21:34:24-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)-- San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday on a proposal that would affect transportation impacts for future development projects.

Last summer, the Board adopted SB 743, which changed how housing projects are analyzed for transportation impacts. It changed from looking at potential congestion in the immediate development area to looking at a resident's vehicle miles traveled to the area. The closer to the urban center, the few miles traveled, and few carbon emissions. Conservationists applauded the change.

"Driving is responsible for almost half of the greenhouse gas emissions in San Diego County," David Grubb with the Quality of Life Coalition said. "The way the legislation is designed to do that is to encourage infill development and discourage sprawl development out in the backcountry where you have to drive 30 miles just to get to the grocery store".

But Wednesday, the Board was brought forth an update to the legislation, which would move the County to a different threshold. East County Supervisor Joel Anderson argued that the new proposal would prevent new affordable housing from being built in his
district.

"We are telling these people because they don't live on the coast, they don't count," Anderson said.

Rural area developers would have to find different mitigation tactics to keep emissions down. Some ideas were to build a grocery store or a transit stop within the project or pay a fee.

"I think we have to have a balance here," Supervisor Jim Desmond said.

But with no clarity on specific mitigation tactics, the Board voted 5-0 to have staff come back with a new proposal that would balance out the housing needs in both urban and rural areas while considering greenhouse emissions.

County staff will conduct a transportation study in 13 different areas and bring a new set of recommendations to the Board in a couple of months.