To: Hon. Mayor Todd Gloria,
The recent City Council 5/4 vote on the municipal code update contained the controversial SDA that was not appropriate for the 2022 Land Development Code Update, which is intended to “simplify and streamline the permitting processes, assure compliance with state and federal regulations, and eliminate unnecessary barriers, redundancies, and contradictions.”
The SDA is much too large of a change to be included in this package and is more appropriate for inclusion in the Housing Action Package 2.0, which will allow a more thorough analysis of implementation and impact. The major concerns with the SDA as currently written run counter to climate action goals, equity of access, Vision Zero, walkable neighborhoods, and, most importantly, dramatically undercut funding for much needed infrastructure projects.
By increasing walking distance to transit, there will be an increased use of personal vehicles, leading to more congestion, pollution, and risks to pedestrians and cyclists. Our organization has received overwhelming support from the community for maintaining the current 1/2 mile maximum distance to transit, with 88% of those polled stating they would opt to drive when transit is farther than 1/2 mile.
Studies at the local, state, national, and international level, including MTS, SANDAG, CalTrans, the US Department of Transportation, the National Institutes of Health, and most recently, a 2020 publication by the University of Innsbruck, all show a standard catchment zone of no greater than 1/2 mile.
Extending the distance between transportation services and parcels qualifying for Complete Communities incentives gives developers access to cheaper real estate that is most often decades behind in infrastructure upgrades.
There is no coherent strategy to coordinate land development with Capital Improvement Projects which will lead to funding gaps given that Developer Impact Fees are greatly reduced in the TPA and the proposed SDA. Taxpayers will be left with the bill for repairs and improvements to bikeways, storm drains, police and fire facilities, streets and sidewalks, water and sewer lines, and utility undergrounding.
Council member LaCava originally put forward this proposal to solve the “as the crow flies” distance to transit. These new rules were hastily drafted, rely on flimsy analysis, and most importantly, do not solve any problem.
Help us reach out goal of 300. We have 110 so far.