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San Diego County Approves Home Building Measure That Will Waive VMT Analysis

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Planning + Development

San Diego County Approves Home Building Measure That Will Waive VMT Analysis

New San Diego housing plans won’t require developers to pay for analysis or mitigation for ‘vehicle miles traveled’

February 21, 2022
San Diego freeway
Image: Stock.adobe.com

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors recently approved a measure aimed at boosting housing construction in unincorporated areas with the potential for public transit, but not all county officials are onboard. The new rules will authorize the construction of 4,025 new homes in regions with low fire risks and reduced traffic, but those who voted against the measure suggest that future vehicle miles traveled (VMT) should not be taken into account when limiting the number of new home projects.

According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, VMT is a California state standard implemented in 2013 to measure and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions produced by transportation to and from work, school, and errands. New construction projects must also offset regional VMT impacts by cutting down commutes for local residents, but the latest measure will use infill development to shortcut transportation analysis.

The new rules, approved by all three Democratic supervisors, will allow developers to build in specific “infill” areas without requiring analysis or mitigation for vehicle miles traveled. The plan applies to a number of areas of unincorporated land that are already developed with homes and businesses and are slated for transit lines.

“We have to look for the most legally viable way that we can put the housing in the right places, meet our climate goals and build more housing than we’ve ever built before,” said Board Chair Nathan Fletcher.

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