The program immediately waives building permit fees, onsite wastewater fees as well as development impact fees. (Photo courtesy San Diego County)
County waives permits and impact
fees to encourage homeowners
to build “granny flats”
The county Board of Supervisors took action Wednesday to fight the housing and affordable housing crisis by voting to spend $11 million on a five-year trial program to waive fees to encourage homeowners to build “granny flats” on their properties.
The board voted 4-0, with Supervisor Greg Cox absent, to approve an ordinance creating the five-year program to waive fees to build “accessory dwelling units,” commonly referred to as granny flats, in unincorporated communities. The program immediately waives building permit fees, onsite wastewater fees as well as development impact fees, which include transportation fees to add roads and infrastructure, fees to build parks, and drainage fees, for homeowners who want to build granny flats.
“This is really a big deal,” said board Chairwoman Dianne Jacob. “We talk a lot about housing, the need for housing, and the need for affordable housing. This is the easiest and quickest way to get there.”
The state of California also passed a law that took effect in 2018 to ease restrictions and allow property owners to build more granny flats, which are typically smaller than standard homes.
However, the county’s program actually provides a financial incentive by waiving fees for local homeowners in unincorporated areas.
San Diego County’s regulations allow granny flats to be up to 1,200 square feet in size. They can be attached to, or built separate from, full-sized homes on the same parcel, and include kitchens, bathrooms, living areas and private entrances. They cannot be sold as individual homes, but they can be rented out by homeowners or used to provide additional living space for family members, friends, students, the elderly, the disabled, or in-home health care providers. Properties must meet all zoning requirements, such as setbacks that meet fire safety and building codes.
December saw dramatic
reduction in home sales
A dramatic reduction in inventory contributed to one of the slowest months for home sales this year, according to housingstatistics compiled through the San Diego Multiple Listing Service by the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors.
Single-family homes last month were down more than 11 percent compared to November, and nearly 20 percent from December 2017. Condominium and townhome sales (attached) properties in December fell by more than 23 percent from the previous month, and 32 percent from a year ago. Sales of all previously owned properties were off by 10 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. The inventory of for-sale homes slumped by 15 percent over the past month, but for the year, there was an increase of nearly 37 percent more homes on the market.
Median prices continued to beat their prior-year levels, with single-family homes ending 2018 at $625,000, and condos/townhomes reaching $419,000. Over the past year, prices of all existing properties saw an increase of more than 6 percent.
“December can be a slow month, historically, but as we enter the new year we are continuing to watch for an improved base of home sales inventory,” said SDAR President Kevin Burke. “Sellers may continue to have the upper hand, yet buyers will hopefully have more choices with which to bargain.”
In December, the ZIP codes in San Diego County with the most single-family home sales were:
92130 (Carmel Valley) with 40
92057 (Oceanside North) and 92114 (Encanto), both with 37
92071 (Santee) with 36
92028 (Fallbrook) with 35
92019 (El Cajon) with 34
The most expensive single-family property sold in December in San Diego County is an ocean-view home in the La Jolla neighborhood of Lower Hermosa, built in 1939, with 9,700 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, and a sale price of $13.6 million.
Click here for a detailed look at the numbers.
Gov. Newsom orders comprehensive
modernization, reinvention of DMV
Gov. Gavin Newsom Wednesday named California Government Operations Agency Secretary Marybel Batjer to lead a comprehensive modernization and reinvention of the troubled California Department of Motor Vehicles. Batjer will make recommendations for new long-term leadership and reform at the agency — with an emphasis on transparency, worker performance, speed of service and overall consumer satisfaction.
In that capacity, she will serve as chair of a new DMV Reinvention Strike Team for six months.
In addition, Newsom ordered an accelerated Review of Early Findings within 30 days of the independent audit of DMV initiated by former Gov. Jerry Brown, which is being managed by the Department of Finance.
“By any metric, California DMV has been chronically mismanaged and failed in its fundamental mission to the state customers it serves and the state workers it employs,” Newsom said in a statement. “It’s time for a reinvention, and I’m grateful to Secretary Batjer for agreeing to take on this tremendous responsibility on behalf of California taxpayers.”
Salk scientist receives $1 million+
CAREER Award from NSF
Salk scientist Saket Navlakha has received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) totaling more than $1 million over the next five years. The CAREER award supports faculty who exemplify the role of teacher/scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.
An assistant professor in the Integrative Biology Laboratory and a Pioneer Fund Developmental chair, Navlakha received the CAREER award to fund his proposed study, “Algorithms in nature: uncovering principles of plant structure, growth, and adaptation.” The goal of this project is to elucidate the naturally occurring algorithms in biological systems, such as the branching of a tree in search for light, and compare the network design strategies and optimization principles to that of developing neurons in the brain and human engineered transportation structures.
The results of his study will help reveal the basic patterns that evolution has used to design these systems and will offer an improved understanding of how these natural networks process information and function in both health and disease.
Hampton Inn & Suites rendering
Sudberry Properties starts construction
on Hampton Inn & Suites in Imperial Beach
Sudberry Properties and Tharaldson Development and Hospitality have started construction of a 100-guestroom Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton at Breakwater Town Center, 771 Palm Ave., in Imperial Beach. The hotel, scheduled to open in early 2020, is a four-story, 62,000-square-foot project with “beach modern” architecture, a fitness center, breakfast and lounge area, business center and swimming pool.
The hotel, which occupies 1.5 acres and includes 100 parking spaces, is the final phase of Breakwater Town Center, a public-private partnership by the city of Imperial Beach and Sudberry Properties. The town center occupies a prominent 4.75-acre site over a three-block area on Palm Avenue (SR 75) and serves at the gateway to Imperial Beach and Coronado.
The development team includes Design Cell Architecture, an international firm headquartered in Las Vegas, and Watkins Landmark Construction of Carlsbad. The hotel will be owned by Heritage Inn of Imperial Beach LLC, with Sudberry Properties serving as a managing partner.
Luna at Pacific Highlands Ranch apartments. (Image from Affirmed Housing)
Wermers finishes construction
of Luna at Pacific Highlands Ranch
Wermers Multi-Family Corporation has completed construction of Luna at Pacific Highlands Ranch, a community of 79 one, two, three and four-bedroom affordable rental homes located on Pacific Place Drive at Pacific Highlands Ranch.
Wermers Multi-Family Corporation was awarded the project in September 2017 and construction was completed end of the year 2018. The project included two four-story, Type V-A buildings with attached garages, a clubhouse and leasing office. Construction was led by Project Manager James Ryan Weber. To date, Wermers Multi-Family Corporation has built over 2,000 affordable units in San Diego alone.
University receives $1 million grant
to provide hurricane disaster relief training
The University of California San Diego OSHA Training Institute Education Center was one of five organizations recently awarded a $1 million direct Susan Harwood Training Grant through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This federal funding will be utilized from Feb. 9 to March 3 to train and protect workers involved in hurricane recovery activities in Guam.
Urban Land Institute presents
Women’s Leadership Symposium
Urban Land Institute (ULI) San Diego – Tijuana hosts the second annual Women’s Leadership Symposium, “Closing the C-Suite Gender Gap,” on Thursday, Jan. 24, from 3 to 7:30 p.m. at the Intercontinental Hotel, 901 Bayfront Court, San Diego. Keynote speaker is Tami Holzman, best-selling author of “From C-Student to the C-Suite.” She will share how emotional intelligence, story-telling and empathy have helped her create meaningful connections and close million-dollar business deals.
The symposium will also include a behind-the-scenes tour of the new 18-story, 400-room InterContinental Hotel by Mary Pampuch, Lankford & Associates’ executive VP and COO. Lankford partnered with Portman Holdings and Hensel Phelps on the luxury hotel project.
The symposium, which is open to women and men, also features a cocktail reception and book-signing by Holzman. Tickets range from $50 for ULI student members to $135 for the general public. Information and registration at https://sandiego-tijuana.uli.org.
Kim McNealy named CMO of Ascent Student Loans
Ascent Student Loans, a division of San Diego-based finance technology company Goal Structured Solutions Inc., has named marketing and technology expert Kim McNealy as its chief marketing officer. With deep expertise leading marketing programs for a range of emerging and industry-leading organizations, McNealy will spearhead initiatives that position Ascent Student Loans for continued growth in the student lending market.
Prior to joining Ascent, McNealy founded and led CMO Mojo, a company working to educate technology start-ups on lean marketing practices. McNealy’s marketing leadership includes roles at Global Analytics where, during his tenure as vice president of marketing and user experience he tripled the company’s United Kingdom market share while creating marketing and UX capabilities in the U.S., UK and Indian markets.
In his role as marketing director at Intuit, he led strategy for TurboTax and created the New Initiatives Team within Intuit’s Consumer Group.
Previously a marketing and brand manager at General Mills in addition to his other related experience, McNealy has led marketing efforts for brandsincluding, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury & Nature Valley.
A former U.S. Navy nuclear submarine officer, he earned his bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Justine Nielsen and Michael Kiesling
elevated to partner at Procopio law firm
Two Procopio attorneys have been elevated to partner as the firm enters 2019. Justine K. Nielsen and Michael R. Kiesling are the latest to assume this role in the firm.
Justine Nielsen is a land use expert in Procopio’s Real Estate practice group who represents private entities and public interest groups on a variety of land use, planning and entitlement matters throughout various stages of the real estate development process. She is also active in the San Diego community serving as a director of the Navajo Community Planners and was recently elected to the board of directors of both the Downtown San Diego Partnership and the San Diego County Taxpayers Association in addition to other volunteer roles she holds in the community.
Michael Kiesling is a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rated litigator who assists developers, landowners, contractors, and businesses in developing cost-effective solutions to complex real estate, construction, and commercial disputes. He has extensive experience litigating disputes involving contracts, title to property, construction claims, delays and liens, claims of fraud, eminent domain and condemnation, landlord-tenant issues, and business and corporate matters. Kiesling is also active in his profession and community as a member of NAIOP and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, and having held various roles with the American Inns of Court while also having held an executive position with the YMCA Camps Board of Management.
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