The city of San Diego now spends most of the year approving building permits. The city is taking an unusual step towards solving the problem.
On Monday, the city council will vote on two separate $2.5 million contracts with third-party companies to help city officials review applications for new developments.
These contracts are seen as a temporary solution to the huge backlog of permit applications that has accumulated since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. to reduce the staffing shortages that created the backlog in the first place.
This problem has become very serious. Currently, it typically takes six to nine months to issue a standard building permit, and the city has over 3,000 of his applications at any one time, according to timelines posted on the city’s website. increase. City unions represent white people. – Collar workers reviewing permits welcome support from private companies.
“Many employees in departments who are completely overwhelmed are asking us to offer this relief and not take a hardline line,” said Michael Zatchet, general manager of the association of city workers. , saying, ‘Let’s solve this underlying problem with better compensation, but in the meantime, let’s take the pressure off’.”
Increased remuneration for City Development Services staff should come from ongoing contract negotiations between City management and the MEA. It may end this spring.
However, the contract workers the city employs come from NV5, Inc. and Interwest Consulting Group and are meant to fill jobs that cannot be done as long as the city department has many vacancies. Of the 109 positions most relevant to the review of plans that were already in the city’s approved budget, nearly a third are now vacant.
“We don’t need research to show that these positions aren’t competitive right now, as long as we budget and fund them and have positions they can’t make up for the people they’re losing. ‘ said Zatchet. “This is a retention issue and we are just losing our footing.”
It’s no secret to those in the manufacturing industry that permit review times have skyrocketed. So much so that Mayor Todd Gloria addressed a wacky policy fix in his city speech this month.
He announced that he had signed an executive order directing city officials to attempt to issue permits for projects that consist entirely of housing reserved for low-income residents within just a month. but he also acknowledged the city’s problems.
“My executive order also directs the Urban Development Services Department to expedite the recruitment of new positions to review and issue housing permits and to immediately implement contracts to address the permit backlog. I will,” he said.
Developers wanting the city to approve their projects faster is nothing new. standard.
“Everything just swells,” said Garrett van Leeuwen, an architect at development firm Gensler. “There are small tenant improvement projects that are taking longer to approve than they are to build. Some take four to six months, some take a year or more.
Elon Musk responds to Jim Desmond!
County supervisor Jim Desmond tweeted to Elon Musk on Friday asking for the billionaire’s opinion on San Diego’s transportation system. ‘s Boring Company in CC.
Bipartisan Enthusiasts: Ironically, seeing Musk as a potential partner in unlocking San Diego’s futuristic transportation system is a perspective Desmond borrowed from SANDAG CEO Hassan Ikrata. Desmond and Ikrata don’t exactly agree on recent transportation policy.
But what kind of technology? Since the day he took over as the agency’s new leader, Ikrata has cited several of Musk’s projects as potentially important to the region. He first proposed adopting Musk-enhanced Hyperloop technology for the region. But the Hyperloop guys came to town, and he said that while most are still theoretical airtight supertubes, they’re only worth doing over distances much longer than the widest range. county. Think San Diego to Vegas instead of San Diego to Escondido.
Another transportation technology Musk has, besides his electric car, is the Boring Company. The Boring Company is digging tunnels for his Tesla cars. Ikhrata and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria recently toured the Boring Company’s Las Vegas project.
This is a 1.7-mile tunnel through which a fleet of Tesla vehicles can pass. There is a video that makes you laugh unintentionally as a “future means of transportation” that you can enjoy here. It includes quotes such as “But there are challenges in building large-scale tunnel systems.”
Ikhrata was pretty hot a few years ago. He told us:
“The Boring Company That Elon Musk Did – I’m not crazy about Elon Musk per se, but I think his company, his ideas, are being adopted by people who want to do something.
Now, after touring the project in Vegas, Ikhrata isn’t too optimistic.
“If it cuts your commute from 40 minutes to 5 minutes, you’ll love it. But you need a Tesla to use it. said Ikhrata.
Currently, the Boring Company can only build tunnels wide enough for cars (12 feet), not trains or other systems. And I’m having a little trouble keeping my promises.
SANDAG has an innovative proposition, but not from Musk. The agency recently submitted a call for innovative or experimental ideas for improving transportation, and received proposals from 13 companies, including Musk’s Boring Company. However, Boring was not selected as one of his final three companies to continue discussions with SANDAG.
From Jesse Marx on Empowerment in Asia: With Kent Lee sitting in Chris Kate’s old seat, we pulled out some numbers this week to get a sense of how important the Asia Pacific Islander vote really is on San Diego City Council District 6. 18% of D6 residents who participated in the November election were of AAPI affiliation, accounting for 21.5% of the total votes on the City Council. This is not as high as some supporters had hoped when the district’s boundaries were redrawed (AAPI’s adult citizens make up her third of the population). But the gap shows that among her AAPI voters in D6, enthusiasm for the City Council candidate was greater than in the election as a whole. Wesley Quach of the Asian Business Association, who backed Lee, said he was happy with the voter turnout and hoped it would go up regardless of who voted.
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