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Most cities define “mixed use” as a combination of residential and commercial development. Vista officials, thinking more about how to kickstart development downtown, allowed developers to decide how much residential or retail they would build, including none.

San Diego’s leaders like to talk about how dedicated they are to smart growth – urban development that focuses new jobs and homes in walkable, transit-friendly city centers. In fact, smart growth is essentially the main goal in most every planning document created for urban San Diego over the last several years. Despite the rhetoric and the official plans, it’s not […]

San Diego’s neighborhoods and governments came in dead last in a study about transit-oriented development around trolley stops. Local leaders in recent years have continued to profess their support for smart growth, but their decisions tell a different story.

As San Diego’s urban neighborhoods struggle to build the low-income, transit-focused projects the city says it needs, the North County city is thriving. “The experience of San Marcos shows there is indeed a market for people to live near transit,” said one smart-growth advocate.

Transit advocates hoped a new policy SANDAG has been working on since 2013 would compel cities to plan for more homes and jobs around public transit stops. It’s yet another example of the difference between laying out aspirations for smart growth and ensuring those goals come to fruition.