Until now, there wasn’t any objective understanding of the system by which the city decides where and what can be built around San Diego. Discussion around the system has been entirely anecdotal. But after a sustained push from Voice of San Diego, the city has released records from its permitting system. We’re using the newly released data to get solid answers to basic questions, and see what else we can learn about the city in the process.
The city is issuing discretionary permits faster than it has at any point over the last 10 years.
It took longest to get a permit approved during the height of the recession, the last 10 years of data show.
But there’s some variation when it comes to the different types of discretionary permits — permits that require more scrutiny and a sign-off from a city official.
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This is great --- if true. One wonders if the BIA agrees and also those developers in limbo for several years. If these are average or median times it means some projects may still have been waiting for 6 to 12 years.
@Fred Schnaubelt Yes, there are still some extreme outliers in the data, and in fact those outliers make it really hard to analyze what's happening or make statements about typical experiences. For instance, most of the projects submitted in 2014 haven't even reached their permit-specific median approval time yet, so we couldn't say much at all about the most recent year.
@Andrew Keatts @Fred Schnaubelt Thank you. I know of one person that's been waiting for a CUP for over 20 years in the city --- but it seems to be working to his advantage --- since it was an extension. It would still be interesting to get the BIA's take on this. Individuals are afraid to speak out lest it takes them even longer. In the county at least one prominent developer has been trying to get approvals for over 12 years (won't allow his name to be disclosed), and another over 20 years in the county. Downtown San Diego, I've been told has the fastest approval rate in the State of California. Every politician in the county claims to be in favor of more housing while they vote against project after project similar to the golf course controversy in Escondido, while they smile and smile like the villain in Hamlet. They then support tokenism in government provided housing at 2 to 3 times the cost of market rate housing if you read the costs on the media..