San Diego Mayor Proposes Fee Waivers to Aid Rebuilding After January Storm, Plans Under City Council Scrutiny

San Diego Mayor Proposes Fee Waivers to Aid Rebuilding After January Storm, Plans Under City Council ScrutinySource: Google Street View
Ben J. Costas
Published on February 10, 2024

San Diego residents reeling from the January storm will receive some financial relief as Mayor Todd Gloria has proposed waiving certain fees associated with rebuilding efforts. The plan, due for City Council consideration on Monday, aims to assist homeowners and businesses in their recovery from the extensive damage inflicted by last month's severe weather.

Mayor Gloria is targeting reducing the financial burden on San Diegans by waiving fees for building and demolition permits and cutting costs on waste disposal and recycling, as reported by the City's official website. "We’ve been on the ground listening to residents and businesses impacted by the Jan. 22 storm to ensure we’re providing the most effective assistance to help them recover," Mayor Gloria said. "Another way the City can help is by lowering the rebuilding costs,” he added. Although, the waiver reportedly won't cover fees for any expansions beyond the original structure sizes.

The generosity extends further as San Diego also proposes to offer amnesty for previously unpermitted additions that need reconstruction post-storm. It recognizes the harsh reality of up to 1,000 locals who've seen their properties damaged, particularly in areas such as Mountain View, Encanto, and Rolando. The waivers are projected to save residents a combined total of roughly $2.41 million.

Joining the waiver initiative is a Debris Assistance Program designed to help dispose of reconstruction waste. Eligible properties can expect to see dumpsters arrive to dispose of and recycle their demolition leftovers. "This City program, which would be coordinated through the Environmental Services Department, would provide a container or dumpster to be delivered at addresses within the impacted areas for proper handling, recycling and/or disposal of demolition waste," as per the City's official website announcement.

Immediate actions following the disaster included a local emergency declared by Mayor Gloria and efforts to clean up the city and its vital water channels. Further, the Mayor and Gov. Gavin Newsom are lobbying for federal disaster assistance to bolster recovery.

To complement the fee waivers and debris aid, the City is also launching emergency grants for small businesses and nonprofits starting Monday, with the potential for aid ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. Additionally, the Mountain View Community Recreation Center is set to operate as a Local Assistance Center to support storm-affected communities throughout the weekend.