Group aims to overturn affordable housing fee increase

Group aims to overturn affordable housing fee increase

SAN DIEGO — A referendum drive aimed at overturning a fee increase imposed by the City Council on commercial building projects began Friday.

The campaign is being run by the Jobs Coalition, a group of more than 50 small businesses, organizations and community groups that oppose the 23-year- old fee, which helps fund affordable housing projects.

San Diego city moneyIf the group obtains enough signatures, the City Council will have to decide whether to rescind its action on the levy or place the issue before voters. The coalition needs to collect about 34,000 valid signatures by Jan. 23 to qualify to be placed on a ballot.

The council voted 5-4 in November to put the so-called “linkage fee” back to 1.5 percent of the total construction cost of a project. The rate was halved in 1996.

The increase — affirmed in a separate council vote two weeks ago — is to be phased…

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