Word of the Week2018-12-11T15:01:21-08:00



BMPs: aka Best Management Practices related to all-things storm water. To mitigate the potential for pollution from urban runoff, local, state, and federal agencies have instituted regulations requiring development planning and Best Management Practices (BMPs) for construction and post-construction phases of a proposed project. These standards require control of storm water-related pollution from development and redevelopment projects prior to discharge to receiving waters.


CAP, otherwise known as a Climate Action Plan, is a comprehensive roadmap that outlines the specific activities that an agency will undertake to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate action plans build upon the information gathered by greenhouse gas inventories and generally focus on those activities that can achieve the relatively greatest emission reductions in the most cost effective manner.


The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is California’s broadest environmental law.  CEQA helps to guide the Department during issuance of permits and approval of projects. Courts have interpreted CEQA to afford the fullest protection of the environment within the reasonable scope of the statutes. Link for more information on this topic: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/CEQA/Purpose


DEFINITION: is a California state law, enacted in 1995, which places limits on municipal rent control ordinances. Costa–Hawkins preempts the field in two major ways.

First, it prohibits cities from establishing rent control over certain kinds of residential units, e.g., single family dwellings and condominiums, and newly constructed apartment units; these are deemed exempt. Second, it prohibits municipal “vacancy control”, also called “strict” rent control.

DIF (Development Impact Fees)

An impact fee is a fee that is imposed by a local government within the United States on a new or proposed development project to pay for all or a portion of the costs of providing public services to the new development. In the City of San Diego, DIF amounts vary between neighborhood. See your what your local neighborhoods charge is : https://www.sandiego.gov/facilitiesfinancing/plans.


To divide or arrange (a territorial unit) into election districts to give one political party an electoral majority in a large number of districts while concentrating the voting strength of the opposition in as few districts as possible.

Housing Element

Since 1969, California has required that all local governments (cities and counties) adequately plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in the community. California’s local governments meet this requirement by adopting housing plans as part of their “general plan” (also required by the state).
General plans serve as the local government’s “blueprint” for how the city and/or county will grow and develop and include seven elements: land use, transportation, conservation, noise, open space, safety, and housing. The law mandating that housing be included as an element of each jurisdiction’s general plan is known as “housing-element law.”
California’s housing-element law acknowledges that, in order for the private market to adequately address the housing needs and demand of Californians, local governments must adopt plans and regulatory systems that provide opportunities for (and do not unduly constrain), housing development. As a result, housing policy in California rests largely upon the effective implementation of local general plans and, in particular, local housing elements.

Inclusionary Zoning

Inclusionary zoning requires or incentivizes private developers to designate a certain percentage of the units in a given project as below market rate (BMR)—cheaper than their value on the market, and often less than the price of producing them. (The large majority of IZ programs are mandatory—80 percent of them according to one study.)

Mixed-Use Development

“Mixed use” refers to developing structures and communities that have a mixture of residential, business and retail uses. Mixed-use is considered as a pedestrian-friendly and “smart growth” planning strategy.

Moxie (Not to be confused with the beverage):

Force of character, determination, or nerve.


What is a PAC or otherwise known as Political Action Committee? A group organized to raise money or support for a politician or cause, often abbreviated PAC.

To see more Political Words click here.


aka: Regional Water Quality Control Board. There are nine regional water quality control boards statewide. The nine Regional Boards are semi-autonomous and are comprised of seven part-time Board members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.


Regional boundaries are based on watersheds and water quality requirements are based on the unique differences in climate, topography, geology and hydrology for each watershed. Each Regional Board makes critical water quality decisions for its region, including setting standards, issuing waste discharge requirements, determining compliance with those requirements, and taking appropriate enforcement actions.

YIMBY (Yes in My Backyard)

YIMBY (Yes In My Backyard) is a pro-development movement in contrast and opposition to the NIMBY (acronym for “not in my backyard”) phenomenon. In California, YIMBY groups support new housing growth, pro-housing policies & legislation, and engages political activism. Check out CA YIMBY’s website and their video here.

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