Don't drive a car? This Imperial Beach housing project will reward … – The San Diego Union-Tribune

A newly approved mixed-use project in Imperial Beach will give tenants electric bicycles and rent reductions if they forgo a car.
The incentives aim to encourage people to drive less and contribute to regional plans of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, said Tarek Dagher, a property owner spearheading the development.
He wants to transform a 7,512-square-foot lot, fronting Florence Street near Palm Avenue, into a three-story, mixed-use building with 10 residential units and commercial space.
Last week, the City Council unanimously approved the project and its incentives for tenants were a major selling point for elected officials.
“Obviously, parking is a big topic in our city,” said Councilmember Jack Fisher. “For you to propose having electric bikes and a reduction in rent for those with zero cars is really out-of-the-box thinking and I hope that those who come to our city in the future really do take a look at this as something that they can do.”
Dagher said parking availability is a problem in most communities and adding more spaces “is not the only solution to the issue.”
“My perspective was like people have a lot of cars,” he said. “The more you add parking, the more people will be encouraged to buy more cars. If we’re looking to go green by 2035, then we’re not helping by adding more parking.”
Dagher referred to San Diego’s Climate Action Plan, which sets lofty goals to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.
The project calls for a 3 percent rent reduction incentive for tenants with no vehicles. Of the 10 units, one will be set aside as low-income, affordable housing. All units will come with one electric bike, and tenants will be able to charge them at an on-site station. With the property about 150 feet from a bus stop, there will also be signage for public transportation showing bus routes and schedules.
For those with vehicles, Dagher said the property will have an 11-car parking garage.
The development will offer 842 square feet of commercial space for office use. It will also offer a roof deck with views of San Diego Bay and the Coronado Bridge. Apartments will have solar panels and range from two to three bedrooms.
Dagher said he would like to have the project completed by January 2025.
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