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San Diego

Advocating for a Greater Life Science Future

San Diego Policy Priorities

Access to Water
Access to Water

Since its inception, Biocom has communicated with legislators and regulators about how the life science industry uses water, and why reliable, constant access to water is necessary for our member companies to conduct daily business activities. Biocom supports practical ways to diversify water supply, such as indirect potable reuse and desalination, and the City’s ongoing implementation of the Pure Water Program.

California recently experienced prolonged drought conditions, and mandatory water cutbacks were implemented throughout the state. While shutoffs were avoided, they are a continuing possibility during drought conditions.
Developed by Biocom and City staff, the Guaranteed Water for Industry Program was adopted by the San Diego City Council in 1998. The City recognized valuable industries such as manufacturing and Research and Development operations are significant water users, and, as these companies are leaders in the implementation of water conservation methods, they need assurances that their mitigation efforts will be considered when proposing future mandatory conservation measures. We support ongoing expansion of and administrative support for this program.

Housing
Housing

It is common knowledge that there is a housing shortage in the San Diego area – the median price of a single-family home is $585,000, which represents an increase of 7.9% over the previous year. Biocom supports incentivizing the building of additional middle-income housing units via a variety of approaches, including:

  • Exemption of middle-income housing from new/existing construction fees as appropriate
  • Increased density around transit hubs
  • Relaxation of parking and related requirements
Land Use
Land Use

Preserving Prime Industrial Lands (PIL) for manufacturing, research and development, and distribution is vital to regional long-term economic stability and encouragement of industry growth. Land zoning plans are created to provide space between industry and housing to avoid compatibility conflicts. Land available within the City for scientific research is over 92% built out and should be safeguarded for its intended use.

That said, building projects in the life science industry have been moving away from purely industrial towards more “campus” like developments. Biocom has supported recent efforts to allow accessory amenities that service life science developments in a way that preserves the industrial nature of the zones, and new mixed-use zones that allow for collocation of laboratory and commercial uses outside of Prime Industrial Land areas.

Permits and Inspections
Permits and Inspections

Biocom supports efforts to make City and County permitting processes predictable, transparent and efficient. Inconsistent standards for inspections have been an ongoing issue for our members, and one that we have been working on with government staff for many years. We appreciate efforts to ensure inspections are done consistently and in collaboration with businesses.

Storm Water Channel Maintenance
Storm Water Channel Maintenance

During San Diego’s rainy season, flooding in Sorrento Valley during storm events threatens many businesses, especially along Roselle Street. There are several Biocom member companies located on Roselle Street, and many more throughout the impacted area. Floods cause physical damage to businesses and result in interruptions to research and manufacturing when workers are evacuated and then businesses are closed for repairs.

The City of San Diego has developed a long-term plan to address flooding issues and restore the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon. Biocom supports the City’s efforts to pursue funding for implementation of the plan and urges the City to pursue parallel permits where possible.

Finally, we support passage of the City’s Waterways Maintenance Plan, which provides the framework for ongoing maintenance of storm channels by frontloading necessary channel clearing permits.

Transportation
Transportation

Transportation is a key element in the quality of life in San Diego County, impacting the ability of employees to commute from work in a reasonable time as well as the ability of companies to attract the necessary workforce and transport goods and products. Investment in transportation infrastructure is critical for San Diego’s future growth and population needs.

As the life science industry continues to expand its research and development facilities, it is important for government entities to fund the necessary transportation improvement projects. Biocom supports a balanced regional transportation plan that includes both public transit and roadway expansion.

Committees

EH&S Committee – San Diego
EH&S Committee – San Diego

The San Diego Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) Committee is comprised of life science industry health and safety managers, and meets bimonthly to share best practices, provide continuing education opportunities, and plan workshops and events for those working in these fields. Through this committee, Biocom members work collaboratively with local regulators and inspectors, and recommend positions on environmental legislation to Biocom’s Public Policy Oversight Committee.

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Facilities Committee – San Diego
Facilities Committee – San Diego

The San Diego Facilities Committee is comprised of life science facility managers, landlords, architects, brokers, and lab suppliers, and meets bimonthly to share best practices, provide continuing education opportunities, and plan workshops and events for those working in these fields.

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San Diego Policy Statements

Biocom San Diego Policy News

Contact Information

  • Biocom San Diego
  • For information on policy issues in San Diego, please contact Biocom’s Director of Regional Policy and Government Affairs Melanie Cohn at (858) 832-4158.

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