Kick in the Pants

Now that the community plan update is underway, the issue of density in Uptown is a hot topic at community meetings. San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) estimates an influx of 1.2 million people to the county by 2050 and Uptown communities are mentioned as potential locations for high-density, transit-friendly development.

At the May 4 meeting of the Uptown planners, the planning committee for University Heights, Hillcrest, Mission Hills, and Banker's Hill discussed a motion to oppose any substantial increase in density to the upcoming community plan, rejecting SANDAG's new forecasted density projections, as well as old forecasts, which are included in the 1988 community plan.

Instead, Uptown planner Don Liddell, who introduced the motion, prefers to use the actual current density for the community plan, hoping to initiate a dialogue with the city about the type of development they want in their community.

"It's unfortunate, but it does seem like we are spoken to and not with," said Uptown planner and CityBeat columnist John Lamb. "If this is a method that we can use to get their attention and have a real conversation about what we're going to be for the next 20 years, then we should do it. I'm getting a little fed up at these meetings, feeling like it's just a production for us."

"How can we have 20,000 more people with our traffic conditions and water shortage?" Asked committee member Andrew Towne.

After all committee comments were heard, Marlon I. Pangilinan, senior planner for the City, commented on the motion. "I do feel that this discussion is premature and can be discussed at the plan update. But I do welcome the suggestion and the kick in the pants to get that discussion started."

After the comments, Uptown planners voted 9 to 3 in opposition of increased density in Uptown. The motion, along with additional ideas, will be presented to the City's advisory committee during the community plan update.

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It would be very nice to see the Greater Golden Hill Planning Committee step up to the bat, likewise. The GGH CPUAC includes at least one person whose only goal for being on board is to tear down existing bungalows and develop a high-density mixed-use infill project. At least one other member has ties to a consulting design firm for the GGH CPUAC.

The focus of much of the Collaborative Services "tour" through Golden Hill was on our only major grocery store, Gala, and there seemed to be an obsession with denigrating its great parking lot. We like our free parking and we appreciate our grocery store and its wonderful owners. The store could be a lot of things wrt how it appears, but "ABOLISHED" isn't one of them!

GGH Planning Committee, find your voice and stand firm against density infill!

Nothing is premature when it comes to defending against the unwelcome plans of the City Planning Department. They will work with the developer community for years on end, to lay the framework for what they intend to do. Time, downturn, deficits...they just wait for the right moment and come right back.

I like it too! ...Because it doesn't have chain-corporate prices, it's within walking distance, it has a nice and easy parking lot with lots of space when I drive, and because I need a grocery nearby to buy healthy, inexpensive veggies, fruits, and nuts (good wine selection too, and low-cost steaks and pork chunks, all sorts of tortillas, crema fresca, polenta, noodle products...pretty good stuff for a local market).

It is private property, and the family that owns it has to look to their own best interests. But...A few years ago, when the family patriarch passed on, we almost lost the store to a developer: http://www.americannationalinvestments.com/projects/southpark.html The ~60 unit mixed-use project would have included retail with a "boutique" grocer for the captive condo/apartment residents.

Thankfully, the downturn resulted in the developer pulling out, and a lawsuit resulted for breach of contract. Then the sons of the patriarchal owner decided to stay with the business, and we are all HAPPY! Show some love to your local independent grocers!

Note: the owners pay $3637/year to the Golden Hill Corporation for the MAD assessment, but all they get in return is bad-mouthing by the Corporation's boardmembers and allies. Why are there no promotions and kind words for the Gala store by the GH CDC? They never mention it, but some of them have called it "disgusting" and talked about wanting a Tesco, or a Trader-Joe's-type of chain. It's all about appearances, it seems, and City Planning Dept. tax base...?

If the city wants to "raise the ceiling" for downtown re-development, where would they look? Where will they find new blight? Well, let's stand in the CCDC offices for a moment. Look to the WEST! Woops, it's all cruise ship terminals; we can't go there. Look to the SOUTH! Oh, no, that's shipbuilding. Too many issues. Look to the EAST! What are all those little bungalows? Why, they could be knocked down in a day! No problem. Might as well go NORTH, too. The little circle around Balboa Park will suit the CCDC just fine. Golden Hill, Uptown, and North Park, are the new downtown redevelopment. Park already in place (Balboa Park, the new community park equivalent). Problem solved. Unless you happen to live in one of the little bungalows, of course.

do not mess with those bungalows...they are the only traditional buildings left near Downtown and the park!!!

Thanks, Dorian, for reporting on these crucial planning matters.

The City is LU$TING for more money!

Here is their "game plan" on how to get it: 1. Increase Density, which will cause older owners to sell. 2. New owners = folks paying higher property Taxes. 3. More Density = more tax payers = More $ paid! 4. More new folks = No sense of Broken City Promises! 5. Future "$hortages" = higher City Utilities income %. 6. Promoting that the City is "poor" = LE$$ expenditures. 7. Dump Density on "Transportation Corridors". 8. Get their Planning Folks to make more "improvements".

The BE$T solution for ALL Residents is just to $AY No!

If we all $ay NO, then all those "NEW" folks will go somewhere else and we'll still have our quality of life intact; and then our property values will again go through the roof, because SD is THE cool place to live!

For all the City's lusting for more, there has yet to be a public hearing about that 3% electricity franchise fee that was apparently set in stone back in 1970.

Setting it to 5% would help to cut our current budget deficit. With $8 billion coming in to SDG&E parent Sempra Energy last year, the public utility can afford it.

Setting it to 20% until all of the power lines are underground would be a perfect incentive to substantially reduce our collective risk from wildfires and completely eliminate our projected budget deficit.

A2ZRESOURCE has made a great suggestion, why not have a public hearing on that?

Why does the City only have hearings on what "it" wants to do, when we the voters of the City have to pay all the bills?

We should demand that BOTH the County and City post their money saving suggestions along side the ones we submit and then allow the voters to blog for the best ideas to discuss...

A2Z, I have read your blog posts about this matter, and I admit I don't know enough about the subject, but I will ask you a question anyway: It is obvious Sempra has made a mint for its investors, and your suggestion is to raise the franchise fee from 3% to 5%, or even 20%. Won't Sempra pass the cost along to the ratepayers?

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