Neighborhood opposition to SDPB Holdings LLC’s interest in residential development at the corner of Granada Avenue and Fir Street in South Park continues to grow with a petition drive to protect the 28th Street Canyon. Residents question the wisdom of continuing development on the canyon, claiming that it will have a negative impact on a sensitive canyon habitat, cut off access to a popular dog park and hiking trail and obscure views.
The Protect 28th Street Canyon Coalition also maintains that the development will eliminate a link in San Diego’s Master Plan of a larger proposed bicycle loop starting in Golden Hill, going up to Upas on the outskirts of Morely Field, to Hillcrest, around Balboa Park and back to Golden Hill.
The development of four single-family homes that would be built into the canyon, and the construction of a fifth home on the eastern edge would necessitate a reverted easement on the property. The City of San Diego has held this easement as a paper street– ie unpaved and undeveloped since the 1800s. Ian Anderson at San Diego Reader provides background information here.
The Coalition opposes this transfer from public to private use. They had anticipated taking the issue to the Greater Golden Hill Planning Committee at its March 12th meeting. They were unable to docket it as an agenda item, according to the group’s Facebook page. They have been successful thus far in initiating a community conversation that makes the case that there is a public benefit associated with the easement and that the City should preserve that benefit.
Their change.org petition states
Voicing public opposition to the threat of over-development on a sensitive, sloped canyonland has created a community conversation. Hundreds of people use both the 28th Street and Fir Street easements to walk with family and dogs, to hike, bike, and enjoy a natural escape from the stresses of urban life. The canyon is home to native flora and fauna and part of a continuous bicycle and pedestrain route proposed in San Diego’s Master Plan for the Bicycle Network. The route would allow safe cycling from Golden Hill through 28th Street to North Park, Morley Field, Balboa Park, and Hillcrest. By signing this petition, you’ll help the San Diego Mayor, City Council, and Planning Commission, who ultimately vote on protecting this easement for public use, hear your voice and make an informed decision regarding the preservation of public access to and enjoyment of this easement.