By Anna Daniels
Renovation, Rebuild or Turducken?
The North Park Preservation lawsuit against Jack in the Box/City of San Diego is moving forward, with a Summary Judgment hearing before Judge Prager on Friday, November 21.
The group filed the suit when Jack in the Box underwent renovations and a rebuild that the community maintains are violations of city zoning and the community plan. Also at issue is that the city did not correctly permit the project.
Since 2000, new zoning at the intersection where the Jack in the Box is located prohibits auto-intensive businesses such as restaurants with drive-throughs. According to the Care about North Park Facebook page, JIB was denied approval to rebuild with a drive-through lane, but did so anyway. They maintain that the drive-through lane does not conform to municipal code. More to come on this one.
Same Tune, Different Neighborhood: Target in South Park
South Park residents, homeowners and businesses are calling for full transparency in the permitting process for a planned Target Express store at the corner of Fern and Grape Streets. The group Care About South Park is concerned that the Target project will receive a “rubber stamp” ministerial permit instead of undergoing a discretionary review requiring community input and public hearings.
The group points out recent San Diego land use controversies involving Walmart, Jack in the Box (see above), and Kentucky Fried Chicken in which the group maintains that corporations deliberately violated the terms of ministerial permits by carrying out illegal demolitions.
They note that in each case City Hall refused to enforce city laws by citing the violations; instead, city officials improperly issued retroactive permits.
Care About South Park is calling for full transparency and accountability from Target; full transparency and a meeting from Todd Gloria; and for the City to ensure that all proposed development on the Gala site, including tenant improvements, adhere to existing local land use laws, regulations, and policies.
The Target store is slated to open in July 2015. More to come on this one.
University Avenue Chosen as the Alignment for the Uptown Regional Bike Corridor Project
In a memo to the Hillcrest Community Collaborative, SANDAG has made the definitive case against Washington Street and for University Avenue as the alignment for the Uptown Regional Bike Corridor project.
The Hillcrest Community Collaborative is a collaborative of Hillcrest organizations, residents, and business owners that supports the “Transform Hillcrest” proposal for the Hillcrest portion of the Uptown Regional Bike Corridor. You can read about “Transform Hillcrest” in this Great Streets San Diego post.
The past winter’s discussions about the bike corridor have been described as rancorous and divisive. The Uptown community ultimately came together around a new proposal by retired architect, planner, and Uptown resident Jim Frost.
There is optimism that this people-centric design has the potential to transform Hillcrest.
Council Member David Alvarez Focuses on District 8 Community Plans
In a recent email to constituents, San Diego City Council Member David Alvarez notes that “In many cases community plans that govern our neighborhoods were written before the Internet, cell phones, or even roller blades. These outdated plans can restrict economic growth across our city by preventing communities from changing with the times, bringing in exciting new businesses, or preserving historical resources.”
He intends to work with every planning group in District 8. How serious is he? A planning group for Barrio Logan-it’s first– will be up and running at the beginning of 2015. Barrio Logan resident and San Diego Free Press editor Brent Beltrán has been appointed to the planning committee.