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“We thought about calling it 'soapbox derby night,' but [then] we thought 'open-mic night' might be more politically correct,” said director of City Planning and Community Investment Bill Anderson. This first open-mic meeting, held April 26 at the Balboa Park Club, was an opportunity for stakeholders in the Uptown, North Park, and South Park communities to add their vision for the community-plan updates.

The six groups scheduled for the night were the North Park Historical Society, Uptown Partnership, San Diego Canyonlands, South Park Business Group, Community Gardens/1 in 10 Coalition, and the American Institute of Architects.

While groups such as San Diego Canyonlands advocated to restore and preserve canyons, and Community Gardens/1 in 10 Coalition pushed planners to make community gardens more available, the closest the event came to a “soapbox derby” occurred during discussions of density and parking.

Uptown Partnership, the agency that manages the Uptown parking district, was the second group to present. Board member Jim Frost spoke to the need for more parking in uptown communities. “Public parking is a public asset,” said Frost “The people that use the parking should pay for that parking. Parking is not free. When parking is free you have the problems that we have right now.”

Frost explained Uptown Partnership's desire to improve parking meter utilization. Frost touted the capabilities of the new meters that are coming to Uptown, saying that the ability to regulate time and parking meter rates by a flick of a switch will steer drivers away from free residential parking.

“In the economic condition we are in,” said one resident after Frost's presentation, “I think it is ludicrous to put in meters everywhere and drive people away from businesses.”

Another soapbox moment came when a representative from the American Institute of Architects, Philip Bona, brought up “the ugly ‘d’ word -- density.”

Bona advocated for more mixed-use building projects. He suggested removing large parking lots and constructing buildings in their place that provide underground parking. He promoted grouping high-rise buildings near transit areas.

After Bona's presentation, the same audience member commented on the notion of bringing more density to the uptown communities. “A professor has said that Hillcrest is the most densely populated community in the city. Whose water and electricity are we going to use? Yours?”

Visit sandiego.gov/cpci for information on future open-mic meetings.

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nostalgic April 28, 2010 @ 4:03 p.m.

It isn't often you get to mingle with the director of City Planning and Community Investment, Bill Anderson. And plenty of city employees and consultants, charming your socks off. Plus free sandwiches! The City must really want these Community Plan updates.

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HonestGovernment April 28, 2010 @ 6:37 p.m.

Oh no! Not the No-Free-Parking Parking District stuff again! Donald Shoup is rising from the dead! Thought that all died a well-deserved death in 2007, when Peters, Faulconer, and even the U-T editorial board buried it...jeez! OK: here's a beginning basic primer:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20080322/news_lz1ed22middle.html

City Planning/Bill Anderson/Jerry Sanders/privatization POV:

Parking lots w/free parking do NOT generate the tax base that high-density multi-use development generates. Infill.Infill. Infill. No free parking. Except for limited-space infill-residents-only underground spaces. All others pay the meter on the street. Meter revenue goes to Business Associations, who continually get City Planning contracts to study the Parking Problem. BIDs rule!

If Big Business/Republican Donor-Types own parking lots, then the POV becomes:

Eliminate all free street parking, and put Parking Lot owners on a Parking District Board.... Who will then study the Parking Problem, year after year, and will be given revenue from street parking meters to further study the Parking Problem.

Reading assignments: http://www.nopaidparking.org/about.html

Page 5, Item 9, of http://www.lajollacpa.org/minutes/ljcpa020410min.pdf

http://www.lajollabythesea.com/docs/parking/Brief-History-Parking-studies-La-jolla.pdf

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HonestGovernment April 29, 2010 @ 10:09 a.m.

The D Word and the P Word: They go together like fric and frak. Density and Parking. Parking and Density. Create more Density, create more Parking Problem. More Parking Problem = more Revenue. Make something scarce, its price goes up. Someone's gotta make some money on it, too.

La Jolla dumped the Parking District and its obsession with no free parking, anywhere, and its plan to make residents buy permits to park in front of their own houses.

So. Here we are again, getting the Parking District pitch from City Planning and the BID groups (e.g., Hillcrest BA, whose exec director used to be exec director of Discover PB; NP Mainstreet), but in the more vulnerable and less influential Uptown/NP/Golden Hill areas. Do Uptown/NP/GH residents and business owners have the clout that La Jollans had?

Anti-Parking-District Pacific Beach residents and business owners had enough clout several years ago: Faulconer suspended the attempts to impose the Discover PB-BID-controlled Parking District on them. On the D2 website http://www.sandiego.gov/citycouncil/cd2/communities/pacificbeach.shtml note "Pacific BeachParking District TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED" - and that was years ago. Check out the old PB Parking District website: http://www.pacificbeachparking.org/ And if you want to know who Donald Shoup is, click on the Meeting Minutes link: http://www.pacificbeachparking.org/?cat=4 Read the last posted minutes, for 8-10-2006. Shoup is a crazy old guy who has made a fortune being the disciple and godfather of the parking-revenue-collecting BIDs and the City-needs-more-revenue set.

But, as if no one has any memory of everything that has happened previously, the Parking District pitch is baaaaaaaack, at the CPU.

What are you going to do with a City that never stops playing the old game?

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a2zresource April 29, 2010 @ 10:36 a.m.

RE #3:

"What are you going to do with a City that never stops playing the old game? "

Be vigilant. Seriously, penny-pinching vigilant.

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GetReal619 April 30, 2010 @ 10:17 p.m.

The concept that people "own" the parking on the street near their home or office is what led to the shooting and murder by the crazy neighbor in April in Poway. Let's drop that idea right away.

If a city or any agency provides a service, it should be for the greater good. Not always free, but for the greater good.
Where there is a higher level of demand for parking, it should be offered to those willing to pay. The alternative is always there, to park further away and walk.

If someone wants parking at a specific place, they should procure it for them selves. I believe that housing and commercial establishments should be required to provide off street parking for their tenants. Just seems like it is the right thing to do. Why should people be allowed to rely on the city to provide their parking?

That garage that was converted into an extra room, convert it back! When you took out the garage to build a 4 plex, did you consider where everyone would park?
Let's start to take care of our own needs. It is the civil and grown up thing to do.

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Founder June 7, 2010 @ 9:52 a.m.

Residential Parking "is a right" it is one of the reasons you choose to buy!

For the City, the nearby Business Improvement District or anybody else to "take" your parking and use it for "their" parking lot is unacceptable!

If we allow that what is next; allowing $omeone to rent out space on our sidewalks for other people to sleep on or perhaps they can build thin housing on the parkways located between the sidewalk and the street for folks to live in?

The City is messing with "our" parking because they "CAN" and in the long run the city will use parking ticket citation fees to fund itself!

We should demand at least all of the following from the City:

  1. Every penny collected by parking tickets be spent on funding for new parking structures with Urban Parks on their roofs!

  2. NO using In-Lieu Fees instead of the required zoning mandated parking prior to building new or remodeling old businesses!

  3. No Parking Districts that are not "run" by Residents (elected by district, not appointed) that live within the impacted area, it's Board being 5 members or less ....

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