"In the code now, for a Planned Development Permit, there is a statement that the proposed development, considered s a whole, would be beneficial to the community. But the city proposes to strike that out," said Jim Varnadore, chair of the City Heights planning group, during the Community Planners meeting November 23.
"I propose to retain that [sentence] and, moreover, I propose to add that language to every [development] permit."
Varnadore's comments came after Amanda Lee of the City's Development Services Department presented a list of amendments to San Diego's Land Development Code — the seventh update since it was adopted in 2000.
The amendments were posted on the City's website last summer and have been available for public review since early October. During that time, residents have voiced concerns about many of the code changes, including one that makes it easier for owners of single-family lots to build granny flats on their property.
The Community Planners Committee also had their concerns, and parking was at the top of their list.
One proposed amendment would allow new business owners to retain the same parking requirements if the permitted use of the property doesn't change. If adopted, that would allow business owners to fulfill parking requirements from when the permit was initially granted, regardless of when the use was designated.
Several planners objected to the proposal, feeling that the change would make parking in busy commercial districts such as Hillcrest, City Heights, and Banker’s Hill more difficult. They believe that if a storefront is closed for more than two years then the new owners should comply with current parking requirements.
"I want to make sure that we don't give away parking," said Varnadore. "We ought not to be looking backwards on parking. We need to be looking forward."
Later, the committee voted to continue the item after all planning groups had a chance to review the proposed update and submit changes to the amendments.