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Gamblers Don’t Always Win

Re “Apartments Unwelcome.”

Thirteen years ago, Mr. London tried to get the zoning of parcels of land he purchased at Lemon Avenue and Bancroft Drive changed from Suburban-Residential to Commercial. He knew the zoning when he made the purchase and did not develop it for residential use, speculating that he could make more money if he could push through the change.

The opposition then, as now, is not merely against change, but with solid and reasonable objections to a significant proposed alteration in the goals expressed in the City of La Mesa Land Use and Urban Design document of March 2012, which states that the first goal of land use in the city is “a safe and healthy community.” The second goal is “residential neighborhoods with strong character and cohesion.” It states that neighborhoods should be preserved and improved and “infill development can revitalize the community if consistent with the surroundings”.

Given the current single family residential nature of our community, the proposed change would clearly not fit with these goals.

We have concerns over safety. According to the La Mesa General Plan, “land use decisions must further the welfare of people and their neighborhoods by creating healthful, sustainable and attractive environments for present and future generations.” There are many children who walk to school past this intersection. It is busy, particularly in the morning, and adding a commercial business would only increase the traffic with associated increase in pollution, and risk of injury to our children, other pedestrians, and motorists. This neighborhood has already been impacted, indeed divided by SR 125.

The La Mesa objective listed in the same document stresses that La Mesa is to “maintain and preserve single family neighborhoods while directing growth to mixed use corridors” and to “protect the character of recognized and unique neighborhoods identified by the city’s overlay zones.” This corner is part of the scenic preservation overlay.

There is no community demand for another gas station or convenience store in that there are nine gas stations within a few miles, along with grocery stores and other small markets.

These concerns are not merely from those with “spacious, Spanish-style digs” but from those of us with more modest, older homes on the lower edge of Mount Helix, much closer to the affected lots. About 1000 residents had concerns at the last rezoning attempt. Mr. Jacobs said he had been contacted by a few residents. There would have been more if the city had made an effort at notification. I live about a quarter mile from the corner involved and I was informed by a neighbor, not the city.

This is about changing the character of a neighborhood and quality of life for many, not simply for the profit of a man who gambled. Gamblers do not always win. Mr. London is free to develop his properties according to the rules in place when he purchased them. Then he will be welcome in our community.

Suzanne Merrill-Nach
via email

No Gentleman

I’d like to comment on a couple of letters from the April 4 Reader.

I’m the person who asked Matthew Alice about homonyms and heteronyms and so on. I don’t see anything in my original letter to Matthew Alice that mentions my gender. Nor did Matthew Alice mention my gender. I specifically said I went to grade school “about 70 years ago.” That would make me at least 76 years old and as much as 83 years old.

Well, here’s a letter called “Matthew Alice’s Pet Project” by some dumbshit named Dennis. Dennis calls me a “70-year-old gentleman.” Well, I’m no gentleman, Dennis. I just called you a dumbshit. You don’t even know if I’m a man or a woman. And you say I should look on the computer myself. Well, I don’t have a computer!

Regarding “Heteros and Homos” from Jeanne Brown. Thanks a lot for the information you’ve tabulated there.

Name Withheld
via voicemail

Peeling Out in Talmadge

Re Neighborhood News: “Stop Signs Snarl Streets,” March 28.

Talmadge’s Aldine Drive is a failing street with a sevice level of F, and has been a failed street since 1992. The City’s decision to install the all-way stops at the intersection of Aldine Drive and Monroe is an attempt to fix an unsafe intersection with 25 accidents in 5 years.

The community of Talmadge believes the Aldine Drive roadway is meant solely for its community access and egress, leaving many midcity motorist out in the cold in their commutes.

Aldine Drive currently services three times its design capacity. It was designed for 5000, but services 15,000+ ADTs, creating unsafe traffic conditions to all motorist using the Aldine Drive roadway. The stop signs have successfully stopped the accidents at the intersection, but there is more work that needs to be done before Aldine Drive can receive an acceptable street rating from its current F rating.

The Talmadge community needs to understand that Aldine Drive’s unacceptable, decades-old service rating has created City liability and the City had to act immediately in reducing its liability risk. The stop sign decision was made solely by our fine City and not by Aldine Drive residents, as is believed by some.

A small percentage of residents oppose the stop sign installations with horn honking at all hours of the day and night, and peel outs after stops are made in an attempt to punish the residents of Aldine Drive and adjacent streets — punishment from a community more concerned with convenience than safety.

Name withheld
via email

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