Comments by BlueSouthPark

Bylaws and sweethearts in Hillcrest

Point 1: The city requires registration by, and business license fees from, anyone conducting any kind of business or performing any kind of work, or earning and reporting on State tax returns any income, at an address, even if the business is freelance, conducted out of a bedroom at home. That address, then, is the legal business address. BIDs have city-approved legal district boundaries: anyone with a business license within the boundary is automatically assessed a BID membership fee on annual renewal of the business license. Point 2: Ben Nicholls has been screwing around with his underhanded games since he arrived in San Diego. Among other questionable activities, he was a participant in the illegal Golden Hill MAD formation and administration. He has left few communities untouched when it comes to looking for money and power: Pacific Beach, Rose Canyon, Golden Hill, South Park, Hillcrest, and, now, Barrio Logan. He supposedly left McFarlane in March 2014; his [LinkedIn][1] profile says he is now the Executive Director of the "[Barrio Art Association][2] (BAA)," whatever that really is. Because it doesn't look like anything real: The website doesn't give much info except to state that 501c status is being sought. Given that Nicholls is paying close attention to the illegally formed Barrio Logan MAD meetings (he's a Facebook friend and he "likes" them!), he's obviously hoping to divert money from the Barrio Logan assessments to his shell BAA. Tens of thousands of dollars are up for grabs from the assessed property owners, for "community identity" signage, for expensive silkscreened logos for every trash can, bench, and banner, for T-shirt designs, etc. Nicholls is very familiar with all of these outlays of money - he observed the game and was part of making sure that friends of the Golden Hill MAD administrators got contracts for similar junk. [1]: [2]:
— June 25, 2014 8:31 p.m.

Construction falters when empty nest refills

Visduh, what offends me is the stealth involved. Of course, for anyone who continually checked the city website postings, the changes to the land use code were visible. But at the Greater Golden Hill Community Plan Update meetings, local residents who are also City employees were purposefully assigned to tables in order to squelch discussion of granny flats. I saw it with my own eyes. I'm not de facto opposed to allowing someone to build a 700-sf living unit in their back yard on a 5000-sf lot. I'd like a studio space added to my house, for my own use, or as a guest house, if I were willing to give up greenery and trees. My observations throughout South Park, however, are that this is mainly being done with tear-downs and rebuilds, and that the purpose is not to provide extra living space for a homeowner, but to provide rental income. That said, getting back to Mr. Bauder's report, some of the renters are adult children or relatives of owners. The companion units I see in my neighborhood have the 50-something "granny and gramps" owning and living in the main house and the 30-something (sometimes divorced) kid renting the granny flat. May I add that the grown kids have degrees in web design, or internet marketing. Sad!!! As long as the granny flat occupants have off-street parking, and don't practice/play in a loud band (some do!), the impact of their presence isn't too obvious. What we do lose is trees and a feeling of openness and privacy, and what the insurers note is increased density. Higher fire and liability insurance rates result, as areas get rezoned by the insurance companies.
— June 13, 2014 6:18 p.m.

Construction falters when empty nest refills

A few years ago, Development Services and the Planning Commission gave realtors and developers what they had long wanted: a code change to land use regs that allows uninhibited addition of 700-sf second units on single-family-zoned lots. Second units are now being built in backyards of lots all over South Park, increasing density without zoning changes. Small homes built in the early 1900s are often torn down, except for one wall, and rebuilt at twice the original square feet, with detached or attached "companion units." FAR variances seem to be freely given. The second units theoretically house family members (the favored PR name for them is "granny" flats), but they are almost always used as rentals. Realtors promote them by suggesting that buyers can afford expensive mortgages by renting the second unit. The local realtors, builders, insurers, and mortgage lenders waged war on former Mayor Dick Murphy when he wouldn't approve the changes that DSD and the Planning Commission have now enacted (revision to Section 141.032). Under Jerry Sanders, the changes were made almost secretly. The changes and ultimate code revision were purposefully discussed not at all, or only in the vaguest way, at the Community Plan Update meetings in the past few years. When the revision was mentioned, the major response of neighborhood property owners was very negative. Any dents in the industries involved in building, selling, financing, and insuring are self-inflicted. They wanted to cram more bodies on existing lots. Jerry Sanders gave them what they wanted.
— June 13, 2014 9:17 a.m.

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