Garrett Harris 10:11 p.m., May 23
Density Increase Planned For North Park: Thousands of Single-Family Homes Will Vanish
In the coming decades more and more single-family homes will be demolished to make room for multi-family buildings, says a report from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). By 2050, SANDAG projects there will be 6,256 fewer single family homes in the City.
One community, however, will see far more free-standing homes vanish. According to SANDAG, the mid-city community of North Park will lose and 3,291 single-family homes. And when factoring in neighboring communities of Hillcrest, Mission Hills, Bankers Hill, and Middletown, that number balloons to approximately 4,891 fewer single family homes.
The projections have some community activists worried that small older homes will be replaced by new condominiums and mixed-use developments to accomodate for the projected population growth.
Tom Mullaney of Friends of San Diego has been busy alerting residents of Uptown and North Park about the increase to density. He learned of it while reviewing the community plan updates for North Park and the surrounding communities.
"The average citizen doesn't pay attention to community plan updates until a bulldozer appears on their street," says Mullaney. "It's somewhat of a ticking time-bomb. The threat to single family homes has been under everyone's nose. In many cases the new community plan just sits there for years and years and no one knows until a developer announces a proposal to build a 40-unit development."
Mullaney fears that changing the land-use designation to make room for bigger buildings is a repeat of the 1970's and early '80's when developers demolished homes to build boxy, nondescript apartment buildings, known as "Huffman six-packs."
Unless residents want to see more traffic on their streets and additional apartment buildings in their neighborhoods, says Mullaney, then residents should contact the community planning group and the City. If not, then the community plan updates in North Park and surrounding areas will be the model for the rest of the City.
"We are at a crossroads," says Mullaney "Community plan updates in North Park, Uptown, and Golden Hill are the first to be done in the City. So this will dictate what is to come. If these three could be done right then the City may be able to achieve the City of Villages principles. If not, then who knows what this City will look like."