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Executives from San Diego-based Jack in the Box are calling in the big guns to continue with renovation, rather reconstruction, of their North park restaurant.

The company has hired attorneys from Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton to grease the wheels at City Hall.

They will need a lot of grease.

The proposal to tear down the existing restaurant, there since 1961, in favor of a larger building with a reconfigured driveway and additional outside seating has been a contentious issue for residents who live nearby the intersection of Upas and 30th Street.

The most pressing issue for neighbors is the fact that current zoning does not even allow for drive-thru restaurants to operate in that location. The restaurant, however, was grandfathered in since it was in operation before the zoning designation changed back in 2000. That, however, would no longer apply if the restaurant is closed for an extended period and the building is torn down and rebuilt, which is the case.

In February 2012, the Reader published an in-depth article on the neighbors concerns. At that time, executives from Jack in the Box and residents appeared to be deadlocked.

Now, more than a year and a half later the fast-food chain's decision to demolish the old building to build anew has caused Mayor Filner to step in. In the past, Filner has not let any small issue, like permits, get in the way of stopping a project in its tracks.

As reported by the Voice of San Diego, Filner is now awaiting an opinion from the City Attorney's Office on ways to stop the already approved project while at the same time avoiding any potential litigation.

According to the disclosure from Sheppard Mullin, the firm was hired to seek "implementation of land use entitlements and permits."

Top image by Alan Decker

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Comments

FatCatSegat July 20, 2013 @ 10:15 a.m.

Even if they get enough grease, it would make an impact if the neighborhood simply boycotted the restaurant. In their eargerness to turn a profit, they thought they'd get one past the people and now they thumb their collective clown noses at North Park by attempting to convince city hall. Shame on you Jack! Take the loss, build the neighborhood what it wants and get some good press outta this. Seems the logical thing to do captain!

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Founder July 20, 2013 @ 10:36 a.m.

Also posted today on this blog: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs...

San Diego's future will be for told by what happens in North Park at the Jack in the Box construction site where instead of remodeling the existing building as directed by the Planning commission, Jack's builders scraped it and installed a new foundation, thumbing their nose at the City.

Now Mayor Filner and a host of other local activists have cried foul.

If Jack gets away with this developmental fast one, then San Diego is doomed to whatever Big Money interests want, because it now seems that they can do what ever they want while the City just looks the other way!

In $an Diego rules are for the little people to obey because they don't seem to apply to the Wealthy who are free to enjoy themselves doing what they wish with little to no interference from anyone in City Hall!

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Yankeedoodle July 20, 2013 @ 6:02 p.m.

Fat Cat and Founder are both correct. We walk by that lot every evening after dinner and were astonished to see the old place leveled after we had read long go that the two-story plans had not been approved. Less vigilant than others, we merely assumed that the structure being built was within approved parameters.

If not, they will have to stop and change course. Fait accompli is not an acceptable land use policy. Other builders and businesses abide by the law. This is downright befuddling and a bit of an affront to the neighbors.

By the way, does anyone know what the deal is with the construction that says "North Parker" across Upas from Jack? We recall that a development with underground parking had been talked about during boom years, and then nothing happened until the recent very quick construction with no obvious room for underground parking.

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Yankeedoodle July 21, 2013 @ 12:04 p.m.

I found the northparker lofts on the architect's site, and it appears that it will have a garage. We look forward to its completion and to the unfolding saga of the Jack in the Box across the street.

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opassons July 21, 2013 @ 10:10 a.m.

One small correction. That City Attorney opinion, which is confidential because it was apparently advice between client (city) and attorney (Goldsmith's office), was delivered last week so they aren't waiting on it any more. Now they are presumably looking at acting on that advice.

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Dorian Hargrove July 21, 2013 @ 6:20 p.m.

Hey thanks OPassons. I appreciate the correction. I'm a bit confused. Did the City Attorney's Office release the "confidential memo" or was it Tomlinson? Thanks again!-dH

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photog921 July 22, 2013 @ 9:48 p.m.

How can this go forward if there are witnesses to the fact that the four walls came down? I hope Bob Filner sticks to his guns with this one.

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