Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Garnet Avenue between Mission Boulevard and Morrell Street – “Main Street U.S.A.”

To cater to residents rather than tourists

It always pays to read the fine print. San Diego city planners learned this lesson the hard way last month, when they belatedly discovered that their two-year-old proposal to rezone the commercial center of Pacific Beach, in order to restore its small-town character consistent with the neighborhood’s community plan, contained a clause that would actually do more harm than good.

One of the areas to be rezoned was the 12-block stretch of Garnet Avenue, between Mission Boulevard and the west and Morrell Street on the east. The community plan’s dream of a sort of “Main Street U.S.A.” along this part of Garnet had never quite materialized because of unrestricted commercial development and bumper-to-bumper traffic, caused in large part by a lack of off-street parking.

The strip’s proposed rezoning from commercial (C) to community commercial (CC), says principal city planner Greg Konar, “seemed logical” because it would limit new commercial use to businesses that cater to residents rather than tourists (markets, drugstores, hardware stores and the like). In addition, the rezoning would require each new business to provide at least one off-street parking space for every 800 square-feet of retail area. “The existing C zone allows any kind of business and imposes no off-street parking requirements,” Konar says. “And that prevents us from achieving the goals set forth in the community plan.”

It took nearly a year for the proposed rezoning of Garnet Avenue to gain preliminary approval from the San Diego City Council and the state Coastal Commission. It took another year before the plan was officially presented to the community at a public hearing on March 24 of this year. And only then came the discovery that planners had apparently not scrutinized the existing definition of “community commercial,” because they overlooked a clause that imposes a cap of 5000 square feet on any new business in a CC zone.

What types of businesses normally exceed that limit? Markets, drugstores, and hardware stores — precisely the sorts of retailers city planners wanted to encourage. Furthermore, of the 261 existing businesses along Garnet Avenue, approximately 20 exceed the 5000 square-foot limit. Virtually all of these businesses cater to residents rather than tourists; among them are Boney’s Market, Tommy’s TV, Home Federal Savings and Loan, and Golden State Fabrics. Under the proposed CC rezoning, they would be “grandfathered” in and allowed to continue operations, but only under “nonconforming” status. This means that if they ever need to be remodeled or rebuilt, they would be subject to the 5000 square-foot limit as well. Understandably, nonconforming status often leads to credit problems, says a spokesman for City Councilman Bruce Henderson, whose district includes Pacific Beach. “If you can’t rebuild, you can’t borrow as much money against your property – and that generally means your credit line goes down by at least $100,000.”

Planner Greg Konar admits to being surprised about the clause that, in effect, “would discourage those same kind of uses we want to encourage. Apparently nobody noticed the 5000 square-foot restriction before,” Konar says, “or at least, no one thought it would be critical.”

But critical it was; and while the proposed CC zoning will still be presented to the city council on June 13 for a final vote, it will be without the planning department’s recommendation. “It’s still a viable alternative,” Konar says, “but if it’s not what the community wants, we’re simply going to have to come up with something else.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Nathan Hubbard’s new normal

Jazz and hip-hop are two very distinct worlds
Next Article

Nathan Hubbard’s new normal

Jazz and hip-hop are two very distinct worlds

It always pays to read the fine print. San Diego city planners learned this lesson the hard way last month, when they belatedly discovered that their two-year-old proposal to rezone the commercial center of Pacific Beach, in order to restore its small-town character consistent with the neighborhood’s community plan, contained a clause that would actually do more harm than good.

One of the areas to be rezoned was the 12-block stretch of Garnet Avenue, between Mission Boulevard and the west and Morrell Street on the east. The community plan’s dream of a sort of “Main Street U.S.A.” along this part of Garnet had never quite materialized because of unrestricted commercial development and bumper-to-bumper traffic, caused in large part by a lack of off-street parking.

The strip’s proposed rezoning from commercial (C) to community commercial (CC), says principal city planner Greg Konar, “seemed logical” because it would limit new commercial use to businesses that cater to residents rather than tourists (markets, drugstores, hardware stores and the like). In addition, the rezoning would require each new business to provide at least one off-street parking space for every 800 square-feet of retail area. “The existing C zone allows any kind of business and imposes no off-street parking requirements,” Konar says. “And that prevents us from achieving the goals set forth in the community plan.”

It took nearly a year for the proposed rezoning of Garnet Avenue to gain preliminary approval from the San Diego City Council and the state Coastal Commission. It took another year before the plan was officially presented to the community at a public hearing on March 24 of this year. And only then came the discovery that planners had apparently not scrutinized the existing definition of “community commercial,” because they overlooked a clause that imposes a cap of 5000 square feet on any new business in a CC zone.

What types of businesses normally exceed that limit? Markets, drugstores, and hardware stores — precisely the sorts of retailers city planners wanted to encourage. Furthermore, of the 261 existing businesses along Garnet Avenue, approximately 20 exceed the 5000 square-foot limit. Virtually all of these businesses cater to residents rather than tourists; among them are Boney’s Market, Tommy’s TV, Home Federal Savings and Loan, and Golden State Fabrics. Under the proposed CC rezoning, they would be “grandfathered” in and allowed to continue operations, but only under “nonconforming” status. This means that if they ever need to be remodeled or rebuilt, they would be subject to the 5000 square-foot limit as well. Understandably, nonconforming status often leads to credit problems, says a spokesman for City Councilman Bruce Henderson, whose district includes Pacific Beach. “If you can’t rebuild, you can’t borrow as much money against your property – and that generally means your credit line goes down by at least $100,000.”

Planner Greg Konar admits to being surprised about the clause that, in effect, “would discourage those same kind of uses we want to encourage. Apparently nobody noticed the 5000 square-foot restriction before,” Konar says, “or at least, no one thought it would be critical.”

But critical it was; and while the proposed CC zoning will still be presented to the city council on June 13 for a final vote, it will be without the planning department’s recommendation. “It’s still a viable alternative,” Konar says, “but if it’s not what the community wants, we’re simply going to have to come up with something else.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Make a wedding-and-wine statement from Nordstrom Rack and Schutz

Report from the land of brand whores
Next Article

Morgan Freeman as an extraterrestrial diplomat

You know the aliens have seen The Shawshank Redemption
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close