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Hillcrest VS High Rises — Judgement Day

Over 50 residents of Hillcrest, Mission Hills, and Banker's Hill attended the July 8 San Diego City Council meeting. They waved five-inch, fluorescent green signs that on one side read "IHO," the other, "YES." Their purpose: to support an interim height ordinance on all newly proposed buildings for the neighborhood. The temporary height restriction of 50 to 65 feet (depending on the area of Mission Hills or Hillcrest) has been a defining issue for both residents of the Uptown district and those in the real estate industry.

Both sides faced off. First the opposition pleaded their case to the city council. They included the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Apartment Owners Association, La Jolla Pacific Development (of 301 University fame), and a former city planner and designer of the current 20-year-old community plan.

Those opposed to the interim height restriction say that the ordinance puts unnecesssary restrictions on building and costs the area thousands of construction-related jobs. Instead of what they called a "moratorium on building," they preferred a plan that sends all high-rise construction proposals straight to a discretionary committee.

Next, Uptown residents in favor of the ordinance. There were 28 speaker slips submitted to the council and, nearly an hour and a half later, after several speeches about the community character of Hillcrest and Mission Hills as well as a PowerPoint presentation debunking the opposition's objections, the debate was turned over to the council.

The city's planning department as well as nearly every councilmember (with the exception of council president pro tem Jim Madaffer) were in favor of adopting the interim height ordinance. Madaffer felt -- despite reassurances from the planning department -- that adopting the ordinance potentially sets a precedent for other communities to want something similar, which could hurt the construction industry.

Despite his objections, the final vote was 6 to 1 in favor, and the residents of the Uptown area prevailed in placing a restriction on all buildings over 50 to 65 feet until a new, permanent plan is in place; such a plan could take as long as two years to prepare.

For footage from the meeting go to sandiego.gov/citycouncil/ or visit the Hillcrest Town Council's website.

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Over 50 residents of Hillcrest, Mission Hills, and Banker's Hill attended the July 8 San Diego City Council meeting. They waved five-inch, fluorescent green signs that on one side read "IHO," the other, "YES." Their purpose: to support an interim height ordinance on all newly proposed buildings for the neighborhood. The temporary height restriction of 50 to 65 feet (depending on the area of Mission Hills or Hillcrest) has been a defining issue for both residents of the Uptown district and those in the real estate industry.

Both sides faced off. First the opposition pleaded their case to the city council. They included the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Apartment Owners Association, La Jolla Pacific Development (of 301 University fame), and a former city planner and designer of the current 20-year-old community plan.

Those opposed to the interim height restriction say that the ordinance puts unnecesssary restrictions on building and costs the area thousands of construction-related jobs. Instead of what they called a "moratorium on building," they preferred a plan that sends all high-rise construction proposals straight to a discretionary committee.

Next, Uptown residents in favor of the ordinance. There were 28 speaker slips submitted to the council and, nearly an hour and a half later, after several speeches about the community character of Hillcrest and Mission Hills as well as a PowerPoint presentation debunking the opposition's objections, the debate was turned over to the council.

The city's planning department as well as nearly every councilmember (with the exception of council president pro tem Jim Madaffer) were in favor of adopting the interim height ordinance. Madaffer felt -- despite reassurances from the planning department -- that adopting the ordinance potentially sets a precedent for other communities to want something similar, which could hurt the construction industry.

Despite his objections, the final vote was 6 to 1 in favor, and the residents of the Uptown area prevailed in placing a restriction on all buildings over 50 to 65 feet until a new, permanent plan is in place; such a plan could take as long as two years to prepare.

For footage from the meeting go to sandiego.gov/citycouncil/ or visit the Hillcrest Town Council's website.

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Comments
1

First, city staff, Bill Anderson et al. stood with the public on this one and ignored the BIA, the Chamber and the corrupt Planning Commission. Good for Bill. Send him an E-mail thanking him so he can work with other communities without being bounced by the developer lobby.

As I watched the public testimony I remembered why I live in Mission Hills. My neighbors did a great job. I hope they will help the Navy Broadway Complex Coalition create a waterfront downtown that will make San Diego proud.

July 9, 2008

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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
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