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

Encanto residents feel snubbed by Civic San Diego

"We demand a more visionary project that brings together community benefits."

Encanto residents have waited for nearly 30 years for the city-owned vacant lot at Hilltop Drive and Euclid Avenue to be developed. Now that the process is underway and a developer has been selected, they wish it would start all over again.

On Tuesday (September 27). San Diego City Council members approved a request from Civic San Diego, the city-owned nonprofit responsible for planning and permitting duties in Southeastern San Diego and downtown, to enter into an agreement with Affirmed Housing Group to transform the 8.5-acre lot into a 128-unit mixed-use development featuring 84 affordable-housing units and 44 for-sale units as well as some retail and a brewery.

Dozens of Encanto residents, however, feel the process was rigged from the start. They accuse Civic San Diego of ignoring their ideas and shutting them out of the process.

In June 2016, Civic San Diego's board selected Affirmed Housing Group through a request-for-proposal process wherein a developer — not a specific project — was up for selection.

Members of the public grew frustrated during Civic San Diego's selection process. Their requests to review the developer's proposals before the selection were denied.

Kristine Zortman, vice president of neighborhood investment for Civic San Diego, says the nonprofit held three community meetings aimed at informing residents about the three potential developers who submitted concept designs. Zortman said selecting Affirmed Housing does not mean that a specific project will be pushed through.

"The process allows the selected developer to further demonstrate the viability or feasibility of their concept proposal," wrote Zortman in a September 9 email. "This includes the requirement for additional community and stakeholder outreach, further demonstration of financials and development funding, further permitting with the City or other regulatory bodies, negotiation of development terms with other parties, and overall satisfaction that the ultimate development project continues to meet the goals and requirements."

But longtime Encanto residents and community activists say the city is allowing Civic San Diego to do as they wish with public land without community consensus.

"These are just words," says resident and activist Katheen MacLeod. "As a private corporation, Civic San Diego gets away without having a development policy, an appeal process, without releasing public records, and no community review. So, what evidence can Civic San Diego show that they require developers to change anything during the [exclusive negotiation agreement with Affirmed]?"

As reported by the Reader in previous articles, the city's decision granting permitting and planning authority to an outside nonprofit was met with resistance. In fact, the city's decision is the only example of a municipal government transferring planning authority to an outside agency. In 2015 one of Civic San Diego's own board members sued the nonprofit over the arrangement. Other suits have since followed.

MacLeod shares many of the same concerns.

"Civic San Diego is operated as a mutual benefit corporation that's controlled by the developer industry, not a public-benefit corporation that considers the public good," says MacLeod. "Civic San Diego is so afraid that Affirmed Housing will walk on this project — after all, it's the third or fourth attempt to get it developed, meaning the developer has all the leverage here, which doesn't bode well for the community."

MacLeod claims that Civic San Diego played favorites and didn't interview other developers who had responded to their request for proposal.

Encanto resident Teddy Cruz also objects to what he says was a one-sided agreement. He says that in choosing Affirmed Housing, Civic San Diego ignored their own guidelines. One such example was a restriction placed on affordable-housing units. According to the request for proposal, no more than 33 percent of the units would be designated for affordable housing; Affirmed Housing Group's proposal calls for 65 percent.

"We demand a more visionary project that brings together community benefits and economic development," says Cruz.

Cruz and MacLeod, as well as other residents, say Civic San Diego had options that the community was willing to get behind. One project came from nonprofit Groundwork San Diego, in collaboration with the University of California at San Diego, to build a mixed-use housing development that included a community workshop that offers educational and manufacturing training for the area's youth.

Says MacLeod, "Civic San Diego's bias in favor of Affirmed Housing is so blatant and they operate with impunity. It's wrong, especially when one of the bidders spent $300,000 to prepare a comprehensive mixed-use proposal and didn't get one interview. That's reproachable."

Despite their objections, the city council voted unanimously to approve the agreement. In the coming months, the developer will finalize their development concept for the site. Once that is done, community meetings and hearings will be held to approve the proposal.

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

Previous article

Ocean Beach trash altruist

Cameron Reid covers Niagara and Narragansett, Sunset Cliffs to Abbott.
Next Article

Morgan Freeman as an extraterrestrial diplomat

You know the aliens have seen The Shawshank Redemption

Encanto residents have waited for nearly 30 years for the city-owned vacant lot at Hilltop Drive and Euclid Avenue to be developed. Now that the process is underway and a developer has been selected, they wish it would start all over again.

On Tuesday (September 27). San Diego City Council members approved a request from Civic San Diego, the city-owned nonprofit responsible for planning and permitting duties in Southeastern San Diego and downtown, to enter into an agreement with Affirmed Housing Group to transform the 8.5-acre lot into a 128-unit mixed-use development featuring 84 affordable-housing units and 44 for-sale units as well as some retail and a brewery.

Dozens of Encanto residents, however, feel the process was rigged from the start. They accuse Civic San Diego of ignoring their ideas and shutting them out of the process.

In June 2016, Civic San Diego's board selected Affirmed Housing Group through a request-for-proposal process wherein a developer — not a specific project — was up for selection.

Members of the public grew frustrated during Civic San Diego's selection process. Their requests to review the developer's proposals before the selection were denied.

Kristine Zortman, vice president of neighborhood investment for Civic San Diego, says the nonprofit held three community meetings aimed at informing residents about the three potential developers who submitted concept designs. Zortman said selecting Affirmed Housing does not mean that a specific project will be pushed through.

"The process allows the selected developer to further demonstrate the viability or feasibility of their concept proposal," wrote Zortman in a September 9 email. "This includes the requirement for additional community and stakeholder outreach, further demonstration of financials and development funding, further permitting with the City or other regulatory bodies, negotiation of development terms with other parties, and overall satisfaction that the ultimate development project continues to meet the goals and requirements."

But longtime Encanto residents and community activists say the city is allowing Civic San Diego to do as they wish with public land without community consensus.

"These are just words," says resident and activist Katheen MacLeod. "As a private corporation, Civic San Diego gets away without having a development policy, an appeal process, without releasing public records, and no community review. So, what evidence can Civic San Diego show that they require developers to change anything during the [exclusive negotiation agreement with Affirmed]?"

As reported by the Reader in previous articles, the city's decision granting permitting and planning authority to an outside nonprofit was met with resistance. In fact, the city's decision is the only example of a municipal government transferring planning authority to an outside agency. In 2015 one of Civic San Diego's own board members sued the nonprofit over the arrangement. Other suits have since followed.

MacLeod shares many of the same concerns.

"Civic San Diego is operated as a mutual benefit corporation that's controlled by the developer industry, not a public-benefit corporation that considers the public good," says MacLeod. "Civic San Diego is so afraid that Affirmed Housing will walk on this project — after all, it's the third or fourth attempt to get it developed, meaning the developer has all the leverage here, which doesn't bode well for the community."

MacLeod claims that Civic San Diego played favorites and didn't interview other developers who had responded to their request for proposal.

Encanto resident Teddy Cruz also objects to what he says was a one-sided agreement. He says that in choosing Affirmed Housing, Civic San Diego ignored their own guidelines. One such example was a restriction placed on affordable-housing units. According to the request for proposal, no more than 33 percent of the units would be designated for affordable housing; Affirmed Housing Group's proposal calls for 65 percent.

"We demand a more visionary project that brings together community benefits and economic development," says Cruz.

Cruz and MacLeod, as well as other residents, say Civic San Diego had options that the community was willing to get behind. One project came from nonprofit Groundwork San Diego, in collaboration with the University of California at San Diego, to build a mixed-use housing development that included a community workshop that offers educational and manufacturing training for the area's youth.

Says MacLeod, "Civic San Diego's bias in favor of Affirmed Housing is so blatant and they operate with impunity. It's wrong, especially when one of the bidders spent $300,000 to prepare a comprehensive mixed-use proposal and didn't get one interview. That's reproachable."

Despite their objections, the city council voted unanimously to approve the agreement. In the coming months, the developer will finalize their development concept for the site. Once that is done, community meetings and hearings will be held to approve the proposal.

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

North River Farms foes face lawsuit heat

If activists take Measure L off ballot, they would no longer face mounting legal fees
Next Article

Dex Romweber Livestream from the Cave, Author Livestream: Clare Mackintosh

Events August 16-August 18, 2020
Comments
4

Considering the scum that live in Encanto and the crime rate I suggest a jail be built there.

Oct. 2, 2016

Their "input" was most likely to guarantee $10,000 units with no HOA fees. The 12% of our population ALWAYS looking for a freebie.

Oct. 2, 2016

Outsourcing government decision making is not democracy. We elect our officials to make decisions. The government employees are supposed to enforce the Municipal Code. All of this is bypassed in favor of the new favorite buzzword "stakeholders." A government of the people, by the people is lost in transition when a private organization takes over, and there is no public records access, no appeal process, and the Brown Act disappears into the haze.

Oct. 5, 2016

"...featuring 84 affordable-housing units and 44 for-sale units..."

So 44 people pay too much to subsidize 84 people who can't actually afford to live here.

And we wonder why San Diego gets more and more and more crowded?

Oct. 5, 2016

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