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

DMV building doesn't fit the neighborhood

No more blare in Hillcrest from 1961-era project, please

New DMV design
New DMV design

The loudspeaker blasts go on all day, says Mary Alsop, who lives a half block from the Hillcrest Department of Motor Vehicles office. So when the DMV presented its proposed design for the replacement building Tuesday night, she was angry that the practice would continue – and that the continuing use of loudspeakers was buried deep in the plan.

“I strongly object to the public address system.” Alsop said. ”Your use of loudspeakers harms me – loudspeakers are harmful to people’s health.”

Her concerns were among a host of criticisms of the plan, which was rejected by the Uptown Planners in the nicest unanimous opposition this reporter has ever seen. The plan is in the environmental review phase – the comment period ends on Sept. 7.

The proposed plan takes the 2.46 acre parcel between Normal Street, Cleveland and Lincoln avenues, where there’s a smallish one-story building and a lot of parking, and, for $22 million, replaces it with a 50 percent larger one-story building and a lot of parking, much shaded by solar panels. The public will have a nicer area outside to wait in. Until they’re summoned by loudspeaker.

“Having people wait outside, nobody does that,” said Patrick Santana.

San Diego artist Roy McMakin proposed that the excess land instead become a public plaza with underground parking beneath it. “We already see cars and asphalt. We don’t need more of that.”

There had been discussion about a multi-use building, with the DMV on the ground floor and, best case scenario, housing above it. The planning group is entirely on board with the idea and members say they had to push to get Assembly member Todd Gloria engaged in the idea of building a multi-use on the state-owned land.

“It’s the one place that can take density and here you are with a 1961-era plan for a surface lot in the middle of density,” said Roy Dahl.

The site is home to the neighborhood farmers’ market every week and the LGBT Pride parade. It has been used cooperatively for extra night and weekend parking and as a collection site for county voters’ ballots – without a fence around it. The fence could curtail those uses and send a negative vibe through the community, speakers said. And it would cut the dreamed-of plaza off from the Normal Street Greenway that the Hillcrest Business Association has been working on for more than six years.

In late August, Gloria – who was present at the meeting – sent a letter to the facilities wing of the state DMV, calling their plan “a missed opportunity to put forward a mixed-use project that includes housing, park space, underground parking, community rooms or other enhancements.”

Gloria sat quietly in the audience while one panel member after another, and many members of the public politely criticized the plan, including that seven-foot fence that cuts it off from the surrounding neighborhood.

“I do feel there’s a bit of suburban cookie cutter feel in this,” said Benjamin Nicholls, the executive director of the Hillcrest Business Association. “You can’t just take any design and plop it down – it’s all context and this is going in with a wrought iron fence next to the greenway we are planning.”

The DMV presenter, Gil Topete, answered questions politely and clearly and told residents that the DMV is interested in their thoughts.

At the end of the meeting, Gloria promised that his office would work with the DMV to bring back a design more appropriate for the community.

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

Previous article

Interact with Animals, On the Harbor with Hard Kombucha, Interior Design Home Tours

Events July 9-July 11, 2020
Next Article

"We had to get canning quickly"

In response to covid, these small brewers now offer beer in cans for the first time
New DMV design
New DMV design

The loudspeaker blasts go on all day, says Mary Alsop, who lives a half block from the Hillcrest Department of Motor Vehicles office. So when the DMV presented its proposed design for the replacement building Tuesday night, she was angry that the practice would continue – and that the continuing use of loudspeakers was buried deep in the plan.

“I strongly object to the public address system.” Alsop said. ”Your use of loudspeakers harms me – loudspeakers are harmful to people’s health.”

Her concerns were among a host of criticisms of the plan, which was rejected by the Uptown Planners in the nicest unanimous opposition this reporter has ever seen. The plan is in the environmental review phase – the comment period ends on Sept. 7.

The proposed plan takes the 2.46 acre parcel between Normal Street, Cleveland and Lincoln avenues, where there’s a smallish one-story building and a lot of parking, and, for $22 million, replaces it with a 50 percent larger one-story building and a lot of parking, much shaded by solar panels. The public will have a nicer area outside to wait in. Until they’re summoned by loudspeaker.

“Having people wait outside, nobody does that,” said Patrick Santana.

San Diego artist Roy McMakin proposed that the excess land instead become a public plaza with underground parking beneath it. “We already see cars and asphalt. We don’t need more of that.”

There had been discussion about a multi-use building, with the DMV on the ground floor and, best case scenario, housing above it. The planning group is entirely on board with the idea and members say they had to push to get Assembly member Todd Gloria engaged in the idea of building a multi-use on the state-owned land.

“It’s the one place that can take density and here you are with a 1961-era plan for a surface lot in the middle of density,” said Roy Dahl.

The site is home to the neighborhood farmers’ market every week and the LGBT Pride parade. It has been used cooperatively for extra night and weekend parking and as a collection site for county voters’ ballots – without a fence around it. The fence could curtail those uses and send a negative vibe through the community, speakers said. And it would cut the dreamed-of plaza off from the Normal Street Greenway that the Hillcrest Business Association has been working on for more than six years.

In late August, Gloria – who was present at the meeting – sent a letter to the facilities wing of the state DMV, calling their plan “a missed opportunity to put forward a mixed-use project that includes housing, park space, underground parking, community rooms or other enhancements.”

Gloria sat quietly in the audience while one panel member after another, and many members of the public politely criticized the plan, including that seven-foot fence that cuts it off from the surrounding neighborhood.

“I do feel there’s a bit of suburban cookie cutter feel in this,” said Benjamin Nicholls, the executive director of the Hillcrest Business Association. “You can’t just take any design and plop it down – it’s all context and this is going in with a wrought iron fence next to the greenway we are planning.”

The DMV presenter, Gil Topete, answered questions politely and clearly and told residents that the DMV is interested in their thoughts.

At the end of the meeting, Gloria promised that his office would work with the DMV to bring back a design more appropriate for the community.

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

Sanctified and glorified at Encanto Southern Baptist Church

Life is important on this side of death, but what really matters is eternity.
Next Article

Imperial Beach, town without pretense

Sleeping ban. sandcastle stomping, immigrant shelter, breakwater, Brian Bilbray
Comments
8

So whatever happened to the Normal Street Linear Park plan?

Sept. 7, 2018

Gloria has been on the city council and in the assembly for this area during the entire cycle of this project, including when it was first planned for mixed use. But he's claiming at the last minute to be just as surprised as anyone else? That's just not believable.

He must have known that the mixed use got ditched; and it's clear he only reacted once the public outcry got too loud to ignore. We've already have a Republican do-nothing mayor—we don't need a Democrat one.

Sept. 7, 2018

The links are not working.

Sept. 7, 2018

An issue the DMV representatives brought up is the complication of a public/private partnership in development. They listed issues such as financing difficulties and that DMV would have been a tenant of the developer. My opinion is that given all the new incentives in this city for developers we are about to see many new housing units being built (or opportunities of privately held land), and for that and many other reasons I think this site should remain a publicly owned site and project that will benefit the community in perpetuity. A fully civically owned site of this scale, in this location, is worth being treated with care. The leaders in the city tend to give away a lot to developers whenever they can, so I would assume the community would be the big loser in a public/private development.

Perhaps Todd Gloria can use this situation to help restore some of the confidence the Uptown Community lost in him when he orchestrated, despite much opposition, the convoluted sale of the Truax House property. There are lingering negative aftermaths and general bad taste from that situation: the loss of public benefit opportunity, substantial frustration, and ongoing less than transparent communication. The permanent impacts and ramifications on the Truax property, Olive Street Park and the Aids memorial, are still bumping their way through Uptown.

The DMV site could be over 2 acres of underground parking, both for the DMV office and the community. And at street level the DMV office (and associated driving area for tests) and a public park/plaza. The park/plaza could be part of the proposed Normal Street linear park, as well as part of the farmers market on weekends. This could be much like what was done at the County Building, which is a huge success on many levels. Hillcrest could finally get a central gathering area and permanent public parking. And the DMV could build and own a nice new office. A huge win for all (except a private developer who could find a way to take advantage of the situation).

Also, if the DMV would simply start texting people instead of using a loud public address system people who want to wait outside for their appointment could go to the park/plaza to wait.

As I see it, this isn't a potential failure of the DMV, but instead it will be either a failure or success of our elected officials.

Sept. 7, 2018

Does the DMV even know what texting IS?

Sept. 7, 2018

Maybe not. But they have used visual systems indoors to control people coming up to the windows or stations for attention. I'd think they could offer texting, phone, or visual signals and ditch the PA system. Those are nasty, intrusive, and just generally outmoded.

Sept. 7, 2018

Was at the El Cajon DMV and they are texting when your number is called. Instead of pouring tons of money into new buildings how about opening the DMV 2/7 with everything indoors.

Sept. 8, 2018

Hey, you're suggesting something logical, sensible, money-saving and effective. That is not allowed in CA state government.

Sept. 8, 2018

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