Apartments unwelcome

Thirteen years ago, Mr. London tried to get the zoning of parcels of land he purchased at Lemon Ave. and Bancroft Dr. changed from Suburban-Residential to Commercial. He knew the zoning when he made the purchased and did not develop it for residential use, speculating that he could make more money if he could push through the change. The opposition then, as now, is not merely against change but with solid and reasonable objections to a significant proposed alteration in the goals expressed in the City of La Mesa Land Use and Urban Design document of March 2012, which states that the first goal of land use in the city is "a safe and healthy community". The second goal is "residential neighborhoods with strong character and cohesion". It states that neighborhoods should be preserved and improved and "infill development can revitalize the community IF consistent with the surroundings". Given the current single family residential nature of our community, the proposed change would clearly not fit with these goals. We have concerns over safety. According to the La Mesa General Plan, "land use decisions must further the welfare of people and their neighborhoods by creating healthful, sustainable and attractive environments for present and future generations". There are many children who walk to school past this intersection. It is busy, particularly in the morning, and adding a commercial business would only increase the traffic with associated increase in pollution and risk of injury to our children, other pedestrians and motorists. This neighborhood has already been impacted, indeed divided by SR 125. The La Mesa objective listed in the same document stresses that La Mesa is to "maintain and preserve single family neighborhoods while directing growth to mixed use corridors" and to "protect the character of recognized and unique neighborhoods identified by the city's overlay zones" (this corner is part of the scenic preservation overlay). There is no community demand for another gas station or convenience store in that there are 9 gas stations within a few miles along with grocery stores and other small markets. These concerns are not merely from those with "spacious Spanish style digs" but from those of us with more modest, older homes on the lower edge of Mount Helix, much closer to the affected lots. About 1000 residents had concerns at the last rezoning attempt. Mr. Jacobs said he had been contacted by a few residents, there would have been more if the city had made an effort at notification. I live about 0.25 miles from the corner involved and I was informed by a neighbor, not the city.This is about changing the character of a neighborhood and quality of life for many simply for the profit of a man who gambled. Gamblers do not always win. Mr. London is free to develop his properties according to the rules in place when he purchased them. Then he will be welcome in our community.
— April 7, 2013 10:36 p.m.

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