Planning Follies

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From the U-T:

The City Council voted 6-3 on Monday to reject plans to build three homes on the Jessop estate in Point Loma, adding to the single one built in 1926.
. . .
“When you have properties this big, you shouldn’t be putting the houses 12 feet apart,” said Council President Sherri Lightner, adding that the design would make firefighting difficult. “I have grave concerns about public safety.”
Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, whose district includes Point Loma, said she could support adding­ development to the site, but not this particular proposal for La Crescentia Drive because of the locations of the new homes.
Monday’s council vote was actually in favor of a res­ident’s appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval of the proposed subdivision last June.
. . .
The owner of the property, Carolyn Kutzke, has been trying for several years to develop it.

The OBRag has more background on the story.  Apparently, there were 700 signatures on a petition to overturn the planning commission vote.  I think that Carolyn Kutzke should sue under the takings clause of the U.S. Constitution if she is not given a way ahead to develop her 1.5 acre property.

I hope that the city council is as fearful of resident’s dismay when they vote on jamming dense development into the Morena district.  I am sure there will be far more than 700 people willing to sign a petition.  In the meantime, the council approved the path ahead to change the Bay Park community plan bypassing an update of the entire community plan.  This is a process foul that didn’t go unnoticed by RaiseTheBalloon:

While we appreciate that the city threw out the original timeline to complete the Morena Blvd Area Specific Plan and replaced it with a more reasonable one, Raise the Balloon and residents of our community have made a formal protestation of the City’s attempt to change/amend our community plan through the Morena Blvd Station Area Specific Plan instead of updating our ENTIRE plan through the process of a comprehensive community plan update (CPU).

Meanwhile, all that money that the city collects from developers to make your neighborhood better?  It’s not getting spent.  Apparently $78 million isn’t enough cash to start a real project.  From the U-T watchdog:

Developers have paid more than $157 million in impact fees since San Diego approved the charges on new construction in the 1980s, and despite a litany of needs the city has spent only half the money, budget records show.
The money was collected from builders in some of San Diego’s oldest neighborhoods, with the idea that they should contribute to community needs such as parks and fire stations. Much of the money has remained in the bank for years while city planners save up for projects or figure out how it should be spent.
In the downtown district alone, the city has assembled $25 million. The city has not completed an impact fee-funded project in that area in more than 10 years, although officials have spent more than $400,000 of the funds on administration.
Citywide, $78 million of the money collected so far has not been spent, as of June 2014, the most recent accounting available.

Creative way to waste tax dollars? Don’t spend it.

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Comments 2

  1. Landslide-prone eroded cliffs should not be disturbed. There are no Takings when someone does not get to build on Environmentally Sensitive Lands (ESL) Steep Hillsides based upon a created made-up legal loophole.

    The City of San Diego’s Steep Hillside Overlay Zone (Slopes greater than 25%) Map only includes Non-Residentially Zones areas. Therefore, there are no Steep Hillside Overlay Zone Maps for Residential Single-Family (RS) and Residential Multi-Family (RM) Zoned neighborhoods. Steep Hillside Slopes by default, do not exist in RS and RM Zoned neighborhoods. Only in Commercial, Industrial, Mixed-Use, etc. Zones. Very convenient.

    The City of San Diego’s Development Services Department (DSD) purposefully misinterprets the meaning of the words “Natural Slope” in the Municipal Code, using the landscaping definition of “Natural Slopes” to include only pristine Coastal Sage Scrub. The word “Natural” should be removed before the word “Slope” in the Municipal Code. Problems with legal misinterpretation solved.

    Steep Hillside slopes that are disturbed, including cut or fill operations, landscaping, trails, are not considered “Natural” therefore no longer considered a Steep Hillside Slope. Therefore the new building Projects do not have to following the City’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands (ESL) Steep Hillside Guidelines and Regulations which would prohibit new buildings within an eroding coastal sandstone cliff.

    Using this warped logic, the City would be Taking property rights and violating the Taking Clause of the United States Constitutional away from any Property owner who wanted to rebuild on the La Jolla Landslide. The La Jolla Landslide was, and is, a disturbed Steep Hillside slope. Therefore, in theory, because there is no original coastal sage scrub, the project is no longer considered a Steep Hillside Slope. Therefore the City cannot denied building permits is an area known for trouble.

    “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.” -HDT.

    http://www.cbs8.com/story/28066056/council-reverses-approval-of-point-loma-development

    http://www.10news.com/news/city-council-considers-controversial-point-loma-development

    http://www.kusi.com/story/28067135/city-council-votes-against-proposed-development-in-point-loma

    http://fox5sandiego.com/2015/02/09/point-loma-cliffside-development-denied/

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    Author

    La Playa Illogic, Blah, blah, blah, math are for losers.

    Missing the point, since there is already a home on the property of 1.5 acres, there is surely a way to develop the property that conforms to regulation. So the city should explain what is acceptable or pay up.

    Also, why the hypocrisy that this 1.5 acre property can’t be developed but it’s ok to jam thousands more residents into Morena? WTF? I guess the folks in Point Loma can afford larger campaign donations. I take it that La Playa is only interested in protecting the neighborhoods of the well to do?

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