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The end is near!

Posted: July 29th, 2016 | Featured, News, North Park | No Comments

North Park Community Plan update is almost finished

By Ken Williams | Editor

Years in the making, the North Park Community Plan update is all but finished.

Key dates have been announced:

  • Observatory North Park is one of the historical buildings in the community. (Photo by Ken Williams)

    Observatory North Park is one of the historical buildings in the community. (Photo by Ken Williams)

    Sept. 9 — North Park Planning Committee (NPPC) is scheduled to cast a final vote on the proposed update.

  • Sept. 15 — The city’s Planning Commission is set to vote on the update project.
  • Oct. 18 — The City Council, which has the final vote, gets its first look at the proposed update.

The NPPC met July 19 to make final comments on the Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) as well as the proposed update’s elements titled “Mobility & Transportation,” “Urban Design & Land Use” and “Historic Preservation.”

Public comments on the PEIR closed on July 28. San Diego Uptown News previously reported on discussions about the PEIR in an article titled “How future growth will impact North Park, Golden Hill.” Read it at bit.ly/1V2TTE0.

At the July 19 meeting, the NPPC moved to the consent agenda the PEIR recommendations that involved housekeeping, cleaning up errors and the fine-tuning language. The committee voted unanimously to forward the recommendations to city planners.

The Historic Preservation element continued to get intense scrutiny from NPPC members, and senior planner Kelly Stanco was grilled about the prioritization factors in determining how the city processes potential historic districts.

Stanco said the city is understaffed in the area of assessing potentially historical districts, and only three projects could be undertaken per year. She listed 11 North Park projects that have been scheduled:

  • FY 2018 — Shirley Ann Expansion
  • FY 2019 — Spalding Place
  • FY 2020 — Park Boulevard Apartment West and East, Uptown and North Park; Kalmia Place
  • FY 2021 — Valle Vista Terrace
  • FY 2022 — 30th Street and University Avenue; 28th Street Residential
  • FY 2023 — St. Louis Heights/Lynhurt/O’Nealls Terrace/Wallace Heights
  • FY 2024 — Altadena/Carmel Heights/Frary Heights; Park Villas
  • FY 2025 — Wabash Mesa

Stanco said the NPPC could reorder the priority on when the projects are undertaken.

The NPPC voted unanimously to forward a number of changes to the proposed update’s Historic Preservation element.

Also, the committee voted unanimously to add comments to the update about an Impact Fee Study (IFS) that has yet to be presented to the NPPC or reviewed by the public. This unseen IFS was cited by city staff in the proposed update, involving transportation and circulation mitigation. The committee called the omission of the IFS was a “significant error” and demanded “this error should be corrected by immediately releasing the IFS.”

In addition, the committee found that the proposed update fails to meet California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) mandates as outlined in the city’s Climate Action Plan. The NPPC voted unanimously to ask city planners to use the same quantitative modeling on the order of the Downtown plan but make it appropriate for North Park.

Vicki Granowitz, chair of the NPPC, expressed hope that the committee could finish its work on the proposed update at the Aug. 16 meeting. If that happens, the NPPC would cancel the special meeting set for Sept. 6.

Other business

  • The Urban Design/Project Review subcommittee meeting on Aug. 1 has been canceled. The next meeting will be Sept. 6, at 6 p.m. at North Park Rec Center’s Adult Center, located at 2719 Howard Ave.
  • The Public Facilities & Transportation subcommittee will meet at 6 p.m. Aug. 10 at the North Park Adult Center.
  • The NPPC heard an update on the Georgia Street Bridge renovation, which is covered elsewhere in this edition.
  • U.S. Rep. Susan Davis, home since Congress is on recess, updated the audience about issues such as her participation in the gun safety “sit-in” at the House of Representatives; human trafficking; and opposing a postal bill that would have ended home delivery of mail.
  • Adrian Granda, representing Councilmember Todd Gloria, said the City Council on July 19 voted 6-3 to become the 150th community in California to ban single-use plastic bags from groceries and convenience stores. The ban will take effect in early 2017, he said.

—Ken Williams is editor of Uptown News and can be reached at ken@sdcnn.com or at 619-961-1952. Follow him on Twitter at @KenSanDiego, Instagram at @KenSD or Facebook at KenWilliamsSanDiego.

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