Letters to the editor – Oct. 23

Posted: October 23rd, 2015 | News, Opinion & News, Uptown Briefs | No Comments

The Jack in the Box controversy

Re: Understanding the Jack in the Box issue: a simple explanation [Vol. 7, Issue 21 or]

Mr. Omar Passons’ article about the illegal drive-through issue involving Jack in the Box lost all credibility when his reason was to create a more desirable intersection for “families and pedestrians.”  

The specific intersection of 30th and Upas has a bar on the northwest corner and an outside bar at the northeast corner, neither of which could be considered family-friendly.  Therefore it is time to leave Jack in the Box alone, the only family-friendly business at the intersection, drop the ridiculous lawsuit and move forward with life.

Secondly, maybe the remodel of the Jack in the Box was more than Mr. Passons thought was appropriate for the permit, but the finished product does look different; therefore the remodeled Jack in the Box is less of a change than the monstrous new apartment building constructed at the northeast corner of the intersection, and is much more attractive for the neighborhood than the rundown bar on the northwest corner.

—Jeannine Parra, resident of North Park for 49 years in the same house 

I have lived in North Park since 1981. I have seen the gradual changes and the not so gradual changes. I have always felt safe in NP and do not understand some of the statements made in the various articles in your paper. I also walk around most of the area featured in your paper.

I was shocked by the one comment about how you might get “caught dead” in NP. This negative comment does not describe the community I live in. Yes we have crime, but who doesn’t ? I feel very safe in this community and until two years ago lived alone.

The whole Jack in the Box controversy is on my last nerve. I support keeping it exactly were it is located. Jack in the Box provides a reasonable source for a quick meal. The employees are very nice and I am sure I eat there once a week. Maybe the spirit of the law was not followed but I say leave it alone.

There are bars all over 30th Street and the noise level is high but I also support them remaining at their location. All of these businesses are part of what makes NP. I enjoy seeing the hoards of young people walking around on Friday and Saturday night. As a walker, I do not like the fact that some of these locations use public sidewalks for their tables. Some day that may bug me enough to complain but at this point in my life I am OK with it. Some people have let their hedges grow on to the sidewalk and that does bug me.

From day one I have hated those ugly boxes at the bus stops on 30th/University. Even after all these years they have not grown on me. I saw them as a more trendy item than I would appreciate. I’ve passed that corner several thousand times and still the word “UGLY” goes through my mind when I pass them.

I appreciate your reporting but I wish some of your writers would know NP as well as those of us that live here. Learn to appreciate its diversity, the uniqueness of the houses and the friendliness of the people. North Park has a lot to offer and some people need to learn to enjoy the many aspects it provides.

—Maria E. Garcia of North Park

Well written Omar. There are link issues to the background data.

So I’ll ask instead of reading more. Did Jack in the Box think they had permission from the city to do the remodel?

If so, I assume the lawsuit is against the city.

Can the city then go back and ask for a re-do like they did with the Montgomery Field FAA height issue?

Thanks for the good op-ed piece. Sorry for the Q’s.

—Glenn Y via Facebook

The sale of The Flame

Re: Park Boulevard nightclub The Flame is sold [Vol. 7, Issue 21 or]

Thank you for saving the sign!

—Robert Nelson via Facebook

I’m glad to see that they want to see the original facade and sign restored… This type of architecture and design has a place in our neighborhood, and it will be interesting to see how the alterations of the property compliment it.

According to “The Flame” Facebook page, “The Flame, 3780 Park Boulevard San Diego, California: “The club originally was called Garden of Allah in the 50’s and the word was it was connected to the mob. I n 1953 the building burned to the ground. In 1954 it was rebuilt and renamed “The Flame” and continued in the 50’s as a Steak House and a Burlesque Show….Jump forward to 1984 when it began its notorious run as a Lesbian Bar.”

Check out all of my photos of The Flame here:

—Gregory May via Facebook

I am thrilled to learn that the property has been sold. Hillcrest’s famed Egyptian Quarter is being reignited with life –– both through The Flame and the Mr. Robinson project. Hillcrest has the potential to be a world class city, and I hope more of these projects continue to come to Hillcrest.

P.S. The new project at Eighth and Washington is coming along great too. I’m curious what name they chose through their “Name This Project” contest.

—Eddie Rey of the LGBT Visitors Center via Facebook

This is good news! With existing businesses like HEAT and NUMBERS, the resurgence of the Flame building with residential and a new bar downstairs can really revitalize Hillcrest’s Egyptian Quarter! Looking forward to seeing what’s to come.

—Benny Cartwright via Facebook

This is good news!

I would like to see the building that Numbers occupies across the street get remodeled and opened up with windows so that it is more inviting and provides more interest on Park Boulevard.

—Richard Barry via Facebook

The Craftsman, pros and cons

Re: The Craftsmen awaits his wake [Volume 7, Issue 20 or]

I know from experience that Mr. Domeier is right in saying that the city of San Diego makes it much too hard to repair, update or replace old rundown buildings in old neighborhoods. We’re in the middle of a major remodel of our old house, replacing a crumbling foundation, cracked floor beams, old electric, old plumbing, termite-eaten wood, and repairing major structural problems; but the historical staff almost didn’t allow the project.

The city does have their priorities wrong. They need to allow normal change and growth in old San Diego neighborhoods.

Mr. Domeier is also right in saying that Craftsman houses usually lack a separation between public and private spaces. When you open the front door to a salesman or politician, they can see at a glance everyone sitting in the living room and what you’re watching on TV. It is awkward.

Sharon Gehl via Facebook

My spouse and I felt compelled to write in response to Eric Domeier’s opinion piece on Craftsman houses.  A number of other people have written in to refute some things in Mr. Domeier’s article, but a few things have not been mentioned.

It’s true that most Craftsmen homes were not originally insulated. However, to tear them down because they’re not insulated is to throw the baby out with the bathwater!

That situation can be remedied, and has been in the case of many houses.

I personally have spent days up in my attic, painstakingly insulating every square inch and putting down rough flooring as well.

True, lead paint was used in the oldest layers of paint, which is why we’re not allowed to sand it, only scrape it or just paint over it.  What’s more damaging to public health: (a) demolishing the house and thus exposing some of the old paint to the elements, or (b) leaving the paint trapped where it is? We think ‘b’ is safer.

Next we feel that our house is indeed “an emotional refuge with a properly designed buffer zone between street and home.” That’s why we bought it. It also reminded us of our grandparents’ houses. With so many associations to childhood memories, it gives us a sense of place and of belonging, a true feeling of home.

Our front door leads to a foyer, then the living room. There is a wonderful, not alienating, juxtaposition between outside and inside, between public and private spaces. Far from our interior being “of a size and configuration that makes living awkward at best,” nearly all visitors to our house comment that we “have so much useable space!” Some of these visitors live in modern high-rise or suburban housing, possibly even the types that Mr. Dormeier advocates.

In addition to confusing a Craftsman with historic designation and with homes covered by the Mills act, Mr. Dormeier disregards the reason that homeowners actively seek to have their homes so designated: lower property taxes!

Whereas he’s advocating raising our property taxes. If you destroy your house to build a modern building, your property tax is guaranteed to be significantly higher because it’s assessed at the value of the new building (any benefits from Prop 13 on your original house won’t carry over).

Finally, we fail to see how our home is “100 percent contrary to our current priorities.”

Au contraire, we feel that our house is so in line with our priorities that we could easily retire in it.

We shudder to live in a neighborhood that has been remade in Mr. Dormeier’s vision.

We suspect it will be something like the southeast corner of Robinson and 10th. Originally there was a Craftsman, with a white picket fence, trees, and a porch with a swing. A woman who loved that little house bought it, ripped out the carpet, and restored the hardwoods and the interior. Then she had to move to another state, and sold the house. It was torn down, replaced by a two-story, modern, metal monstrosity.

Gone are the original trees, the porch, the swing, and a proper transition space in which the residents could hang out and interact with passersby. It is, to us, an unlovely property whose design excludes neighbors and visitors.

Thus, it seems that Mr. Dormeier is discounting the main appeal of the Craftsman: the beauty that many of us find in a street lined with these homes.

—Elisabeth Fidler of University Heights via email

I hoped plenty of others would express what I felt about this silly, misinformed article. Thank you all!

Oh, look at the architect’s website:

Do you see any examples of work there? Only a bunch of sketches of boxes and cubes. No thanks.

—Don Lexan via Facebook

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