3 Strategies for Preventing More Traffic and Parking Problems in University Heights

By Kristin Harms, Resident of University Heights

1. Oppose Density Bonus for Park Boulevard Neighborhood Commercial Area (Uptown and North Park Planning Areas)

Recommendation: Oppose any density bonus for the Neighborhood Commercial areas (currently 0-29 du/ac) on both sides of Park Blvd. from Adams Avenue to Meade Avenue, that would allow for up to an additional 15 du/ac (30 to 44 du/ac). Maintain the designation as Neighborhood Commercial (currently 0-29 du/ac) on both sides of Park Blvd. without any density bonus.

Rationale: Parking is already significantly impacted in this area and there are few, if any, options for adding additional parking. As one of the biggest community complaints in UH, there is no public amenity that could compensate for the additional parking impacts from increased density.

2. Oppose Increased Density and Density Bonus for Church Property on Park Blvd. (North Park Planning Area)

Recommendation: Oppose the City’s Community Commercial (0-73 du/ac) designation and any density bonuses for this area on Park Blvd. between Meade and El Cajon Blvd., directly across from Birney School Joint Use Field. The site is currently occupied by a church, parking lot, and two dwelling units. In May 2013, the community proposed Neighborhood Commercial (0-29 du/ac) for this area but the City is proposing Community Commercial (0-73 du/ac) as well as a density bonus that would allow for up to an additional 36 du/ac (74-109 du/ac). As supported by the community in May 2013, designate this area as Neighborhood Commercial (0-29 du/ac), without any density bonus.

Rationale: This area is located directly across from Birney Elementary School and abuts the southern boundary of the historic neighborhood commercial area along Park Blvd. from Adams Avenue to Meade. The significantly increased density proposed by the City is completely inappropriate for this location because of potential traffic hazards for school children, increased westbound traffic through University Heights, additional parking impacts in an area already deficient in parking, and because such high density is completely out of character with the rest of the low to moderate density along Park Blvd. between Adams and El Cajon Blvd. Like Area 2 below, allowing such density on this property would set a precedent for similar density along Park Blvd. north of El Cajon Blvd. At the community workshop in May 2013, the majority of participants agreed that higher density is appropriate along El Cajon Blvd. but not for this parcel.

3. Oppose Increased Density and Density Bonus for Parcel on San Diego Unified School District Complex (Uptown Planning Area)

Recommendation: Oppose any density bonus for the small parcel located at the northeast corner of the San Diego Unified School District complex. While the City reduced the land use designation from Community Commercial (0-73 du/ac) to Community Commercial (0-44 du/ac), they are proposing a density bonus that will allow up to an additional 29 du/ac (45-73 du/ac). As recommended by the community in May 2013, reduce the designation for this parcel to Office Commercial (0-29 du/ac), without any density bonus, and address any proposed development in the future for this parcel and the rest of the San Diego Unified School District complex with a site plan and community plan amendment.

Rationale: Allowing additional density in this area would set a precedent for development of the rest of the San Diego Unified School District complex, which would be hard, if not impossible, to overcome if and when the site becomes available for development.

See the latest blog post for more information and suggestions for taking action.

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