North Park Community Plan Update News

Comments Due July 28th on Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR)

Comments on the North Park Community Plan Update Community Plan Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) are due this Thursday, July 28th. Soon thereafter, staff will prepare the PEIR response to comments followed by the decision-maker hearings:

  • Historic Resources Board (Currently scheduled for August 25, 2016)
  • Planning Commission (Currently scheduled for September 15, 2016)
  • Smart Growth and Land Use Committee (To Be Scheduled)
  • City Council (To Be Scheduled)

Community Groups and Members Submit Comments on PEIR

The North Park Historical Society and UH community activist Kristin Harms have submitted detailed letters of comment on the draft PEIR. Some key comments include:

  • “Based on our review, we find that the PEIR is not a sufficient informative document for decision makers and the public as required by California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines Section 15151, which states in part, “An EIR should be prepared with a sufficient degree of analysis to provide decision makers with information which enables them to make a decision which intelligently takes account of environmental consequences…The courts have looked not for perfection but for adequacy, completeness, and a good faith effort at full disclosure.” (NPHS)
  • “The PEIR states that there are no clear-cut areas of controversy. This is false. The North Park Historical Society, University Heights Historical Society, University Heights Community Development Corporation, University Heights Community Association, and Principal of Birney Elementary School have written multiple letters objecting to the density proposed for the site at 4353 Park Blvd., as well as density bonus proposed for the Pedestrian-Oriented Infill Development Enhancement Program area.” (Kristin Harms)
  • “With the significant increases in density proposed for the site at 4353 Park Blvd., the Pedestrian-Oriented Infill Development Enhancement Program area, the Transit-Oriented Development Enhancement Program Area, and other areas throughout North Park, Section 6.3.1.6 Alternative Transportation Facilities, starting on page 6.3-17 does not adequately address pedestrian or bicycle safety.” (Kristin Harms)
  • “The Pedestrian-Oriented Infill Development Enhancement Program area is home to vulnerable low-income and minority populations who would be disproportionately impacted by displacement. (Census Tract 13.00 has much higher percentages of minorities and low-income residents than in the County as a whole, and Census Tract 9.00 has a much higher percentage of low-income residents.) At least 1,740 relatively affordable housing units could be lost due to the program, and more than 3,600 people may be displaced who may not be able to afford to move into other housing within the community.” (NPHS)
  • “By specifically targeting relatively affordable housing in an area with high minority and low-income populations, the Pedestrian-Oriented Infill Development Enhancement Program is in direct conflict with San Diego General Plan direction regarding Environmental Justice and violates federal Executive Order 12898 which sets the U.S. EPA definition of Environmental Justice as fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all peoples, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income.” (NPHS)
  • “The city is not requiring any of the replacement units in the Pedestrian-Oriented Infill Development Enhancement Program area to be affordable because developers may pay an in-lieu fee if they choose. This will worsen the City’s already severe deficit in affordable housing.” (NPHS)
  • “Structures built to the allowable density of 73 du/ac under the Pedestrian-Oriented Infill Development Enhancement Program in an area of historic-age single family homes and low-rise two-story apartment complexes would result in a substantial change in bulk and scale to North Park’s existing authentic historic neighborhood character. This is a significant impact no amount of setbacks or design features can avoid.” (NPHS)

Frustrated Residents Form Environmental Justice League

The proposed density bonus for the Pedestrian-Oriented Infill Development Enhancement Program has been an area of controversy since it was first proposed by the City Planning Department in January 2016 and approved in concept by the North Park Planning Committee the same month.

Despite repeated attempts to work with the North Park Planning Committee and the City Planning Department to remove the density bonus from their neighborhood, frustrated residents living in the area have formed the Environmental Justice League of San Diego (EJLSD) and hired an attorney.

According to the EJLSD’s Facebook page, “The Pedestrian-Oriented Infill Development Enhancement Program area is home to vulnerable low-income and minority populations who would be disproportionately impacted by displacement. (Census Tract 13 has much higher percentages of minorities and low-income residents than in the County as a whole, and Census Tract 9 has a much higher percentage of low-income residents.) At least 1,740 relatively affordable housing units could be lost due to the program, and more than 3,600 people may be displaced who may not be able to afford to move into other housing within the community.

By specifically targeting relatively affordable housing in an area with high minority and low-income populations, the Pedestrian-Oriented Infill Development Enhancement Program is in direct conflict with San Diego General Plan direction regarding Environmental Justice and violates federal Executive Order 12898 which sets the U.S. EPA definition of Environmental Justice as fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all peoples, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income.”

For more information, please visit their Facebook page or click here to contribute to their legal fund.

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