North Park Planning Committee Election this Tuesday, March 21

From the SoNo Neighborhood Alliance

SoNo Neighborhood Alliance strongly encourages eligible residents to participate and vote in the upcoming  North Park Planning Committee (NPPC) elections.   Here is some important information you should know.

Voting Location

Tuesday, March 21
Elections begins at 6:15pm
2901 North Park Way
View requirements and agenda here

North Park Voting Qualifications

  • Anyone voting must provide photo ID – no exceptions.  Even if they know you they won’t give you a ballot without it.
  • You must have already established voting eligibility – click on voting qualification button above.
  • Vote for candidate you know will represent your interests in our community.
  • If you are unsure if you are eligible to vote or run for the election or have any other questions please contact the NPPC Chair Vicki Granowitz at or call 619-884-0008 anytime before Monday March 20 at 6 pm. Please only call between the hours of 9 am & 6 pm.

SoNo Voter Education Guide: 2017 North Park Planning Committee Candidates

Here is a roster of the 13 candidates for the nine open seats in the 2017 election with biographical background from the candidates themselves, LinkedIn pages, websites, and other public databases:

  • Jason Broad is currently Vice President, Performance Excellence at Sharp Grossmont Hospital. He has worked for the Sharp Healthcare system since 2003 and taught as an adjunct professor at USD’s Hahn School of Nursing.
  • Kate Callen is currently Senior Development Communications Writer at the National Conflict Resolution Center. She was previously a partner in the Cox & Associates Communications marketing firm and a speechwriter at the University of California.
  • Dionné Carlson (incumbent) is a past chair of NPPC’s Public Facilities, Transportation, Parks & Public Art Subcommittee, NPPC’s current liaison to the Adams Ave Business Assoc., managed an Industrial Design firm for many years, and now runs a specialty custom cabinetry business.
  • Kathleen Ferrier is currently Director of Advocacy for Circulate San Diego. She was previously Lead Project Consultant, Health Equity by Design for Walk San Diego, a Senior Planner at DeLorenzo Incorporated, and a Project Manager with Carter Reese & Associates.
  • Marc Gould is Vice president of Next Generation Investments, LLC. He is a developer of affordable housing.
  • Jonathan Herbert currently works in property management for H.G. Fenton Company. He has won two awards (2015 and 2011) from the San Diego County Apartment Association for his management of H.G. Fenton apartment complexes.
  • Peter Hill (incumbent) is a former corporate finance professional with over 10 years of volunteer experience serving North Park and the LGBT community in technical, board, and officer-level positions. He currently serves as Chair of the NPPC Urban Design & Project Review Subcommittee, and is incoming Chair of the Citizens’ Advisory Board for the North Park Maintenance Assessment District.
  • Megan Kucharski is a North Park homeowner. Her Twitter account includes a February 17 retweet of a Bike San Diego post, “Join Your Community Planning Group to Make San Diego a Better Place to Ride.”
  • Dang Nguyen (incumbent) is owner of Bar Pink and has served on the NPPC board for the past six years.   He has lived in the University Heights area of North Park with his 2 sons for many years.
  • Tim Taylor recently retired from his position as Chief Policy Advisor, City Council District 9. He was previously a Council Representative for Council District 7, a Land Use and Environmental Planner for the County of San Diego, and a Project Manager for Velocitel.
  • Sasha Varone and her husband, Chris Varone, are co-founders and principals of Studio Varone Architecture, Inc., a full-service architectural firm headquartered in downtown San Diego.
  • Eduardo Velasquez is currently a Research Manager at San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. He previously worked at Wells Fargo Bank as VP/Economist and a Risk Management Consultant for CLG Credit Risk.
  • René Vidales (incumbent) is a Civil Engineer and sustainability professional with experience in both the private and public sectors. He has contributed in writing two local AEP award publications for the County of San Diego and has given presentations on North Park at two national conferences.

Mission Hills Heritage Sues City Over Uptown Community Plan Update

Press Release

January 6, 2017

Mission Hills Heritage (619) 497-1193
Attorney – Everett DeLano of DeLano & DeLano (760) 510-1562

Mission Hills Heritage (MHH), a non-profit all-volunteer organization with a mission to preserve the historic character of the Mission Hills neighborhood of San Diego, has filed a legal challenge to the City’s approval of the Uptown Community Plan Update. Apparently bowing to pressure from development interests, the San Diego City Council adopted a last minute re-write of the Uptown Community Plan that had been in the making for over seven years. Only days before the City Council voted, the Planning Department threw out land use maps that had been developed through years of community input and replaced them with maps based on the old 1988 plan. Similarly, the environmental analysis underpinning the project was hastily recrafted to fit the revised plan without properly analyzing and addressing that plan’s numerous, unmitigated impacts on the community. And in an unprecedented move, the Planning Department ignored extensive recommendations from Uptown Planners, the City’s officially recognized community planning group for Uptown.

MHH’s primary concerns include the overturn of a 50′ height limit for the commercial core of Mission Hills that had been in place for over eight years, the new zoning and density approved for the Mission Hills neighborhood, and the lack of any mitigation of the impacts on potential districts and other historic resources in Mission Hills. Without even going door-to-door through the entire neighborhood, MHH had recently collected over 880 signatures on a petition supporting a permanent 50′ building height limit in the commercial core area, centered on the intersection of Washington Street and Goldfinch. MHH had requested the firm 50′ limit to prevent projects with inappropriate scale and height from irreversibly damaging the lower-scale character of Mission Hills. Instead, the City adopted a 100′ height limit for discretionary projects. Regarding the issue of the height limit, MHH president Jim Reily commented: “We were betrayed. Our community worked very hard over the past seven years to achieve a community plan that enabled smart growth while maintaining our community character. The City’s last minute doubling of the height limit to 100 feet will result in irreparable damage to our broad environment, including the community character, livability and the goals of the Climate Action Plan. We need this decision reversed.”

On the issue of historic resources, MHH board chairman Barry Hager noted: “Unlike the recently adopted community plans for North Park and Golden Hill, Mission Hills and the rest of Uptown have no enforceable timetable for implementing the identified potential historic districts. Mission Hills is one of the oldest, most intact early Twentieth Century neighborhoods in San Diego and the irreplaceable historic character of our community will continue to erode away under this new plan.”

The lawsuit filed by MHH consists of a CEQA lawsuit to challenge the environmental analysis underlying the City Council’s decision to adopt the new plan. Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) is a co-petitioner in this lawsuit. Both groups are represented by Everett L. DeLano III of the law firm of DeLano & DeLano. MHH hopes to work with the Planning Department and new City Attorney to resolve the issues raised in the action.

MHH welcomes donations to help defray the cost of the CEQA lawsuit. Information about MHH is at: MHH can be reached at or (619) 497-1193.uptown-land_use_11-16