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Land Use and Zoning (height and density allowances) have not been included in the Draft of the Morena Specific Plan that is scheduled for Environmental Review this May. As a result, no written or effective guarantee has been included in the Plan to maintain the 30ft Height limit or limits on units per acre. Planning Commissioner Chairman Hasse has made a formal recommendation that Land Use and Zoning be included in the Draft Specific Plan PRIOR to environmental review in order to “provide certainty not only for the community and what they will see, but also certainty for the private land owners and developers.” Read the transcript of this interchange: Chairman Hasse Comments.
A community-wide campaign getting Land Use and Zoning included in the Draft Specific Plan PRIOR to the Plan’s submission for Environmental Review. This will force the City Planning Dept to continue the process of finalizing the Morena Specific Plan by fall of 2017 as originally scheduled, guaranteeing that the 30Ft height limit is maintained and the allowance of new living units is reasonable and in step with community desires.
WHAT CAN WE DO NOW?
Your signature matters! With the success of Raise The Balloon’s email petition to the SANDAG Board members, SANDAG’s eminent domain lawsuit against Protea was overturned and a unanimous decision was obtained in support of a development the community stands behind.
Once again your help is needed by signing 2 email petitions we are currently drafting that will guarantee that Land Use and Zoning will be reinstated into the Morena Specific Plan and finalized by the end of this year.
Petition #1 will be emailed to all of the Commissioners on the Planning Commission informing them that the community agrees with their recommendation to include Land Use and Zoning in the Specific Plan PRIOR to submission for environmental review.
Petition #2 will be emailed to Councilmember Zapf and Mayor Faulconer to instruct Planning Director, Jeff Murphy, to include Land Use and Zoning in the Specific Plan PRIOR to Environmental Analysis.
WHAT’S AT STAKE IF WE ARE UNSUCCESSFUL?
IN A NUTSHELL; The Land Use and Zoning portion of the Specific Plan will be included, instead, in the process of the update of the Clairemont Community Plan. That update will take a minimum of 3 years to complete before it’s final draft is voted upon by the San Diego City Council. In the original vote taken by the CCPG in February of 2014 on whether the height limit should remain, 6 members voted to maintain it, 2 voted against maintaining it.
Waiting for approval from the new Clairemont Community Plan Update on the final decision over Land Use and Zoning could mean that we run the risk of losing any community control of heights or density limits for the 1/2 mile radius around the Clairemont Drive, Tecolote Road, Balboa Ave, and existing Morena Vista trolley stations as City Staff continues to stall ( by removing it from the final Morena Specific Plan) and seek other ways to avoid guaranteeing height and density limits until 2020 or beyond.
We are also under pressure from the California State Legislators who are writing and submitting new bills to remove TOD sites (in our case, the 1/2 mile radius around every trolley station) from any community jurisdiction (local Community Planning Groups). These bills seek to override the local planning group process in order to streamline approval of “affordable” housing.
Watch the video (below) of the Planning Commission update of the Morena Specific Plan and you will instantly realize that the mandate for TOD (Transit Oriented Development) is something that the Planning Commission will enforce to its MAXIMUM ability. Public input will be of little or no consequence once the Morena Specific Plan goes before the Planning Commission for a vote after the environmental review process is completed.
Planning Commission Meeting Analysis
What we can expect from Planning Commission!
Michael Prinz, the lead senior Planner for the Morena Corridor presented an informational update of the Morena Specific Plan to the Commissioners of the City’s Planning Commission on Thursday, April 20th. (Video of Meeting) We encourage every resident to view it in order to understand what’s in store for density proposals for both the Clairemont and Linda Vista portions that make up the MSP boundaries.
The Commissioners are adamant about getting as much housing as possible no matter what the impact to height limits, roadways, parking,etc!
Please pay particular attention to Chairman Hasse when he questions Tate Galloway, Program Manager for Long Range Planning, City of SD Planning Dept regarding why Land Use and Zoning was not included in the MSP and going forward into the EIR process.
The Chair, after listening to City Staff response, states that it should be included and made a formal recommendation that it be included. Read the transcription of this interchange: Chairman Hasse Comments
Hasse’s final statement sums up why RTB is adamant about Land Use and Zoning be returned to the Ad-Hoc Subcommittee, and included in the Draft Plan going forward to environmental review:
“But to the degree that we can, eh, with a Specific Plan, complete that work so that we don’t have to go back through this process again. Part of that is to give the community a guarantee. That if you do it this way, then there’s certainty not only for the community and what they will see, but also certainty for the private land owners and developers.”
The normal process for a specific plan update is that all elements of the plan, especially Land Use and Zoning (height and density allowances), are included in the draft Plan that is submitted for initial environmental review. Excluding any element means that it must go through another process of environmental review at a later time; a cost of taxpayer dollars that Chairman Hasse is attempting to avoid.