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SoNo Neighborhood Alliance
June 2021 News

June North Park Planning Committee Meeting Cancelled

This notice went out Monday, June 14, at 9:24 am: “The NPPC June 15, 2021 meeting has been cancelled. The decision was made to cancel given a lack of information/action items for the month of June. All scheduled subcommittee meetings and full board meetings will resume as normal in July.”

30th Street Parking Removal Begins June 20


Look for “No Parking” signs and red-painted curbs up and down 30th starting soon to make way for two bike lanes just blocks away from the Utah Street bike lanes. And share your views about how this will impact residents, small businesses, and rental properties along the historic North Park corridor by contacting Mayor Gloria and Councilmember Whitburn at:, 619-236-6330, 619-236-6633

Takeaways from Greater Golden Hill
Planning Meeting

July Preview for Toni: Let’s Bring Financial Reality into Housing Debate

State Senator Toni Atkins, whose SB 9 would pack more housing units into single family lots, couldn’t attend the meeting as scheduled, so she will join the August meeting. Here, from statements by two Board members, is what she can expect to hear:
So far, all we’ve seen is housing prices go up, up, up, and flip, flip, flip, and nothing affordable. A monstrous 7-story high-rise got extra height because it has one affordable studio. Toni Atkins has been working on this issue for quite some time, but it doesn’t seem anything has been successful. I just got an email from Zillow that my little house is worth over $700,000. Some developer could come in and put up four units, and each one would cost over $1 million.”
“In my neighborhood, small investor groups are buying up every single house and flipping it immediately, and big developers are building high-rise condos. The solutions our government put out are not rooted in financial reality. You hear this theory, “More density means more affordable housing.” It does not. I’m tired of that myth being peddled. It hurts homeowners while developers and foreign investors keep making money hand over fist off San Diego real estate. So I would like some accountability. How will Senator Atkins’ bill actually, not theoretically, give us affordable housing?”

 Parks Master Plan: Tough Luck, Golden Hill


A City plan to reduce investment in open green space by shifting funds to “recreational elements” is supposed to favor what City Hall has chosen as “Communities of Concern.” For reasons unclear, Golden Hill didn’t make the cut, prompting these comments from a Board member:

I feel that Golden Hill is getting shafted. We’re not identified as a ‘Community of Concern’ even though we have no parkland in our community and we have no significant park access. The City’s map indicates that in almost every place in Golden Hill, you can walk to a park in 10 minutes. Anybody who lives here knows that’s not true. Did they measure as the crow flies and forget that we have canyons we’d have to cross?”

The speaker added that Golden Hill, a diverse and largely disadvantaged community, has a long history of being overlooked in resource allocation. “We’re being pushed way down on the priority list when it’s taken us 30 years just to get to a 60-percent design on Golf Course Drive.” By a vote of 11-1, the Board passed a motion that calls on City Hall to “designate as a priority ‘Communities of Concern’ and economically disadvantaged and underserved neighborhoods for funding, acquisition, and development of Parks and Recreation facilities.”

Food for Thought:
“A Lava Stream of Opposition”

In an open letter to all nine Council members about “the high-handed approach of some politicians to zoning and density,” Jim Varnadore observed this:

“Starting at the ocean, going Eastward parallel to and just South of Mission Valley, there’s a ribbon of middle-class America in communities from Sunset Cliffs, through Old Town, the ‘Heights’ and upper North Park, KenTal, College, to Del Cerro and now even Grantville. Folks there won’t be happy with the loss of local control over their zoning and density; count on that.  The same will obtain in communities North of M.C.A.S. Miramar, once called North City West and Future Urbanizing Area.

“Looking at the intermediate future, I wouldn’t like to be a candidate for City Council running in that lava stream of opposition. Remember; a conservative voter is a former liberal voter whose neighbor built an ADU and transformed it into a Short Term Vacation Rental.”

Jim resides in City Heights, which he describes as “America’s finest community.

COMING SOON:  SoNo’s next news blast will include an inventory of more than 40 vacant storefronts along the 30th Street business corridor (including central cross-streets). This will serve as a baseline metric of North Park’s economic health as the COVID shutdown is being lifted and before all street parking on 30th is removed to install two bike lanes.  

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