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SayNo! Quality of Life Survey

SayNo! Quality of Life Survey

Andrew Bowen from KPBS posted a link on twitter recently to the SoNo Neighborhood Alliance Quality of Life Survey that closes on 1/31 and will be presented to city officials.  Several people who responded noted the leading nature of the questions in the survey – here are a few of the tweets:

The questions are indeed a bit biased.  But that’s not surprising, considering the group opposes new housing, bike lanes and businesses that don’t meet their criteria – despite promising to “to work together” with all residents.  So I thought it would be fun to take some of the survey questions and describe SoNo’s (SayNo’s) likely underlying meaning.  Enjoy!

Please indicate the extent that the following issues cause problems in your South Park North Park (SoNo) neighborhood 
(Not a Problem/Somewhat of a Problem/A Very Big Problem/Not Sure):

1a. Lack of City adherence to Code Compliance and Zoning for residential and commercial properties (No Airbnb in our neighborhood!)

1b. Lack of bike lanes on roadways (Remember when we called safe bike lanes ‘social engineering’? [video])

1c. Increased Housing density (i.e., “Densification”) (We got ours… our children will just have to live somewhere else.)

1d. Preservation of Historic Character (If calling something historic can prevent new housing, then it’s historic.)

1e. Lack of efficient public transportation (We’d never actually ride public transit, but we sure will use it as an excuse to prevent development.)

1f. Lack of affordable housing/rental units (See (1c), (1d), and (1e).  Also, not building any housing somehow creates more affordable housing.)

1g. Non-permitted Marijuana Businesses (75% of our neighborhood voted to legalize marijuana, but residents should drive to an industrial park in Kearny Mesa to buy it.)

1h. Lack of parking on streets (My garage is for storage, not for parking my car – the City should pay for that.  And this is *way* more important than (1f).)

1j. Too many places that serve alcohol (bars, restaurants, night clubs) (North Park was better when we had to drive to Hillcrest because there was nowhere to eat or drink.)

1k. Too few publicly accessible “Green Spaces” (i.e., Parks, Community Gardens) (Even though our neighborhoods are literally right next to the largest urban cultural park in the country.)

1l. Too much vehicle traffic (SD County has 3 million residents, and we live 5 minutes from downtown, but there should be no rush hour congestion… just like every other thriving city.)

1m. Too little representation from Residents, when decisions are made that affect your neighborhood (Only retired ‘R’esidents who can make 6PM Community Planning meetings will decide our neighborhoods’ future.)

Please indicate whether or not you support the following 
(Support/Do Not Support/Don’t Know):

2a. Dispersing affordable housing throughout the city of San Diego (Keeping the poors out of North Park is ‘progressive’.)

2c. A law to hold irresponsible liquor store, bar and restaurant owners accountable for alcohol-related crimes linked to their business practices. (We got a little excited there)

2d. Increasing bicycle lane access on roadways (Roads are for cars!)

2e. More enforcement of zoning restrictions and code compliance for residential and commercial properties (Seriously – did you not get what we were saying in (1a)?)

2f. Densification (Increased Housing Density) (Density belongs downtown!)

2g. Preserving green space (Parks, Community Gardens) (We can’t name a park or community garden that was removed, but we’re really throwing everything against the wall here.)

2h. Stricter penalties for owners/operators of unpermitted marijuana businesses (You will drive far for your disgusting habit hippies – and you will like it.)

2i. A law that requires a residential permit to park in residential areas (Residential parking permits will remain just $14/year, far below the true cost, and continue to be subsidized by other City taxpayers.)

2j. Increased access to public transportation (We demand a trolley that we can later oppose because of construction impacts.)

2k. Building infrastructure before density (i.e., facilities, mass transit alternatives, green space) (We are against the very thing – density – required for the ‘mass’ part of ‘mass transit alternatives’.)

2l. An ordinance that requires the preservation of Historic Structures (A parking lot is a historic structure, right?  Yes, it is. [link])

2m. An ordinance that requires equal representation (Parity) between Residents/Community Members and Businesses on Neighborhood Planning Committees and Councils (But we strongly oppose an ordinance that requires equal representation for young residents and renters. See (1m).)

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest

Sunset lights up the western edge of downtown

I mentioned Tajima’s new spot on Adams near 30th in a recent post, and we dropped in there last month:

Ramen is the focus at this location, and Jay’s order didn’t disappoint.  They also do small dishes; I’ve been on a poke binge recently (we really enjoyed the bowls at Poke One N Half in North Park) and their spicy tuna rice bowl hit the spot without inducing a food coma for the rest of the evening.  The interior is definitely unpretentious – there was still construction dust in the exposed beams next to our table – and the combination of inexpensive prices, simple but delicious food, and craft beer made us wish we had a Tajima even closer to us.  Hey, the Ken Video/VidaJuice space is up for rent again…

Mr. Moto Pizza is close to opening in the former Stuff n Thangs on 30th in North Park:

People appear to love the NY-style pizza at their Pacific Beach location… We walked by Moto after brunch on the sunny patio at Dunedin down the street.  It was our first time back there since we had dinner shortly after they opened last summer, and I’m still amazed at the makeover they did on the former Eddie’s space.  I’m also really impressed by the interior courtyard at the North Park Post Office Lofts (the pictures at that link are better than any of mine) and the design of the already-popular Tribute Pizza there.  The Foundation For Form architects responsible for NPPOL are also finishing up Earnest on 30th just south of El Cajon Boulevard:

We hadn’t been to their You Are Here mixed-use project in Golden Hill since it was finishing up construction four years ago.  It also features a unique courtyard:    

…and a Dark Horse outpost that was celebrating their first anniversary in the space.

Back in North Park, construction at the 35-unit residential project Habitat at 31st is coming along (rendering from Uptown News):

In its rendering, the side of Habitat facing 31st (shown above) reminds me of the North Parker’s design, minus the street-level commercial spaces.

The historic Newman building on University, formerly home to Claire de Lune, is sporting a fresh paint job for incoming Latin restaurant Tamarindo:

Over in Little Italy, site prep work continues for the 129-unit mixed use project AV8 on Kettner, which will incorporate the former building’s facade:

Mish Mash opened last year in the Mercado in Barrio Logan, next door to Iron Fist’s tasting room:

Mish Mash’s specialty is burgers, but their menu also includes interesting items like vegan tempeh tacos and pork belly bites.  They’ve got a variety of beers on tap if Iron Fist’s aren’t up your alley.  And you can top it all off with with homemade ice cream or Mexican shaved ice raspados at Tocumbo across the parking lot.  

We followed that up with a visit to Northgate Gonzalez market across the way.  I’m embarrassed to admit it was my first visit, so I’d never purchased items from their awesome ceviche and salsa counter.

What is going on at Antique Row Cafe… or “The Row Cafe“, as it’s apparently called now:

Jonathan Segal’s 54-unit Park and Polk project has started construction:

Can’t write a housing post without kvetching about our unaffordability crisis:

  • Wired noted that the middle class can’t afford to live in cities anymore: 

    (The) problem stems largely from strict zoning laws that restrict building new housing, and the not-in-my-backyard mindsets of homeowners who oppose affordable housing initiatives.

  • Governing observed how solutions to housing shortages are blocked by “homeowner groups who dislike the impacts of new development and have a vested interest in discouraging it to keep their own home values high”.  They interviewed local YIMBY and Uptown Planner Maya Rosas, who pointed out that much of this board is dominated by residents opposed to new housing.  If we can’t pull the plug on obstructionist community planning groups, I’m hopeful that the City will continue to ignore them – as they did with the Uptown Community Plan Update.  
  • When people donate to Soho San Diego’s mission of historic preservation, do they realize their money is instead going toward lawsuits forcing the City to downzone transit-oriented urban neighborhoods? Overturning the Uptown Community Plan Update, which retains overall housing density from the 1988 Plan (and actually downzones many Uptown residential areas), will worsen our housing problem – period.  Please, when you consider which organizations deserve your charitable donations, choose groups that increase, not decrease, equity. SOHO San Diego and Mission Hills Heritage represent the self-interests (free street parking, traffic and property value profits) of wealthy Uptown residents who seek to exclude others from their communities.
  • With the Chargers gone, the vast empty parking lot of Qualcomm stadium seems like a great opportunity to help address our housing crisis.  
  • The LA Times had an interesting piece on penalizing communities that refuse to build new housing.
  • UC San Diego is adding 1470 new beds for graduate students (nice!) and a 1200 space parking garage (because “Sustainability is in our DNA“).  At $25K/space, that’s around $20 million toward parking for a generation that’s writing off car ownership.  Since more than half of UCSD students will continue to live in expensive off-campus housing even after the above project is completed, why not use that money to build more housing at the site instead?