Due to today’s housing crisis, it seems west coast cities are taking on Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY) opposition that has stymied new projects and developments via polarizing and protracted public processes. These ‘no-growth’ individuals group together out of an innate fear of change to stop planned development intended to benefit their larger community. In my hometown of San Diego, these polarizing projects range from bicycle lanes, stadiums, house rentals, and to building more homes to address our housing crisis. Their innate ‘fear of change’ response to anything new creates an ethical challenge for every major city trying to build housing or transit.Continue Reading How to Program Social Equity into Planning Sustainable Communities
transit oriented development
The San Diego Region will struggle in every neighborhood to accommodate the population growth forecasted by SANDAG – as many as a million new residents by 2050. San Diego already has a widely-recognized housing shortage that results in major annual price increases and undermines the city’s climate action plan as commuters go farther afield in search of affordability. The problem will only get worse unless we take bold steps to sensibly accommodate this inevitable growth.Continue Reading Support the Morena Corridor Specific Plan
Do you love parks and trains? What do you think about a train-themed park? As a park planner and a train lover, I must say that I am a fan of Station Square Park in the City of Monrovia. This new park is located adjacent to the Monrovia Gold Line Station, which was constructed as part of the Gold Line Foothill Extension project and opened on March 5, 2016. Continue Reading Station Square Park: Monrovia’s Newest Park
California’s Bay Area housing disaster tells Southern Californians that our housing crisis will only get worse and doing nothing is both an irrational and irresponsible response. We are faced with deciding to have more neighbors or pay more taxes as we desperately need money to fix our city’s crumbling infrastructure. The conundrum is that we despise taxes and the mere mention of ‘density’ polarizes any discussion into either demands for no new growth or building tall towers.
I believe answers to meet San Diego’s housing demand are found in the following two-tier approach:Continue Reading Its not Smart Growth… It’s Called Avoiding a Housing Crisis
Nobody likes uncertainty. Certainly not the developers of a billion dollar mixed-use project that encounters community opposition due to traffic impacts. Nor the public transportation agency that runs into fairy shrimp on the future route of a trolley line. Nor the city planners for multifamily housing around a transit station that face a revolt from their single-family neighbors.Continue Reading In Defense of Uncertainty
For the last half century, cities have attempted to repair the damage to their urban cores from migration to suburbs and exurbs. Redevelopment has evolved into smart growth, transit oriented development, and complete streets. In the last 15 years or so, the urban renewal efforts have had a receptive audience as people, tired of the car oriented lifestyle of the suburbs, are returning to urban cores and older urban neighborhoods. However, while cities get the big picture, too often in my 25 years as a land use attorney, I have seen the same mistakes repeated.Continue Reading 6 Common Mistakes Made By Cities and Towns in Urban Renewal.
Trust in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is defined as the “belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective.” Sadly, on numerous occasions, the City of Santa Monica and some their residents have proven that they cannot be trusted. Continue Reading You Cannot Trust Santa Monica
Last night was the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s (SDAF) first “Context” event, which featured a discussion between Darlene Shiley, Dr. Irwin Jacobs, and Robert Wellington Quigley about the process that brought the new Central Library to fruition, and its implication for future civic projects in San Diego.Continue Reading SDAF First ‘Context’ Event, with Jacobs, Shiley, and Quigley, Enjoyable and Enlightening
The Urban Discovery School, currently located in the Banker’s Hill neighborhood just north of downtown San Diego, is proposing a move to a new location in downtown’s East Village. The project involves some welcome adaptive reuse and will allow the school to grow to 450 students. The school’s is nearing the end of its term at its current location. The new site is owned by the San Diego Community College District. Urban Discovery School has negotiated a 99 year lease which will go to the College District Board for approval on April 17, 2014. The site is the block bounded by 13th & 14th Avenues and E & F Streets, near the planned Village Green park. The Civic San Diego staff report summarizes the project as follows:
A revised Pinnacle project for 11th & Broadway is in design review at Civic San Diego. The main difference seems to be that the developer now proposes to relocate (by 50′) the historically designated Hamilton Apartments rather than demolish them as had been previously approved by the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) in 2012. An act of enlightenment and altruism, or an act pragmatism (i.e. to avoid litigation or utilize tax credits)? The Civic San Diego staff report doesn’t say. In any case, preserving historical resources and adaptively reusing existing structures can only be a good thing for downtown’s diversities of architecture, people, and uses. The staff report to the Civic San Diego Real Estate Committee summarizes the project: Continue Reading Revised 11th & Broadway Pinnacle Project in Design Review – San Diego