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Uptown community groups give thumbs down to city's land-use draft

SAN DIEGO, California -- Uptown Planners and various community groups have spoken in unison: No “density bonus” in the proposed Uptown Community Plan update. But will city planners listen?

The Uptown Community Plan — which guides development in Park West, Bankers Hill, Hillcrest, Mission Hills, Medical District, Middletown and the western half of University Heights — is being updated by the city for the first time since 1988. The updated plan will have a major impact on these neighborhoods for the next 25 years.

A discussion about “incentive zoning” and “density bonus” drew heated comments at a special meeting of the Uptown Planners advisory group on July 21 in the Great Room at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Bankers Hill.

Senior city planner Marlon Pangilinan gave a presentation on the draft of the land-use element of the plan, and a majority of both the audience and the Uptown Planners gave him an earful of comments critical of the proposed “incentive zoning” that would allow taller buildings and increased density in some areas, including Bankers Hill and eastern Hillcrest, in exchange for public amenities such as plazas and parks.

In 2004, city planners embraced the City of Villages concept to encourage urban micro-clusters of mixed-use development near transit and commercial hubs. The goal is to reduce the environmental effects of development by creating neighborhoods that encourage residents to walk, bicycle or use public transportation instead of cars.

Read the full story on SDGLN media partner San Diego Uptown News HERE.