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'Hillcrest 111' building may see a setback

Uptown Planners vote 9-5 to repeal the construction of 111-unit, 92-foot tall structure at the corner of Seventh and Robinson.
Photo credit:
Architects Orange

A new building project in Hillcrest was the main focus of a heated Uptown Planners meeting on Tuesday.

The group voted 9-5 to repeal the construction of the 111-unit, 92-foot tall structure at the corner of Seventh and Robinson reports The San Diego Reader.

Both the community and Uptown members are concerned about certain aspects of the project.

The Planners want the structure to incorporate solar panels and make room for more parking in the neighborhood.

“There's a lot of built-up angst in this community and you're seeing it," said Michael Brennan, who doesn’t want the appeal. "This is almost a stick in their eye..... This will accomplish nothing but delay the project and the housing we need.”

Angry neighbors say they had no idea that a project of this scope was being planned until recently.

"People are outraged over this inappropriate development in our neighborhood," said neighbor Ann Garwood. "We raised $15,000 in two hours (to look at legal action against the project). That's a pretty strong message."

Called Hillcrest 111, the building would sacrifice parking for more affordable housing. Out of the 111 units, nine would be dedicated to these tenants.

Jim Ivory of Greystar, a nationwide property development and management company, said there will be 190 parking spaces available, an aspect that was already approved by the planner’s design review committee.

The planner’s appeal is aimed at making the structure ‘step back’ from the sidewalk; each consecutive floor receding from the previous. This would give the building a softer façade, but also sacrifice square footage at each interval.

“It's going to go straight up 92 feet from the sidewalk," said Tom Mullaney, who presented the appeal to the group. "I want this decided at a public hearing."

Graystar says they cannot incorporate this “step back” design because it would sacrifice building capacity with low income housing being the first to go.

As far as parking, the company says they have already exceeded the requirement made by the city, but they are still considering the solar panel idea.

The vote to appeal means the group only has 12 days to do so, otherwise the project will go on as planned.