Thursday, April 14, 2011

March 9, 2011 Minutes


March 9, 2011

Meeting Agenda is found in Attachment 1 at the end of these minutes.

Meeting was held at Balboa Park Golf Course Clubhouse – Golf Course Drive.

Architects for the You Are Here project were present before the meeting with designs of their project.

Meeting was called to order at 6:31 pm by Chair Pat Shields. Agenda had been posted in accordance with Brown Act. A quorum of members was present.

Members present: Ruchell Alvarez, Richard Baldwin, Carole Caffey, John Kroll, Richard Santini, Pat Shields, David Skillman, Marie Skillman, David Strickland, Angela Vasconcellos, Jessica Wolf Members absent: Maureen Burke

Addition/deletions to Agenda Consent agenda moved to Action Item at the request of Shields and Barbara and Tim Houlton

Treasurer’s Report: – did not pass the hat.


You Are Here, 811 25th Street, Project 227526

Shields explained that the committee would be voting on 2 items relating to the project, as recommended by the Land Use Subcommittee. Item A is approval of 2 deviations, and Item B is approval of the project design as a whole.

ITEM A. You Are Here, 811 25th Street, Project 227526

Shields read the information from the Land Use Subcommittee minutes (Attachment 2).

D Skillman moved, Strickland seconded, “To approve two deviations requested by applicant: 1) Interior side setback near 25th Street of 3’6” for levels 2 & 3, and 2) 48% facade variations for parapets and tower elements to exceed height limit.”

Public Comment: Barbara Houlton read a prepared statement. Houlton and her husband own property on Glendale, just east of the project.

“I feel that it is too soon for you to vote on this project. The decision you make tonight will be the planning committee decision. Whatever that is, it will go forward to the city. The city comments are not yet back. Our questions have not been resolved.

The developer has asked for two exemptions: side yard setback and decorative item exceeding the height limit. These are not our issues.

There are other issues. The city stated that an additional exemption is required for the F Street residential setback. The plans at the city show no setback. This is not resolved.

One issue is considered an incentive, not an exemption. The incentive is requested by the developer because 2 unites out of 22 are provided as low income housing. This exemption should not be granted because:

The Planned District Ordinance, a legal municipal code for Golden Hill states “The height limit in commercial zones shall be 30 feet.” This building is 40 feet high on the East, alley side. This is solid building face forty feet, not decorative projections.

We viewed the plans downtown at the city and had these questions. We did not receive any information from the city until this afternoon. We need to have this information evaluated. I request you to defer this decision until you are satisfied that your decision is right for Golden Hill.”


Kroll asked what would happen if we voted not to approve the deviations. He noted that the deviations are rather minor. If we vote to go ahead and not see the project again, can we trust the city? Tim Houlton said Renee Mezo at the City needs to see all of our comments together; we do not get a second chance to vote. Shields said she thought we could have 2 votes.

D Skillman called the question, seconded by Strickland. All in favor. The committee voted on the motion. In favor, 6; against, 3; abstained 2. Motion carried, Shields will notify city officials.

ITEM B. You Are Here, 811 25th Street, Project 227526

Shields read the recommendation from the Land Use Subcommittee minutes (Attachment 2) that the project be approved with the condition that design features conform with the PDO, particularly §158.0303 Special Regulations and Design Requirements.”

Caffey said that in approving the deviations (Item A) we were in conflict with Item B, since the deviations do not conform to the PDO. She wanted more details about the design. Baldwin asked what additional information committee members needed about the design features.

Kroll asked about the 40-ft height. Shields said that some of the height differences are in the façade only. D Skillman said that the city measures the height limit from the lot itself; the 40-ft height is from the alley on the eastern edge of the property; only the façade exceeds 30 ft. from the lot.

Shields asked how the committee intended to familiarize themselves with the project, if they feel they need more information. She asked what should we do next.

Caffey asked about the city comments. Baldwin said that the Land Use Subcommittee had reviewed the city comments before making their recommendation. Caffey asked what the normal process was on projects, since the approval of this one is being pushed. Shields said that the second set of comments do not contain substantial requests. Alvarez asked if what we were being asked to vote on was that, with the exception of the 2 deviations approved earlier, the rest of the project should follow the PDO. D Skillman reminded the committee that our comments are only advisory.

D Skillman made a motion, Strickland seconded, “The project is approved with the condition that design features conform with the PDO, particularly §158.0303 Special Regulations and Design Requirements.”


D Skillman said that he would like to see the current buildings on the property replaced with something better. While this design is not his ideal, he wants this project to go forward with these developers, rather than risk something worse being proposed in the future.

Caffey said she does not trust the city without strict reviews. She wants GGHPC to stay in the loop.

Strickland said he was initially leery of the project, until he attended the Land Use Subcommittee meeting and learned what thought had gone into the project. He liked the open feel and the architectural features, and decided to support the project. He is aware of the alley issues, but noted that the setbacks and garage design help this. This is not his ideal project, either, but it is thought out well and has a reasonable aesthetic.

Shields said that the Planning Committee could only advise on the shape and exterior designs.

Caffey said she thinks a vote on the project is premature. Shields recalled that the PC had “ground to a nub” the developer of the project at 26th & B Streets, and he did what he wanted anyway.

M Skillman asked what would happen if we did not approve the project tonight. Could the project come back for another vote? Yes, it could.

Barbara Houlton again stated that the alley wall is 40 ft high.

Shields reminded the committee that we had a full agenda and had already exceeded the time allowed for this topic.

D Skillman called the question, seconded by Alvarez. In favor 9, against 2. The committee voted on the motion. In favor, 8; against, 3. Motion carried, Shields will notify city officials.

Architects Mike Burnett and Craig Avenilla said they continue to be available to the committee and the community for questions and comments.


Shields asked Vasconcellos, Membership and Elections Subcommittee chair, to clarify what seats are open. There were 8 seats open for 2-yr terms (ending 3/2013) and 1 seat open for a 1-yr term (ending 2/2012). There are 10 candidates. Shields asked Bernie Turgeon, city planner, if a person could be a member of more than one planning committee. He said yes, as long as they meet the membership requirement of each committee. Each of the candidates gave brief statements, in alphabetical order:

Ruchell Alvarez has been on GGHPC for 2 years. Looks forward to serving again, noting that exciting things are happening. She has lived in GGH for 5 years.

Cheryl Brierton has lived in GGH since the late 1970’s. She was a founding board member of the Golden Hill Mediation Center and worked on an anti-crime committee. She calls GGH a little gem, and especially loves the canyons and views.

Susan Bugbee lived in GGH in the late 1960’s, left and came back in 1984. She was on CPUAC in 1988, loves history and wants to keep GGH historic. She works at USD.

John Kroll has been on GGHPC for about a year. He said that he thought his question at the February meeting, asking Rep. Davis opinion on the situation in Egypt was appropriate, as he wants to help the democratic process.

Richard Santini has been on GGHPC for 2 years. He has lived in GGH for 15 years. He is part of San Diego Earthworks (Earth Day) and is Safety and Traffic Liaison for Einstein Academy.

Marie Skillman has been on GGHPC for 3 years, has lived in GGH since 1988. She loves GGH and wants to continue working to preserve the community’s feel.

David Swarens has lived in GGH for 2 yrs. He is a lead landscaper for SD City Schools, a musician and community activist. Has been involved in many groups in Sherman Heights, with SOHO, and is currently on the Old Town Planning Committee.

Matt Thomas is the owner of Alchemy Restaurant and has been a GGH resident for 6 years. Active on the South Park Business Group and South Park Community Group, he wants to stay involved.

Angela Vasconcellos is a South Park homeowner and has been on GGHPC for 4 years. She wants to continue working on community issues.

Lisa Vela had asked Shields to remove her name from the list of candidates.

Shields suggested that since there were now 9 candidates for 9 positions, all be elected by acclamation. M Skillman said that would not work, since one position is only 1 year. Susan Bugbee volunteered to take the 1-yr term. Caffey moved, seconded by Baldwin, that Bugbee be elected to a 1-yr term and Alvarez, Brierton, Kroll, Santini, M Skillman, Swarens, Thomas and Vasconcellos be elected to 2-yr terms. The vote was 10 in favor, Strickland abstained.

After a brief break, the new members were invited to sit at the committee table. Turgeon and Vasconcellos had conferred during the break and said that subcommittee assignments could not be made until the April meeting, when the new members are officially in office.

Approval of Minutes: Minutes of 2/9/11 meeting were approved (motion by D Skillman, second by Santini, all in favor; Strickland abstained).


Community Police Officer- Suzy de la Pena: was not present

City Council District 3 - Anthony Bernal: was not present

Mayor’s Office – no representative present.

City Council District 8 – Melina Meza: Alvarez is working with Councilmember Emerald on fire safety issues. He will be having office hours on the 2nd Friday of the month at the Sherman Heights Community Center, from 2-5 pm. Appointments are necessary.

Alvarez asked how many meetings there would be on fire safety and when the results would be announced. Meza will get back to us with an answer.

53rd Congressional District – Katherine Fortner. Distributed March issue of Davis Dispatch. She noted that a short-term federal budget extension had been passed, and Davis hopes something longer term would be passed and avoid government shutdown. The Dispatch includes information on the budget situation. Davis introduced a bill on veterans home loan refinancing. An IRS workshop will be held on 3/26, 9-2, at the 880 Front Street.


25TH Street Renaissance Project. Shields said Brian Hannegan would not be giving an update.

Rose Sanchez, a GGH resident, works for in the City’s Real Estate Assets section. She is working with property owners who have encroachment issues with the 25th Street Renaissance Project. She came to the meeting to report that she had heard that, at Councilmember Alvarez suggestion, the project was being sent directly to City Council for approval. She said it seemed that GGHPC was being skipped in an attempt to keep up the pace needed to secure project funding.

Questions were asked about the encroachments. D Skillman and Strickland both said that Hannegan and City representative Oscar had indicated at a community workshop that encroachments were on sidewalks for the most part.

Shields said the action forwarding the project directly to the City Council was an example of bad representation. Kroll wondered why GGHPC wasted its time reviewing the project, and who Alvarez works for. Kroll said this kind of action is why people dislike government.

Alvarez asked Meza if she knew about this fast tracking. Meza said she did know, yesterday. Alvarez asked why it was not mentioned in the District 8 report. Meza said she knew that Sanchez planned to bring it up. Sanchez said she knew that at least one business owner was unhappy with the project and was writing to various city officials.

Turgeon asked what are the facts? What is the design date? When is the item docketed, and what does the docket item say? Shields said that we need the facts.

M Skillman said she thought the encroachments and the project approval were 2 separate items. She asked Shields to get to the root of things and report back to the GGHPC members. Shields she does not like us being ignored.

Turgeon said we need to find out what level of detail of the project is being sent to the city council for a vote. Shields noted that we had accommodated city staff by having a special meeting in December to consider the project, now it seems we are getting railroaded.

Shields said she would research the issue and report back to members by email.


Joyce Summer, CCDC. 2 weeks ago Phase 1 of the North Embarcadero Visionary Project was approved, as well as a bayside fire station, East Village Green Park, and a temporary leash-free dog zone. $4 billion in redevelopment projects were approved throughout the city. The permanent homeless center in the World Trade Center Building has been approved, and its permits. They are applying for tax credits on this project, will know by June if they are approved. Pedestrian bridge over Harbor Drive will open on 3/15 without fanfare. Mayors proposal of budget solutions to Governor Brown have received no response. CCDC will be paying the Petco bonds for the remainder of their 30-yr term.

Caffey asked what the term was of the Conditional Use Permit on the permanent homeless center. Summer said she thought there was no term unless there is an exception.

Kroll asked what the cost was of the pedestrian bridge. Summer said she knew that CCDC had put in $9 million, and she thought the total cost was around $20 million. Summer said she did not know what the original budget had been, but she will find out and let us know.

Shields asked if the permanent homeless shelter was a duplication of St. Vincent DePaul services. Summer said that SVDP had put in a bid to operate the shelter, but did not win the contract

Community Plan Update Advisory Committee. City Planner Bernie Turgeon. Provided a printout of the Community Planning Group website to new GGHPC members. He told them that they are required to complete a training course, the Community Orientation Workshop (COW) in order to be indemnified by the City. This must be completed within 4 months of election. It takes about

2 hours to complete the electronic version (E-Cow) – the live COW is a one-day workshop. He was unsure when the next one was scheduled.

CPUAC had a meeting on March 2 and began discussion of the issues matrix. Turgeon is working on the charette matrix and will distribute it in time to be reviewed before the April 6 CPUAC meeting.

Drafts of the Land Use and Historic elements will be distributed 30 days in advance of the May 4 CPUAC meeting. Discussion on these and other elements may continue until July. A revised timeline is being developed

CPUAC membership was discussed. Currently there is one vacancy for a GGHPC member, and one for Non Resident Property Owner. Turgeon said that we must vote to revise the selection criteria if we want to fill the seats with people who do not fit those categories. Regarding the vacant seat for a Non Profit Organization, Kathryn Willets, representing Greater Golden Hill CDC, has been vetted but not yet ratified. Turgeon said interested persons must fill out an application (available on city website) and be vetted.

SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS were deferred until next month.


Shields reminded the committee that officers (Chair, Vice-chair, Treasurer, Secretary) would be elected at the April meeting. She asked all members to consider what subcommittees they would serve on. Each member should plan to serve on at least two.

Shields said that Scott Glazebrook had resigned from Balboa Park Committee since his appointment had been linked to membership on the GGHPC. The Mayor appoints Balboa Park Committee members. The Mayor’s office had contacted Shields about nominating a representative. David Strickland’s name had been submitted to the Mayor at the same time as Glazebrook’s, so his paperwork is on file at the city. He is willing to serve. M Skillman moved, Caffey seconded, that Shields notify the Mayor that Strickland is our nominee. All voted in favor of the motion.

M Skillman reminded the committee of the Historical Resources Survey and Conservation Areas Open House on Saturday, March 19 in the Santa Fe Room. GGH information will be discussed from 12:15 – 1:30 pm.

Kroll asked if anyone had attended the parking and affordable housing workshop. Strickland said he had, and that parking issues are different in other neighborhoods where there are more buildings with only affordable housing, than they are in GGH where there are often only a few affordable units in a building. The committee is continuing its study and will revisit later. Kroll urged vigilance.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, April 13 at 6:30 pm.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:10 pm by Shields.

Marie Skillman.




March 9, 2011 at 6:30 P.M.

Balboa Park Golf Course Clubhouse at 2600 Golf Course Drive

Monthly Meeting

6:30 CALL TO ORDER – please be punctual

1. Additions/Deletions to Agenda

2. Approval of Minutes

3. Treasurers Report & Pass-the-Hat – Carole Caffey


a) You Are Here. 811 25th Street. Project #227526. Approve two deviations requested by applicant: 1) Interior side setback near 25th Street of 3’6” for levels 2 & 3, and 2) 48% facade variations for parapets and tower elements to exceed height limit. 4 yes, 0 no.


a) You Are Here. 811 25th Street. Project #227526. project is approved with the condition that design features conform with the PDO, particularly §158.0303 Special Regulations and Design Requirements.


Presentation of Candidates and voting.




a) 25TH Street Renaissance Project- Update. Brian Hannegan

b)Community Plan Update-Turgeon


a) Organization of Committee. Election of Officers

b) Sub-committee appointments, including CPUAC.


*Times are estimates – Action Items may also be taken before Information Items

The City of San Diego distributes agendas via email and can also provide agendas in alternative formats as well as a sign language or oral interpreter for the meeting with advance notice. To request these services, please contact the City at 619-236-6479 or



Balboa Park Golf Course Clubhouse - Main Meeting Room

2600 Golf Course Drive, San Diego California 92102

In Attendance:

Subcommittee Members:

City Staff:

Community Members:

Project Applicants:

Meeting called to order at 6:30 PM by Chair Pat Shields.

Item #1

Project Name:

Project Address:

<811 25th Street>

Project Number:


Project Description:

22 residential units and 4,387 SF of commercial space>

Permit Application:

Presentation Status:




and Conditions

1) Interior side setback near 25th Street of 3’6” for levels 2 & 3, and 2) 48% facade variations for parapets and tower elements to exceed height limit >,











As a large project by community standards it does have some impacts which were raised by residents, such as a 40’ height in the rear and a potential negative impact on surrounding parking.

The committee reached a consensus on remaining issues which were related to design but was unable to form a motion at the time of the meeting. These issues will be presented as an action item at the March GGHPC in the form of the following motion: The project is approved with the condition that design features conform with the PDO, particularly §158.0303 Special Regulations and Design Requirements

In an effort to minimize delay to the project, the Chair offered to place the consent item and an action item on the March agenda. However, due to prior time specific agenda items, this matter will be limited to 15 minutes and continued to the April meeting if necessary for a conclusion.

Applicant offered to be available for questions and discussion 30 minutes prior to the GGHPC meeting March 9, 2011 with color rendering of the project.>

Meeting Adjourned at