Thursday, May 12, 2011

April 13, 2011 Minutes


April 13, 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.

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

Members present: Ruchell Alvarez, Richard Baldwin, Cheryl Brierton, Susan Bugbee, Maureen Burke, Carole Caffey, John Kroll, Richard Santini, Pat Shields, David Skillman, Marie Skillman, David Strickland, David Swarens, Matt Thomas, Angela Vasconcellos, Jessica Wolf Members absent: none

Addition/deletions to Agenda - none

Approval of Minutes – Minutes of 3/9/11 meeting were approved (motion D Skillman, second Strickland) 11 in favor, none opposed, 5 abstaining Brierton, Burke, Bugbee, Swarens, Thomas)

Treasurer’s Report: – balance remains about $75.


Paul Broadway, Greater Golden Hill CDC. Broadway is the new president of the GGHCDC. He said they are working through the problem of funds misappropriated by their former director. He read the GGHCDC mission statement, and noted that along with other projects they administer the Greater Golden Hill Maintenance Assessment District MAD). He said he would be at the GGHCDC booth at the Farmer’s Market on B Street on Saturday mornings to discuss projects and answer questions.

Kroll asked about the nature of misappropriated funds. Broadway said that $27,000 of funds might be involved. He explained that GGHCDC acts as a beneficial agent for several local groups, including 32nd Street Canyon, Old House Fair and the Moose Lodge. Funds from those groups were used for activities within GGH and outside the community. Some of the funds have been recovered. Broadway has reported the problem to the District Attorney. He said that GGHCDC’s 2010 financial reports are completed but not yet posted on their website.

D Skillman said that the MAD Oversight Committee made sure that those funds were untouched.

Carole Caffey, Greater Golden Hill MAD. Caffey is the former chair of the MAD Oversight Committee (OC) and had copies of the MAD Annual Reports Mailer for those who wanted them. She said that the new planters had been delivered and that Program Director Ben Verdugo was taking suggestions of where they should be placed. The new OC chair, Pat Martin, was introduced.

Kroll asked Caffey several questions: Is the MAD’s philosophy was to spend all the money collected each year. Yes. Is the amount collected necessary? The Engineer’s Report (ER) annually allows more to be collected than has been collected. Are funds rolled over to the next year? That has been happening. Is there was controversy over project selections? Yes. Could the assessment be lowered to eliminate rollover funds? That requires a vote of the property owners. Caffey said the OC uses the ER to guide spending.

Brierton asked about the funds allocated for staffing. Caffey said the CDC Board supervises the Program Manager.

Gary Roberts, Resident. Roberts had questions about the Farmer’s Market (FM) recently started between 27th & 28th on B Street on Saturday mornings. He lives 3 blocks from the market wanted to know who had approved it and whether notice had been properly given to nearby residents. He said he likes the neighborliness of GGH and was disturbed by a getting a flyer about the FM, stating that parking would be restricted and cars would possibly be towed. He had not heard of this policy before and does not like a business using the public street. He also noted that B Street is a fire truck route and a truck had to be diverted the first week of the FM. He wondered if the PDO allows this type of business.

Shields said she thought publicity could have been better. She suggested that we make the FM an Information Item on the May agenda, with speakers for and against, including the GGHCDC President. The GGHPC could decide whether any action needs to be taken.

Brian Beevers, manager of the FM, responded to Roberts, stating that the huge signs will go away after the first couple of weeks, but the parking restrictions remain. He said he has all of the permits required by the City.

Caffey wondered what the purpose of all of this talk is, since the permits have all been given. Shields said she wants GGHPC to be a public forum for general issues.

Motion by Brierton (Kroll seconded) to make the Farmer’s Market an Information Item on the May 2011 agenda. 13 in favor, 2 against, 1 abstained.

Joyce Summer, CCDC. The Coastal Commission approved the North Embarcadero Project. An Open House regarding the proposed enlargement of Horton Park will be held at the old Planet Hollywood on 4/21/11 from 5:45 to 7:00 pm. City Council voted 7-1 for CCDC to increase its debt payment schedule.

In following up a question from last month’s meeting, Summer reported that the Pedestrian Bridge over Harbor Drive had an initial budget of $12.8 million; the final cost $26.8 million. Public process was followed, and the bridge was required for public safety. 6 agencies (City, State, Federal) were involved and a CEQA report was required. She told Kroll that further questions could be directed to Scott Johnson at CCDC.


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

City Council District 3 - Anthony Bernal: Distributed copies of April District 3 Dialogue. $22 million is being spend citywide on infrastructure repairs, including 19 miles of street repairs in District 3. Slurry seal is in process on A Street and Juniper. Community coffee will be 4/16/11 at LeStats Coffee House on Park Blvd.

Kroll asked about the answers to his 5 questions at the last meeting about affordable housing. Bernal said he had emailed the answers directly to Kroll. Shields asked that the answers be presented to GGHPC at the May meeting.

City Council District 8 – Melina Meza: Distributed copies of Councilmember Alvarez’ latest newsletter. Said they were looking for “Most Interesting People” in District 8 (Brierton suggested Shields and Caffey). Distributed copies of the Citygate Report on fire standards, which had been forwarded to City Council. Shields asked Alvarez to be more visible in GGH, suggesting a community coffee. Meza said they would try to schedule one. Alvarez does have office hours at Sherman Heights Community Center on the 2nd Friday each month, 2:30-5:00 pm. Appointments are suggested.

53rd Congressional District – Katherine Fortner. Distributed April issue of Davis Dispatch, highlighting education and veteran’s bills. Davis had worked hard on the Federal Budget and was frustrated with way it had progressed. Participants are sought for a high school arts competition.

D Skillman asked if a decision on the debt ceiling was the next big agenda item; it is, followed by beginning work on the next budget. Brierton asked about the elimination of funding for community policing; Fortner will bring details to the May meeting. Shields asked for a summary of budget cuts that had been passed.

Kroll said he wished he could hear Davis’s opinion on 3 major world developments: Federal budget, Libya, nuclear disaster in Japan. Shields said that information is available on Davis’ website. Fortner said Davis had recently toured the San Onofre nuclear plant. Fortner will follow up on the other questions.

Mayor’s Office – no representative present.

CONSENT AGENDA. None. Shields said she had received a notice about a sidewalk café at Café Madeline (30th & Juniper), and wondered what the procedure is. City Planner Bernie Turgeon said he would forward information to members about the required 10-day comment period.

M Skillman asked about regulations on flower shops and “gastro trucks”. Shields said we need more code compliance officers. There is no point in planning without policing. Turgeon said he would forward complaints to Code Compliance Department for us. Swarens noted that in the past, pro-active code compliance made a huge difference. Brierton asked if we needed an action item on this topic. Turgeon said individuals could report problems, either to the City or the City Council offices.


Organization of Committee

Election of Officers.

The following nominations for GGHPC officers were made: Shields for Chair (Kroll, Brierton seconded); Alvarez for vice-chair (Shields, M Skillman seconded); M Skillman for Secretary (Shields, Brierton seconded) Caffey for Treasurer (Shields, Burke seconded). Burke made a motion that this slate be accepted, Shields seconded. 16 in favor.

Shields commented that she would like the membership to be reduced to 15 members, once the CPU is completed.

Subcommittee Appointments,

Including Community Plan Update Plan Advisory Committee.

The following members agreed to chair subcommittees, or be members of the subcommittee:

Code Compliance: Chair, Swarens; Thomas

Land Use: Chair, Baldwin; Sub-chair Brierton; D Skillman, Kroll

Membership: Chair, Vasconcellos; Wolf

Transportation (includes Hwy 94 project): Chair, Strickland; M Skillman

Media: Chair, Santini.

Historic: Chair, Bugbee; Thomas

Airport Noise: Caffey

Parks: Chair, Burke

Community Plan Update Advisory Committee: Swarens representing GGHPC (Brierton next in line)

Kathryn Willets was accepted as representative for Community Non-Profit Organizations. Rick Accurso will fill the remaining Non-GGHPC seat.

D Skillman made a motion reaffirming that all remaining GGHPC members serve as official alternates to the CPUAC. Shields seconded; all in favor.

Turgeon said that in order for Accurso’s appointment to be valid, GGHPC need to vote to amend the CPUAC Selection Process to change one of the Non-Resident Owner seats to Resident Owner. D Skillman made the motion, Strickland seconded. All in favor.

25TH Street Renaissance Project. Brian Hannegan, project manager with RRM Design, said that the next public workshop has been scheduled for Saturday, 5/7/11, from 1-3 pm at the GGH Rec Center. He said they are plugging along with their plans. They will show the design and site amenities plans at the workshop, with electronic voting.

Shields asked when the project would come back to GGHPC. Hannegan said he would be at the May meeting with results of the workshop. Shields asked if the City thinks GGHPC approved the plan in full. Hannegan was uncertain, but thought they did.

After some discussion, Alvarez made a motion, seconded by Kroll, that the project must come back to GGHPC for a final vote. Strickland asked clarification of what was voted on at the December 2010 Special Meeting. Burkes asked if the project was coming back to GGHPC. M Skillman read the motion from the minutes of the December meeting: “At this time, the Greater Golden Hill Planning Committee supports in concept having the project work on the Core (Segment 2) first, then the southern (Segment 3) as recommended by the consultant”.

Hannegan said he had a meeting with City officials on 4/19/11. At that time he could solidify when the plan would come back.

Alvarez motion was refined as follows: “The 25th Street Renaissance Project must come back to the Greater Golden Hill Planning Committee for approval of the final plan. We previously only approved the concept, with the explicit understanding that the final plan would come back to us for another vote.” 16 in favor, none against, no abstentions.

Brierton asked if it was proper for the newly elected members to vote on this, since they did not vote on the original motion. It is a new motion so there is no problem. Caffey wants feedback from the 4/19/11 meeting; Hannegan agreed to send a report to Shields after the meeting.


Committee Process. Shields said she gets as lot of requests from community groups to make presentations at our meetings, as we are a community forum. She said she wants all sides heard on information items. She said she would poll the committee in advance about which items are appropriate for information items, due to our limited meeting time.

Plaza de Panama. Gerry Braun from the Mayor’s Office said he was impressed at the level of detail we request at our meetings. He introduced Gordon Kovtun of KCM Group, Scott Jordan from Civitas, David Marshall from Heritage Architecture and Michael White from Rick Engineering. All of these firms are working on the Plaza de Panama project in Balboa Park, spearheaded by Irwin Jacobs.

The project goal is eliminating vehicles in Plaza de Panama by the centennial of the Park in 2015. They want the west end of the plaza to look like the east end, and have proposed a pedestrian plaza, bypass bridge and road through the Alcazar Garden parking lot, grade separation of the roadway past the Organ Pavilion, and an underground parking garage. Their plan would return the west end of the plaza to its original usage by removing cars and redefining the pedestrian promenade. Instead of leaving the Plaza de Panama an open space, they suggest adding some design elements.

Jordan said bonds for $13-15 million would be needed to fund the project, in addition to individual contributions such as Jacobs’s pledge. They are working with the Balboa Park Committee and have submitted a project application to the City. A Scoping Meeting on the EIR is scheduled for 4/14/11 at 5:30 pm in the Santa Fe Room.

Marshall said a new route for cars is needed. Closing the Cabrillo Bridge altogether will be studied, but they think the bypass bridge is a better solution. It would be 60 feet from the California Building (currently part of Museum of Man). They would be removing 70 ft. of the existing bridge abutment and bridging the ravine with compatible materials, not attempting to mimic the original. Various photographs and an animation were shown. Marshall said they were working to make the bridge as transparent as possible.

Santini asked about pedestrian and bicycle use of the bypass bridge. Currently a pedestrian lane is planned but not a bicycle lane.

Bruce Coons from Save Our Heritage Organisation showed their presentation. He said Goodhue’s original concept for the park buildings was a “fortified European town”. The buildings are a historic landmark of Spanish architecture. What is important is the feeling of ensemble. The elements set out include the bridge, abutments, etc.

Coons noted that the Jacobs plan takes out a number of trees; in fact, the current Balboa Park plan suggests moving some trees. He showed images of the bypass bridge without trees. SOHO believes that the bypass bridge would not meet the Secretary of Interior Standards for historical landmarks, and that this plan would ruin the quiet space in the Alcazar gardens. In addition, the new roadway would sever the Palisades area from the rest of the Plaza, and suggests incompatible parking uses.

Coons noted that the Balboa Park Precise plan routes traffic from the Cabrillo Bridge to the southwest side of the Plaza de Panama, which SOHO finds acceptable.

Coons and SOHO feel this project could never be completed by the 2015 celebration date, and object to paid parking being introduced into this city park. He said that Jacobs is the only major donor identified so far. The Jacobs plan, which changed the idea of removing parking from the Plaza de Panama to a big project with a bypass bridge, etc. is the wrong idea at the wrong time.

Shields asked when GGHPC gets a chance to weigh in on the project. Braun said they are getting feedback elsewhere now and can come back to GGHPC again. Strickland asked about the timeline on the EIR. Public review the 3rd week in August is anticipated.

Swarens asked (1) when does the project go to the City Council and (2) what is the public review process? White said they need a site development plan and an amendment to the Balboa Park Precise Plan. This would possibly take 3 review cycles before being sent to the public. Swarens wants to know details on what changes and what are the amendments to the Precise Plan.

Jordan said the public process has been followed. He would like our questions so that they can come back with answers in June. Strickland asked who should we send comments to the City. They should be directed to Michele in Development Services. Strickland asked if GGHPC would be asked to make specific comments. M Skillman wondered if we would be ready to make comments when the project returns to us in June.

Community Plan Update Advisory Committee. City Planner Bernie Turgeon. Minutes of the April CPUAC meeting have been sent out. The May meeting will include finishing comments on matrix from prior meetings, and following deadlines.

CEQA training is available for GGHPC members, and the Community Orientation Workshop has been scheduled. Maps showing the route of the walkthrough of the neighborhoods with Historic Resources staff, scheduled for Monday, 4/18/11, from 9-12, were distributed. Coons suggested that everyone be at the walkthrough to promote larger historical districts.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, May 11 at 6:30 pm.

Shields adjourned meeting at 8:40 pm.

Marie Skillman.




April 13, 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) Organization of Committee. Election of Officers

b) Sub-committee appointments, including Community Update Plan Advisory Committee. Amendment to CPUAC guidelines for CPUAC appointments.

c) 25th Street Renaissance Project. Shields. Committee may take action to support, oppose or clarify its position on the project.


a) Plaza de Panama. Gerry Braun. Mayor’s Office

b) Community Plan Update. Turgeon


Note: Land-Use Subcommittee

Monthly*: Last Wednesday of the Month at 6:30PM

Location: Balboa Park Golf Course Clubhouse at 2600 Golf Course Drive

*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