Thursday, July 14, 2011

June 8, 2011 Minutes


JUNE 8, 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 6:33 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, Carole Caffey, John Kroll, Richard Santini, Pat Shields, David Skillman, Marie Skillman, David Strickland, David Swarens, Matt Thomas, Angela Vasconcellos, Jessica Wolf. Members absent: Maureen Burke

Addition/deletions to Agenda - None.

Approval of Minutes – Minutes of 5/11/11 meeting was approved (motion Brierton, second Baldwin) 14 in favor, none opposed, Strickland abstained. Secretary M Skillman said that Swarens had pointed out an error in the 4/13/11 minutes: David Marshall, one of the speakers about the Plaza de Panama project, works for Heritage Architecture. She asked to correct the minutes that we had approved at the prior meeting. (Motion Baldwin, second Strickland). All in favor.

Treasurer’s Report: – no report.

Action Item: Plaza de Panama PTS233958

Gerry Braun, Mayor’s office, reported that the Plaza de Panama project has been suspended. The City Council Rules Committee had met earlier in the day (6/8) and had failed to give support to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the project to proceed. Braun thanked GGHPC for the time and attention we had given to the project.

Jay Shumaker, an architect and member of the San Diego Council of Design Professionals, said he had attended the Rules Committee meeting and thought the MOU had been approved. Braun said the proposal had been sent to the full council without recommendation, and Dr. Jacobs decided to pull the plug. Without Jacob’s support, the project is in a state of limbo.

Shields asked Shumaker, who had requested time to speak against the project, to give a briefer presentation, in light of Braun’s report. Shumaker said he had been giving his presentation to groups around the city and felt the entire presentation was still relevant. Shields polled the committee about how to proceed. After a show of hands (5 in favor, 7 against), Shumaker did not make a presentation.


Jerry Ray. Reported that the tree-trimmers for the GGHMAD trimmed only where no cars were parked. She called CDC (MAD) the next day when some additional dead branches fell. Three days passed with no action, so she called again and was told that the tree-trimmer contract was going to be changed due to poor results.

Kevin Swanson. Owns His concept for the Balboa Park centennial celebration is available as a download there, along with other ideas for Balboa Park improvements. He noted that an official centennial committee has been formed and will be promoting other ideas.

Joyce Summer, CCDC. AB1250, calling for redevelopment reform, has been introduced. A redistricting meeting is scheduled 6/15/11 at Sherman Height Community Center. The first drafts of city and California redistricting maps can be viewed at Initial design concepts for Horton Plaza Park will be shown at the CCDC offices on 6/21. A community coffee will be 6/9/11 at CCDC at 6:30 pm.

Vicki Granowitz, North Park Planning Committee Chair and former member of Balboa Park Committee. Met earlier in the day 6/8 with the organizers of the 2015 Centennial Committee. Many members of the public will be asked to serve.

Jay Shumaker, San Diego Council of Design Professionals. In the 1980’s, a large building project was proposed on the east side of Balboa Park. He gathered signatures that resulted in the East Mesa Precise Plan.


SDPD Police Position on Western Division Boundary in South Park. Shields said that moving the police boundaries to Switzer Canyon was under discussion. Anthony Bernal, representing Councilmember Todd Gloria of Council District Three, said that the patrol chief had analyzed the situation and that the police did not want to change the boundaries. He introduced Lt. Murphy from Central Division. Lt Murphy said the police were open to considering a boundary change to patrol up to Switzer Canyon, and he would come to the next meeting to hear from those who had requested it.

Shields asked if this decision had been made before we made a formal request. Bernal said that a police representative will be at our July meeting to discuss this in full; Lt. Murphy was in attendance tonight gathering information. Shields asked for an explanation of police position, stating that we want what is best for the community.

Swarens said his perception of the situation was that merchants in the 30th & Juniper area thought there were less patrols, etc. in that area. If the police are independently reviewing the boundaries, can we know what the process is? Bernal said Reductions in Force on the police Department have forced the Dept. to look for the best way to provide the best service. Information on the process will be provided at the July meeting.

Swarens thought the last reorganization was great. Brierton wanted us to go ahead and give information to Lt. Murphy. Thomas said he would get the merchants involved to attend the July meeting. Caffey said she thinks Bernal and Gloria are taking our side. Alvarez asked Lt. Murphy if he had any data with him that night – he did not.


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

City Council District 3 - Anthony Bernal: Distributed copies of June District 3 Dialogue. Through the budget process, cuts in library and recreation center hours were not realized. Developmental Services Department and Planning Department were merged, reducing staff.

Kroll thanked Bernal for the data on affordable housing; his impression is that the goals have not been met. Kroll wanted to know if it was true, as someone stated at the GGHMAD Oversight Committee meeting, that trash pickup and street sweeping were the only basic City Services being provided. Bernal acknowledged that services have consistently been reduced. Kroll asked if such services were gone or just reduced – Bernal said there was some of each. An example of one that is gone is vehicle abatement. Now, uniformed officers take care of this. Kroll asked for clarification of what City services ARE provided. Shields wondered if there was a booklet or website. Bernal says there is no official source. D Skillman noted that some items being discussed would fall under Code Compliance, which has also been reduced.

Swarens thanked Bernal and Gloria for their work leading to the Rules Committee action on Plaza de Panama MOU.

Bernal said that the new Community Gardens Ordinance was approved last week. D Skillman asked if all zoning restrictions were removed – they were.

City Council District 8 – Melina Meza: Distributed District 8 Newsletter and flyers about Senior Smoke Alarm Check Program. Said she would email the slide show from May budget meetings upon request.

76th California Assembly District – Lindsey Masukawa: Will be reporting to us monthly. Atkins voted against AB1250 so budget would pass. Supported Hueso’s bill to require inspections of Mills Act properties every 5 years instead of the current 10 years – paid for by fees collected by the counties. State budget work continues; legislators will not be paid after 6/15 until a balanced budget passes.

Swarens said he thinks Hueso’s bill just adds another layer of fees, and that cultural resources are being treated differently from natural resources. Shields asked about AB109 – parole realignments. “Sober Living” facilities for 6 or less will be impacted. Scrutiny in older neighborhoods is needed – asked Atkins to take this into account. Lindsey said that Atkins had worked with the District Attorney on this. Shields asked for progress reports monthly.

53rd Congressional District – Katherine Fortner. Distributed June issue of Davis Dispatch. Davis hosted Neighborhood Day in City Heights last month. Information about the defense budget is in newsletter. Universal Right to Vote By Mail was introduced, which will allow anyone to vote absentee for any reason in Federal elections.

Mayor’s Office – no representative present.


Project # 235460 - Café Madeline Sidewalk Project.

Land Use Subcommittee endorsed the project with one abstention, with all concerns addressed. Swarens wanted more details. Brierton noted that all concerns, including the 8-ft. clearance, had been addressed. D Skillman moved that the consent agenda be adopted, Strickland seconded. 15 in favor, none against.


Project # 189080 – 1159 24th St. Map Waiver.

Brierton described the project, a map waiver to consolidate parcels to conform for condominium conversion of an existing apartment building. Applicant revised CC&R’s to require that garages be used only for parking. Strickland said he appreciated the parking being addressed. Brierton noted that this parcel consolidation was being endorsed, contrary to GGHPC tradition, since it involves already existing units. Swarens thinks the property is attractive, even with the garages.

D Skillman moved to approve the project; Strickland seconded. Swarens wanted to have a brief review of plans before voting. Vote: 14 in favor, 1 against.


Chair’s Report. COW. New GGHPC members must attend a Community Orientation Workshop in order to be indemnified by City. Online version is available. New members should act NOW. Redistricting. Shields distributed information about the City redistricting process. Midori Wong, Chief of Staff of the 2010 Redistricting Commission, will be at July meeting with the preliminary map. Police Captain will speak at North Park Planning Committee on 6/21.

30th & Grape Project – Beri Varol. Varol wants to involve the community in deciding what his Atlas Lofts project should be. He wants input, and gave his goal of replacing 5 units with 10-12 residential units, with commercial beneath, which is allowed under current zoning.

Kroll wondered if the existing sewer lines would be able to handle the additional units. He also asked about parking. Varol said that parking would be onsite for residents. Commercial parking may not be so easily accommodated. He is hoping that some shared units (business/work.) Brierton noted that in the current units, garages are used for storage, not parking. Varol said that was because the size of the garages did not accommodate modern cars. Brierton questioned a 3-story structure. Varol said he wanted to present that concept at the next meeting, but said his plans would work within the 30-ft height limit. Santini said the height might conflict with community character. Varol is setting up a blog so those who wish to comment can do so.

Shields asked Varol to go to the Land Use Subcommittee with specific concepts. Thomas said Varol is doing a good job on involving the community.

Muni Code 42.0709 - Urban Chickens – Chris Zucconi. Zucconi is interested in back yard hens (no roosters). Urban farming and sustainability are his focus. He noted that acquaponics systems are great but not economic; chickens are a better solution. He has found that they are not that easy to have, especially due to regulations calling for a 50-ft setback from residences. He said the problem of smell is not an issue on small scale (5 hens or less). His research shows that many cities have been changing regulations about chickens, and that 20-ft setback requirements are the norm. He said current regulations allow up to 25 chickens on larger lots.

Zucconi left copies of his proposal with several GGHPC members. Shields asked that his proposal go to the Land Use Subcommittee.

Community Plan Update – Bernie Turgeon. Said that City staff is working on the draft Community Plan. They are currently waiting for mobility reports. No contract is in place thus far for the environmental reports. Turgeon said he had received a few emails about Focus Group meetings but no input thus far.

Shields asked how the writing was coming. It is in an initial outline stage. Shields asked if more input was needed. Turgeon said they might prefer to write first and then take comments on that. He thought the Focus Groups could have information ready for comment.

D Skillman said that from reading comments and listening at meetings, he thinks the will of the community is to retain much of what is in the current Community Plan. He asked Turgeon that is what he has found to be true – he said yes, and that details were being added where needed.

Swarens is concerned that things said at workshops and charettes are not in the matrix of comments. Turgeon said that chart notes and map comments were all included in the matrix. Swarens said the expansion of the Golden Hill Historic District was mentioned and he wants to make sure it is addressed.

Turgeon was asked if elements of the draft would be available separately. He said there are many cross-references; if Focus Groups make progress, issue papers can be forwarded to the City. Thomas asked how work inside and outside the City was going to be incorporated. Is a more organic process available? Turgeon said City staff is always open to comments, but suggested that Focus Groups get their work vetted by GGHPC.

Thomas asked what would happen to the work presented by the South Park Community Group on Conservation Areas. Turgeon said more details are needed, and the City wants to focus on one area, not four.

Swarens said that applying a conservation area to a large area might be done through modifying the PDO, to include community character.

Shields is troubled by the process, sees that there is a disconnect. She asked when we are going to be able to vote on ideas. Turgeon said that community consensus is heeded; voting on ideas and forwarding details to the City.

D Skillman said that current zoning allows 73 units per acre in areas around Broadway and C Streets. Community agrees that is too dense. If existing auxiliary units were counted in the housing inventory, they could make up missing density and lower the zoning around Broadway and C Streets. He said that is why a conservation area is being pushed for such a large area. Thomas and Shields said they thought the auxiliary unit ordinance had been updated regarding this issue. Turgeon said the CPUAC needs to take action on down zoning.

Brierton suggested an Action Item for the next meeting, stating that “the GGHPC supports the present Community Plan, and that City Staff should notice the GGHPC any changes to the current plan that it is considering.” She said that anyone can bring forward to GGHPC an Action Item proposing changes to the current Community Plan, including summary proposals developed by Rick Accurso/working groups as distilled from the months of community input.

Swarens noted the need to identify new contexts and General Plan changes. Shields said we know what we think. Turgeon said he would provide issues to discuss. M Skillman said Rick Accuso’s group had met once already.

Accurso said he wants us to take action as soon as possible. He stressed that small (8 or less members of CPUAC or GGHPC) can work over ideas for ratification by the whole committee, eliminating double work.

Kroll said he wants issues to come from the City – focus groups could go on forever. Shields said an elite group is not good. Accurso said that the focus groups could articulate thoughts and GGHPC could say yea or nay. He wants the focus group ideas to be widely distributed. Thomas noted that Accurso was working from the community comments. M Skillman said the time for big community meetings has passed.

Shields suggested that GGHPC discuss Balboa Park at the July meeting. The next topic would be the community-wide PDO, asking if GGHPC members had reached consensus on that issue. A show of hands showed 8 in favor, 2 abstaining.


Shields noted that the amount of business before GGHPC has been increasing, and that we should anticipate future meetings going beyond 8:30 pm. There was discussion about noticing of Subcommittee Meetings. “Minutes” from these meetings are to be sent to Shields for distribution to the entire GGHPC.

Utility Boxes. Strickland had reviewed the proposal worked out by Mission Hills and North Park Planning Groups, and thinks we should discuss it further at another meeting. Swarens said utilities were being undergrounded on 20th Street now and nasty above ground boxes were being installed. Swarens likes the idea of sharing working on this kind of issue with other committees. D Skillman said some utility boxes have to do with above ground lines that may eventually go away.

Transportation Subcommittee. Shields asked if they had a regular meeting time. Strickland said they are not meeting regularly at this time.

Historic: Bugbee said fieldwork will be starting on the new South Park Historic District, and community input sought on the one in Golden Hill. She wants to be sure that the originally proposed districts are acknowledged in the new Community Plan.

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

Shields adjourned meeting at 8:40 pm.

Marie Skillman.




June 8, 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

a) Additions/Deletions to Agenda

1. Approval of Minutes

2. Treasurers Report & Pass-the-Hat –




a) Cafe Madeleine Sidewalk Project #235460


a) 1159 24th street Map Waiver. PTS 189080. Condo conversion


a) Redistricting. (materials only). Next month tentative Map. Midori Wong

b) SDPD Police position on Western Division Boundary in So. Park (15 min)

c) 30th & Grape Project. Bari Varol. (10 min)

d) Muni Code 42.0709. Urban Chickens. Zucconi. (10 minutes)

e) Community Plan Update. Turgeon


a) Plaza De Panama. PTS 233958.

Committee will take action to either support the project fully, in part, or not at all. Committee may decide to seek further input prior to voting.


Airport Noise – Carole Caffey

Balboa Park Committee - David Strickland

Graffiti Hotline – 619 525-8522

Community Planners Committee (CPC) – Ruchell Alvarez

Community Plan Update Advisory Committee – City Planner Report

Code Compliance – Ruchell Alvarez

Historic – Susan Bugbee

Transportation – David Strickland


Note: Land-Use Subcommittee

Last Wednesday of the Month at 6:30PM

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

Historic Subcommittee

1st Tuesday of the Month at 6:30pm

Location: 1724 29th Street (between Date & Elm)

*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