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Todd Gloria would have voted for the Kensington Terrace project if he’d been on the council. - San Diego City Beat, Last Blog on Earth, reporting on an answer to the moderator's question at the League of Conservation Voters' Candidate Forum on February 11, 2008

But the Grand Jury probably wouldn't agree with him.  In the just released report titled SAN DIEGO CITY DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT: PROFESSIONALS IN A MAZE, the Grand Jury examines six development projects, including Kensington Terrace.  Starting with the premise, "There is considerable lack of clarity and excessive latitude in the application of the City’s ordinances in approving development projects", the Grand Jury has this to say about the Kensington Terrace Case Study:

"These case studies indicate that MNDs are sometimes inaccurate and that perhaps they are used too often when EIRs would be more appropriate. Externally generated codes and restrictions such as FEMA regulations have not always been understood or enforced by the DSD. It was also observed at several City Council meetings that the DSD staff present could not answer the questions from members of the Council. In several of these cases we found evidence that people with vested interests persistently interfered with and badgered city personnel involved in the planning and approval processes to get various changes made in community plans and regulations."

The Grand Jury had specific recommendations related to Kensington Terrace:

RECOMMENDATIONS

 The 2007/2008 San Diego County Grand Jury recommends that the City of San Diego’s Development Services Department:

 08-32: Ensure that MNDs are complete and accurate and contain full disclosures.

 
The 2007/2008 San Diego County Grand Jury recommends that the San Diego City Council:

 08-33: Demand complete and accurate EIRs and MNDs with full disclosures.

 08-34: Insist on firm, clear answers to their questions at the time they are asked or at the next City Council meeting

Gee, I think that's exactly what we were asking for.



(ALMOST) ANYBODY BUT TODD!

Who supports both Todd Gloria's campaign and Allard Jansen's Kensington Terrace project?

·               Mitch Berner –  Registered City Lobbyist, PR guy and Sunroad frontman, appeared “with and for the applicant” at the City Council hearing on February 5th.     

·               Fred Lindahl - Kensington Talmadge Planning Group Chair; voted to approve the Kensington Terrace Project on October 10, 2007


·               Tom HebrankKen-Tal Planning Committee; voted to approve the Kensington Terrace Project on October 10, 2007

·               Rex DowningSelf-appointed Mayor of Kensington - My sense is that the opposition is the vocal minority. The vast majority of Kensington is delighted that we will become a better equipped and classier village - but they are not so vocal. It is unfortunate that the zoning allows such dense development but that fault should not be laid at the feet of the developer.

I strongly support the Kensington Terrace project … because it will be a vast improvement for Kensington

·               David GatzkeDeveloper & former member of the Board of the BIA - Please accept this email as representative of my unqualified support for the Kensington Terrace mixed-use project that will be considered before the council on February 5th.

Kensington Terrace is exactly the type of innovative high-quality development that is needed to serve as a model for all of the city’s neighborhoods, but particularly the revitalizing areas of mid-City.

As a holder of a graduate-degree in Urban Planning, a member of the stakeholder’s group that developed the SANDAG Regional Comprehensive Plan, and a volunteer on my own community’s local planning group, I realize how important vital infill projects such as this are in allowing our region to grow and accommodate the needs of generations new and old. While adding intensity and density to neighborhoods is rarely popular, it is vitally important in helping our neighborhoods become more pedestrian-friendly and reducing the impact of poorly-planned and sprawl-inducing growth.

·               Peter F. Dennehy, Senior VP, Sullivan Group Real Estate & BIA member

As for the height limit … they are asking to spread height over whole site – going lower than allowed on gas station side and 8 feet higher on two houses side – the resulting project is about same height as the Kensington Park Plaza project.  It’s actually a reasonable compromise and reflects changes made after local Planning group rejected the earlier plan…they have worked through the established process (whether people chose to participate or not)

Personally I support the project – I can understand why people will not welcome development – but it will eventually come to that site in one form or another.  At the meeting – Allard Jansen was called an “outsider” – but the reality is that by already owning the largest commercial project in the community – he has more invested in the community than most. He appears to be committed to delivering a quality project with tenants that reflect what the community wants.  He also appears to be willing to work with the community to mitigate concerns through the established process. 

·               Dennis Otsuji - Planning Commissioner

·               Ken-Tal Community Ass. President Harold KoenigI support the Kensington Terrace project. We need to replace the blight of the current gas station with modern shops and businesses to support our local community.

·               Aimee FaucettChief of Staff to Councilmember Jim Madaffer

·               Elizabeth Kinsley Chief of Staff to Council President Scott Peters

 
BIA, Developers and Related Industry Members Support Todd Gloria:

Sherm Harmer - President, San Diego County Building Industry Association (BIA)

Scott Grimes - City of Coronado Planning Commissioner and Real Estate Broker

Perry Dealy - President of Manchester Development and public point-man for Doug Manchester's Navy Broadway Complex development which is tied up in litigation because of an inadequate EIR.

"Developers' money is like heroin to politicians." - Roy P. Disney, March 2, 2008, Los Angeles Times

We need open, honest government that is working for people, not developers.”  - Stephen Whitburn, March 15, 2008, San Diego Union Tribune


What happens when you attempt urban infill development without adhering to the process under the California Environmental Quality Act?  Just ask the City of San Diego.







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